When I first started fucking with the idea of TAR, it wasn’t even a label. It was going to be a zine that included music from different homies in each issue. Just sort of put my art friends on and my music buddies as well. All I want and all I ever wanted was just to showcase my friends and people who inspired me to do whatever it is I’m doing in this life.
As I started collecting artwork from artists to put in the first issue, I started collecting the music as well, and realized very quickly that was more fun and I was getting a lot more music than artwork. I remember finding specifically Brothers Hand Mirror (who was the first release) online randomly. I was looking at the lead vocalist’s Tumblr, because his art was super rad, and then stumbled upon their music. I was tripping out that no one, it seemed, had really heard of these guys but they were so damn original. Like, “why the fuck hasn’t anyone put this out yet?!” Then I realized the music needed to have a home even more than the artwork. (At least for now.)
At that point I started finding more artists making really crazy, new sounds that I thought needed to be heard more. It was official TAR would be a record label or a music collective rather than just a zine. I figured it could always become a zine too whenever I wanted.
The premise with TAR was focused around the number 3. Life, Death, Rebirth. Past, Present, Future. Mind, Body, Soul. Each release would be only three tracks long, and from any genre, any type of sound or musician. It’s sort of like my personal interests put into a record label. There is punk, hiphop, techno, LOTS of footwork, etc… It’s everything and anything.
The name stems from Alejandro Jodorowsky. It’s a reference to his movie Fando y Lis. In that movie the two main characters are scouring the wasteland for a place called TAR where all your dreams are reality. You can do or be anything you ever wanted and you will be accepted. It’s about finding that place inside yourself. TAR is my holy land. It’s my baby. I’m the only one doing everything for it. I have a few homies who help me with certain artwork, Jengo, Heather Benjamin (who did the logo) and lots of other folk whose artwork inspires my creations. I do the “scouting,” the curating, the press and “A&R.” My good friend Steve Nalepa does most all the mastering. Shouts to him def!
The goal isn’t to have only one specific audience. It’s to connect to the average person who likes more than one sound. I know there are more people in the world like me who will listen to TEKLIFE and then Dead Kennedys. I just reach out to the people who make sounds where I’m like, “oh nice, I haven’t heard anything like this really.” Or reach out to people I think could be prophets for a specific sound. I’ve been working with TEKLIFE since the third release on TAR and it’s because they are prophets. They hold the key to a specific sound and they need to be safely guided to the masses.
I’m inspired by labels like Warp, Brainfeeder, Mexican Summer and 4AD. Places that could put out anything really and the universal conscious will be like, “ohh that’s what’s up!”
It’s been a huge learning experience. I actually went to college for Music Business so all of the things I’m experiencing are things I’ve read about which is pretty rad. It’s a ton of work to get these releases heard and noticed but I love it. It’s like I’ve been prepping to do this for a long time. I do everything from home. TAR is still a lil baby but I feel the growth. The collaborations with TEKLIFE have been huge and have been making me want to just take this shit even more serious. When I first started the label it was ALL free always. Which it still is. It’s always free on Soundcloud, and “Pay if you want” on Bandcamp, but recently I’ve attained Digital Distribution via Alpha Pup. The entire catalog (all 23 releases so far!) are up on iTunes, Spotify and slowly getting all past and current releases on sites like Boomkat and Bleep.
The roster keeps growing steady, I’ve got about 15 releases in the works for this year into next. The future is looking really good for TAR. Going to introduce a mix series soon as well as a remix project for past releases. My main goal is to get these kids signed to bigger labels and help push their careers. I never thought it would get this much attention so now that it is, it needs to be done for the right reasons and to the right people. I think it’s crucial we put on artists who want to further push the sounds and keep us all progressing. TAR will always be on that.
Today TAR released its latest EP, DJ Tre’s TEK x TAR Vol. 6, stream it here.