Eric Hill - Patient Records (Bradley Parker/The East)

Patient Records: New Label Launches In Fredericton

Fredericton musical therapist Eric Hill is bringing you one step closer to being a well adjusted individual. The frontman  at Backstreet Record’s Fredericton location, and the host of Surgery Radio has created Patient Records, a new label designed to fulfill your niche needs.

Hill says that he has been considering launching a label for some time – a natural extension of his podcast Surgery Radio,  hoping to capitalize and strengthen the already dedicated fan base of some more obscure genres. “The podcast features experimental music of all types, but mostly centring on ambient electronic, improvised rock, and avant-garde pop. Likewise, I wanted a label that would feature these styles of music, with an eye towards physical media presented in limited but aesthetically pleasant packaging.”

Patient Records aims to cater to smaller bands by producing smaller pressing. Hill is looking to do runs of only about 50 CDs at a time in an effort to keep costs reasonable, without pushing for the minimum orders of 100-500 expected of most labels. Two weeks ago Hill made a test run of his own work under the name Counting On Downstairs just to work out the process and pitfalls.

The label will be officially launching this weekend coinciding with the Shifty Bits Circus, a festival that specializes in the small and weird. Besides Hill’s own own  the kick-off will feature two other releases by Union Suit (Tate Lejeune) and Dennis Goodwin (The Olympic Symphonium). Hill is looking to do more releases come January but hasn’t finalized the details yet. “I’ll likely keep it to between four and six releases a year until/unless cash flow makes it possible to do more. I’m not looking to get rich, but I’m not looking to get poor either.

“Another aspect I’m trying to decide is whether I’ll keep things strictly local (i.e. Maritime artists) or if I’ll open things up to international artists. In one of my earliest plans I’d hope the label would feature a series of linked releases where I’d pair a Canadian artist with an International one and the visual design could be a swap of sorts – with each artist creating the art for the other based on their interpretation of the music. But that was pretty ambitious to get things started, still a possibility down the road.”

“It may be my age, but I still like the kind of curatorial stamp a label can put on a group of releases. If a label can establish a reputation for having good taste I’m more likely to take a chance and listen to a new artist whose work they are debuting, whereas releases that are managed solely by the artist(s) who produce them can be amazing, but unless they are wizards as self-promotion it’s easy to miss them.”

Hill explains that he hopes to open opportunities for artists that might be considered left-of-center, and even provide a space for performances, but acknowledges that his initial audience will be a matter of preaching to the choir.  “There are shows at art galleries or alternate spaces, and while that can be really satisfying you are also performing largely to an audience already on your side. If there is any pushing involved it might be to put these artists in spaces where those not already initiated will have a chance to see them. It’s something that seems already be happening, I’m just hoping to help it along. In the past I’ve found that pairing together a variety of styles can really open up the audience base, even outside of music alone: planning events that combine music with reading, film, dance, anything that can broaden appeal and, hopefully, minds.”

For more information follow Patient Records.