We are two friends from the East of France running the new DIY record label Hands in the Dark. Onito and I met during our university days, through our many shared passions: music, partying, video games, beer, wine, photography, film (Onito can list the production and release dates of lots of eighties and nineties bad films)… A few years passed, Onito went off to study in Edinburgh, then Paris, then Mexico (and soon London!)… For my part, I finished my studies in our beloved little city, Besançon, whilst hosting an independent radio show in my spare time. In September 2010, just before Onito’s departure to the land of cacti and tacos, over the course of a cheese-fondue one cosy winter evening warmed by the ever-flowing wine and the company of our beautiful girlfriends (la vie est belle en France!), I put the idea to him to start a label together… Hands in the Dark was born.
The two of us are musical omnivores. We are influenced by so many groups, so many labels and so many artists that it would be useless to try and name them all. Emotional landscapes, strange feelings, fascinating music… That's what we love, no matter whether it's lo-fi, shoegaze, ambient, drone, chillwave, psyche, post-punk, space rock, or whatever… We just look for a certain “je ne sais quoi”… We try to look at the stars!
Our project is to promote rad music by DIY artists who we are passionate about, and to release limited copies of their work (on CD for now), but vinyl will follow very soon. We focus on providing music lovers like us with an original and unconventional “product”. The only limit to our creativity is our wallet, but one way or the other, making profit is the last of our concerns! We just want to do things ourselves, with love and intensity.
For now, Hands in the Dark have done six releases. There are more amazing records, discoveries and explorations waiting in the wings.
Inside all of us is a wild thing, just listen to Hands in the Dark!
Death And Vanilla, Ghosts In The Machine (HITD 001)
Passionate about zombie films and sci-fi films and Krautrock. Anders Hansson and Nilsson Marleen composed their first songs in 2007 in an unheated attic above the old cemetery in Malmo. Their first digital release with the excellent, pioneering label Beko DSL, these simple and positively haunting melodies were the vectors of our very first hopes: the very first songs carrying the HITD tag, our first release and our first sell-out!
Cankun, Your Fingers The Snakes (HITD 004)
Discovered by chance one sleepless night, Cankun’s music marks the end of the previous project by its creator, Archers By The Sea. That project's LP They Were Floating Over The Mountain,They Were Kings (La Station Radar, 2010), is a soft, lo-fi whistle that makes an ambient-psychedelic and funky collage of a bright, exotic, faraway paradise.
Stag Hare, To Coyoto To Hop (HITD 006)
Following his very noteworthy first album (Black Medicine Music, 2008), Stag Hare offered us Spirit Canoes. Four titles make up 40 minutes of folk-drone-psyche played in slow motion by this barefoot, uninhibited free-spirit (LP version available on Inner Islands).
A Fight For Love Ocean (HITD 002)
Named after a John Ford film of which every last copy has been lost, A Fight For Love has no doubt written the label’s pop anthem with Ocean. In any case, it’s an arresting track. The journey away on your holidays: those first, adolescent flirtations, lost memories, the burning sun… The second to carry the HITD tag, with a heavy Beach Boys influence.
Sacred Harp Brother Green (HITD 005)
Daniel Bachmann, 21 years old and an outstanding guitarist, released his first cassette recording with the label Mirror Universe Tape in 2009. In October 2010, the young man came out once again with his incredibly masterful, self-produced first album, released exclusively on vinyl. Today we are proud to have been able to re-edit this gem, with glitters of Americana, Indian music and folk-psyche, Apparitions At The Kenmore Plantation.
Metacomet Long Time Coming (HITD 003)
Metacomet is the name sliding across the surface of an ongoing collaboration between guitarists Ian Staub and Max Gardner and vocalist Christina Boyd. The trio originally released their first recording, the Depression Ceremony cassette, on ambient/experimental impresario Sam Goldberg's Pizza Night imprint in January of 2010. Since then, Metacomet has established itself as an exciting, open-ended experiment in melding the mute grandeur of “big skies” Americana with the meditative drone and melodic experimentation of psychedelic/experimental traditions, especially German Kosmische Musik, to make a sound that’s warmingly familiar, but maddeningly difficult to name or define.
Impose Labeled/Hands in the Dark Sampler
Download it here.
HITD 007 ::: Travel Expop Series (Vol. 1, France) / LP 12″ / Co-release with Ruralfaune, with Cankun, Holy Strays, Voodoo Mount Sister, Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier.
HITD 008, 009, 010 ::: soon!
Thanks to Auntie Alice for your help.