On Fri., Sept. 25, local record label MISC Records will be featured at the VIA Festival’s kick-off party at Cattivo, in Lawrenceville. Featuring musicians Ondo, Ivies and Tom McConnell, the night will be not only a showcase for an emerging local label, but an appropriate kick-off for VIA, which aims to present the future of art, music and culture.
Founded by Juan LaFontaine — who also helps run the local techno- and house-focused label Detour — MISC records was launched about a year ago as an outlet for music that didn’t seem to fit Detour’s style. Its first release, MISC-001, which appeared as a “name your price” download on Aug. 11 on Bandcamp, features all the artists appearing at the VIA showcase, as well as Good Dude Lojack, Slowdanger, Telavision and Yaeji.
“There were a lot of tracks that I thought were great and should be put out there for people to listen to. Unfortunately, since they didn’t fit the sound we were looking for with Detour, we had to pass on them,” says LaFontaine. “There was music being made in Pittsburgh that I really wished to support and release on a label, so I decided to start one.”
While Detour tends to be driven heavily by techno and the prominent pulsing of a 4-4 kick drum, MISC leans to the mellower side, featuring styles ranging from minimal techno to hip hop, funk to ambient. With tracks like the ambient “What They’re Playing,” by Yaeji, and the poppier, vocally enriched track “Walking in Circles,” by Slowdanger, the label takes on a sound of its own with a very diverse set of tunes.
MISC has already been featured in Chicago-based 5 Magazine, a prominent publication with a focus on house music, which called Pittsburgh a “hotbed of American electronic music.”
LaFontaine is already working to put out four more EPs from artists featured on the compilation, hopefully to be released by the end of the year. MISC Records serves as yet another label to pop up in Pittsburgh that aims to serve the city’s surging electronic music scene.