Dark Red Records party – Manchester, March 2023
On St Patrick’s Day evening I headed to Eastern Bloc to visit the launch party for Dark Red Records’ third outing. Selling out lathe-cut vinyl each release, the label is showing that their small scale operation can forge its own unique lane in the busy Manchester music scene.
Starting in 2022 with money gathered from a crowdfunded campaign, Dark Red Records began out of a desire to control the soup-to-nuts process of making, pressing, and releasing music.
From the frenetic, early 2000s inspired sound of A Million Drums (DRR001), to the deeper, gloomier timbres of Cluster of Allies (DRR002), each release has its own character. Working with a defined palette.
I briefly caught up with label owner Ego-Free Sequences, and one phrase he used stood out:
“small scale, big ingredients”
There was an acceptance that if things grow, they grow. If they don’t, they’ll be happy putting out great music regardless.
This was reflected in the event itself. The selection felt assured. As if each DJ was just spinning what felt right in the moment, rather than sticking to a pre-prepared set of records.
Finally, the main event. The new EP – Rough & Tumble (DRR003). My scattered notes from the evening tell me “bone rattler” and “carnage“. Not particularly enlightening, but note taking was never a skill of mine. Luckily, the record dropped April 7th so you don’t need to trust my judgement.
words & photos by Conall.