Rainbow Body Records

Chris Sloan

Chicago's Rainbow Body Records talks about their young experimental pop label and gives us a free compilation, along with photographs by Drew Reynolds and Hisham Akira Bharoocha.

rainbow body records logo

I'd been planning to start the label since college, but I was mostly pissing away time and hanging out a lot. That changed when I heard Golden Birthday online one day. I contacted Ryan to see if he was into the idea, and we both agreed that it would be the first release on Rainbow Body Records.

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That's when I started funneling all my spare cash into the label fund. I sold a ton of old synths and stuff that had been sitting around untouched for years, and started trying to get a handle on the business end of things. I still have a lot to learn about that side; it’s not an aspect that really interests me, but it’s necessary. I’ve gotten a ton of help from the folks over at Drag City and Thrill Jockey. It’s a pretty tight community here in Chicago, and people are really supportive of each other.

Golden Birthday's Infinite Leagues came out a year later, followed by upcoming releases by Night Gallery, White Car, and Robert A.A. Lowe.

White Car may be on the EBM/industrial dance tip and Night Gallery more towards the new wavey-goth side of things, but there’s a common thread, and, along with the Golden Birthday record, and Rob Lowe’s Fazo IV (rbbd004), the four Rainbow Body releases veer towards experimental pop, experimental, and… pop.

So far the artists are pretty Chicago-centric, all of them either being from here or having lived here at some point, but I wouldn’t say that’s some sort of prerequisite. It’s nice having personal relationships with the people we work with, and I think it’s reassuring for them to know that we’re picky about the releases we do, and that if we’re doing their record, we must be totally apeshit over it.

At this point, our focus is vinyl and digital releases. There’s a different pacing to listening to an album on vinyl – especially compared to how fickle iPods allow people to be. I find myself fucking around with my iPod while one song is on, and then seeing another song I want to listen to and switching to that track before the first one is done, and then repeating that process again and again. I think it’s natural to be inclined to use the technology that way, but it’s not as satisfying or rewarding as committing yourself to listening to a whole album.

When you put on a full-length LP, as a listener you are essentially entering into an agreement – “I will listen to this whole record if you (the artist/label) keep up your end of the bargain” – meaning that the record is worth your time. We encourage that kind of listening.

Rainbow Body Records Labeled Comp

rainbow body records logo

01 Golden Birthday – “Something, Sometime, Sunshine”

02 Night Gallery – “Mary Bell”

03 White Car – “The Bridge”

04 Robert A.A. Lowe – “Antoj Ŝtelir”

Download the Labeled Rainbow Body Compilation here.

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