No matter how ingrained you are in the Pittsburgh music scene, you still might not know just how many record labels are operating locally. Many of them fly under the radar, but they're definitely worth knowing.
So, Pittsburgh City Paper decided to create a Pittsburgh Record Label Roundup, featuring larger labels like the North Side’s Get Hip Recordings, to smaller ones like the electronic Machine Age, to help give a glimpse into the diverse and plentiful selection of record labels based in Pittsburgh.
Follow along with us (almost) every other weekday, as we will feature a different Pittsburgh-based label ... until we run out.
Pittsburgh Tracks / Machine Age Records / Love What You FeelFounding Date/Founder(s): 2011, Preslav Lefterov, Adam Ratana, and Erin Holland
Genre: Pittsburgh Tracks: dance/club music by Pittsburgh Artists.
Machine Age Records: rock, experimental music, and other out of the ordinary releases recorded at Machine Age Studios.
Love What You Feel: house and techno from around the world
Artists/Bands Highlights: Pittsburgh Track Authority, Shawn Rudiman, C.Scott, Nice Rec, Santiago Salazar, Kevin Reynolds, Outsideinside, Hidden Twin
Inspiration: Underground Resistance, WARP, Metalheadz, Basic Channel
Info: inthemachineage.com. Always accepting demos, email [email protected]
Don't be fooled by Machine Age Records' sparse website, the label knows what it's doing. In addition to Pittsburgh Tracks and Love What You Feel, Machine Age Records is run by Preslav Lefterov, an electronic music lover who has been in the Pittsburgh music scene since the early aughts when he and a partner started Machine Age Studios.
"We started as an outlet for dance music by Pittsburgh artists, but in the past eight years have expanded to releasing various genres of music from artists from around the world," says Lefterov.
Dance and club music from local musicians is found on the Pittsburgh Tracks label; any genre beside dance that is recorded at Machine Age Studios is put on Machine Age Records; and the third label, Love What You Feel, is home to house and techno music from across the globe.
"The majority of the music we release has an appreciation and love of synthesizer culture," says Lefterov. "We have dedicated our lives to creating music using all available tools, but love synthesizers, tape machines, classic consoles, weird effects, and vinyl. Most of our releases are accompanied by limited edition vinyl records."
Receiving those physical records, and then getting to ship them to people all over the world, is one of Lefterov's favorite parts of running the three labels.
"The work doesn't end when you create or sign a good record," says Lefterov. "There is so much music being released every single week and often it is not enough to have a 'good' record. Capturing that something special that makes people stop, listen to your record, and purchase will always be a challenge. ... [But]
standing our ground and releasing music we believe is timeless, despite short-lived trends, [is a record label's role].
"Releasing music is a marathon, not a sprint, and it's about building a catalog you'll be proud of in decades."
Are you a Pittsburgh record label? Email jsnowden[at]pghcitypaper.com.