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- JABS is artist-driven! I have hopes and ideals for how the label works, but the first priority is trying to meet the artist’s intentions for each release. Artists are encouraged to be as involved as they like in the production and distribution of a record with JABS, and I check in a lot. If a record is on bandcamp or apple music, that’s because the artist requested it. Likewise, if a record is only available physically, that was the artist’s decision. I like using recycled materials and tend towards sturdier packaging so the objects last for a long time, but if an artist wanted their record to come packaged in a 12 foot styrofoam airplane, I’ll figure it out with them.
- JABS is a hobby! It is a pretty fun hobby, even the presumably tedious stuff like stuffing records into sleeves and going to the post office is fundamentally satisfying to me. This is also a good reminder that things happen kind of slowly, and very intentionally. I have learned that I have to really love something completely to make a record, otherwise the amount of time and resources that go into each record becomes really burdensome.
- JABS is transparent! The complete accounting can be found for each JABS release by scrolling to the bottom of each record’s page and clicking on the link reading “To view the complete production costs for this record, click HERE.” There’s a little more context for this decision HERE. In this spirit of transparency, am very open to discussing anything not covered here, answering questions, providing direction, explaining my thought process etc.
- JABS accepts demos! I will listen to everything but will realistically only ever put out two records a year, so the chances of a demo leading to something are low. Physical demos (preferred!) can be sent to 225 Terrace Park/Rochester NY 14619/U$A and digital demos to firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope you already assumed this but JABS is not interested in material that is bigoted in any way. Unfortunately the various undergrounds that JABS exist in all have a history of overlooking and/or apologizing for abusive behavior by individuals which means that I also need to get to know the people I work with. It is unacceptable for the work we all do to accidentally provide cover or opportunity for someone’s physical, emotional, sexual, or psychic violence.
- JABS is one person! Ethan Swan! I worked at record stores for a lot of my life, notably the Bop Shop in Rochester and Jackpot Records in Portland. From 1998-2002, I co-operated the label Archigramophone with Paul Dickow. In 2017, Dave Muller and I collaborated on the temporary record store P&B Records, located at The Meow. I also made all the oral history projects for Know Wave (see HERE and HERE). Honestly I haven’t figured out the balance between my other activities and the label yet, it all kind of feels like the same project to me but I appreciate it might be confusing to anyone else.
- JABS is trying! I put a lot of thought into all the decisions about manufacturing, distribution, and community. This means little things, like packing the records in resealable plastic sleeves which can (hopefully) be used by the record’s owner forever, as opposed to factory-applied shrinkwrap, which is discarded immediately. It means bigger things too, like the way money moves through the record business, the ethics of licensing a song to a video game, posting the songs on spotify, or “right of first refusal.” I am constantly learning and mostly learning from other people, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns: email@example.com or 225 Terrace Park/Rochester NY 14619/U$A