Moshi Moshi – Label Focus

By September 10, 2018 Music

This month we’re looking into Moshi Moshi Records

Moshi Moshi Records started off as a hobby in 1998. Set up by three friends who had jobs working for major record labels. It was intended as a way of working with the bands that they loved but which didn’t fit in with the agenda of the day-job taskmasters. Early single releases from Zan Lyons, Kathryn Williams & Pedro and J Xaverre earned the label some plaudits. And sold a few records. Over the next five years Moshi Moshi slowly started to build a reputation for interesting, slightly leftfield, low-key releases. Then in 2004 things changed. For a start Moshi stopped being a hobby and became a fulltime job. Very soon after, Hot Chip and Bloc Party arrived and Moshi Moshi quickly became a name known to more than a few.

We asked Moshi Moshi some questions to get to know a little more…

  1. What prompted you to start the label?

‘When we started Moshi Moshi we were both working for other labels. Stephen was doing A&R at Go Discs and, like every A&R man ever, was getting frustrated because he couldn’t release all the great music he was finding. I had a Label Manager role at Mother Records so between us we had the necessary knowledge and contacts to do it ourselves, so we did.’

  1. What has been your proudest moment of the label so far?

There have been many. Our 10th birthday was pretty special as we put on a big gig and loads of amazing people came along to play at it. But really its the small daily victories which make it all worth while. When someone plays one of your records on the radio and talks it up. Or you meet someone randomly who knows something we’ve released and were touched by it in some way.

  1. Which three to five albums would you recommend to someone who maybe doesn’t know the label and wants to start checking it out?
Hot Chip – Coming On Strong
The Wave Pictures – Instant Coffee Baby
Meilyr Jones – 2013
Anna Meredith – Varmints
Au Revoir Simone – Bird Of Music
  1. If money was no object, which artist(s) – past or present – would you love to sign to the label, and why?

We’d have try to keep Hot Chip for a start. Kieran Hebden, Super Fury Animals, LCD, Squeeze, Cate Le Bon, Billy Bragg, ELO! There are too many

  1. If you had one piece of advice for someone wanting to start a label, what would it be?
Just do it. Its not rocket science. But make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons, and be professional. Don’t do it because you want to hang out with bands. Do it because you want to share the music you love with other people, and do it properly as this is people’s art and careers you’re dealing with.
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Thanks, Moshi Moshi!