Hydra Head Records

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Hydra Head Records
Hydra Head Records.png
Founded1993 (1993)
Founder Aaron Turner
Distributor(s) Redeye Distribution [1]
Genre Extreme metal, experimental, hardcore punk, alternative rock
Country of originU.S.
LocationNew Mexico
Official website www.hydrahead.com

Hydra Head Records is an independent record label that specializes in extreme metal music, founded in New Mexico by Aaron Turner (the frontman of Isis) in 1993. It has another imprint, Hydra Head Noise Industries, which specializes in experimental and noise music.

An independent record label is a record label that operates without the funding of major record labels. Many artists begin their careers on independent labels.

Extreme metal is a loosely defined umbrella term for a number of related heavy metal music subgenres that have developed since the early 1980s. It has been defined as a "cluster of metal subgenres characterized by sonic, verbal and visual transgression".

New Mexico State of the United States of America

New Mexico is a state in the Southwestern region of the United States of America; its capital and cultural center is Santa Fe, which was founded in 1610 as capital of Nuevo México, while its largest city is Albuquerque with its accompanying metropolitan area. It is one of the Mountain States and shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and Arizona; its other neighboring states are Oklahoma to the northeast, Texas to the east-southeast, and the Mexican states of Chihuahua to the south and Sonora to the southwest. With a population around two million, New Mexico is the 36th state by population. With a total area of 121,592 sq mi (314,920 km2), it is the fifth-largest and sixth-least densely populated of the 50 states. Due to their geographic locations, northern and eastern New Mexico exhibit a colder, alpine climate, while western and southern New Mexico exhibit a warmer, arid climate.

Contents

Hydra Head was founded in 1993 as a distribution company while Turner was still in high school. [2] In 1995, he moved to Boston to attend art school. In late 1995, he was handed a demo by local band Vent. That seven-inch single would be the first record released on Hydra Head. [2] The label grew to accommodate local bands such as Roswell, Corrin, Piebald, and Converge, and after Turner graduated from college in 1999, it became a full-time endeavor. [3] In 2011, Hydra Head relocated to Los Angeles, California, from its former home in Boston, Massachusetts.[ citation needed ]

Boston Capital city of Massachusetts, United States

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 694,583 in 2018, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth most populous in the United States.

Piebald is an American alternative rock band. Piebald started as a hardcore band in Andover, Massachusetts, out of the same scene that produced Converge and Cave In. Originally a key Massachusetts post-hardcore band often seen touring with fellow DIY hardcore bands such as Jesuit, Reversal of Man, and Harvest during the mid to late 1990s, they later moved to the Boston suburb of Somerville and became a staple of the Greater Boston indie rock scene.

Converge (band) American hardcore punk band

Converge is an American hardcore punk band formed by vocalist Jacob Bannon and guitarist Kurt Ballou in Salem, Massachusetts in 1990. During the recording of their seminal fourth album Jane Doe, the group became a four-piece with the departure of guitarist Aaron Dalbec and the addition of bassist Nate Newton and drummer Ben Koller. This lineup has remained intact since. They have released nine studio albums, three live albums, and numerous EPs. The band's sound is rooted in both hardcore punk and heavy metal, and they are considered pioneers of metalcore as well as its subgenre mathcore.

Some of the bands signed to the label include Cave In, Xasthur, Kayo Dot, Boris, and Jesu. Its discography includes Botch, Khanate, and Harkonen, who were all signed to Hydra Head prior to their respective disbandings.

Cave In band

Cave In is an American rock band that formed in 1995, in Methuen, Massachusetts. After several members changes in the late 1990s, their lineup solidified with the 1998 release of Until Your Heart Stops through Hydra Head Records. Their early albums were prominent in the metalcore scene. After this release, the band started experimenting with other genres. Cave In later received mainstream recognition for their 2003 RCA Records album Antenna and its lead single "Anchor," which had an overall alternative rock style. The group went on hiatus in 2006 and later reformed in 2009 with the release of a new EP, Planets of Old, as well as a new LP in 2011, titled White Silence. Both of these post-hiatus releases saw a return to Cave In's earlier and heavier sound.

Xasthur is the project of American musician Scott "Malefic" Conner. Conner formed Xasthur in 1995 and released eight studio albums of black metal by 2010, when he announced the end of the project. However, he revived it in 2015 to focus on acoustic neofolk music, releasing a ninth album, Subject to Change, in 2016.

Kayo Dot band

Kayo Dot is an American avant-garde music group. Formed in 2003 by Toby Driver after the break-up of maudlin of the Well, they released their debut album Choirs of the Eye on John Zorn's Tzadik Records that same year. Since then, Kayo Dot's lineup has drastically changed over the years. Toby Driver is the only founding member of the band still remaining, save for frequent lyrical contributions from former motW member Jason Byron. Up until 2011, the lineup was constantly shifting, and Kayo Dot's sound consistently changed over the years, featuring a wide variety of instrumentation including guitar, drums, bass, violin, saxophone, vibraphone, synthesizers, clarinets and flutes. Underground metal audiences warmly received the group upon its early existence, with the 2003 album Choirs of the Eye and the 2006 album Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue both becoming underground hits in the progressive metal scene.

On September 11, 2012, Turner announced the "imminent demise of Hydra Head Records", stating that Hydra Head would take its first steps into shutdown "this December, at which point we are cutting off new releases from the label." The label would continue to stay operational, maintaining its back catalogue to pay off its "rather sizeable debts." [4] The label's final release of new material was Worship is the Cleansing of the Imagination , a split album between JK Flesh & Prurient.

JK Flesh English musician

JK Flesh is a moniker of English musician Justin Broadrick employed for his solo work within "heavy" or "brutal" electronica music. Broadrick's usage of the title spans back to his work in the 1990s with Kevin Martin in Techno Animal, but he first released a solo studio album as JK Flesh in 2012. Unlike Broadrick's most well-known projects, Godflesh and Jesu, his work as JK Flesh is electronic and lacks metal riffs. Over the years, the project has shifted into a more minimal and dub sound while retaining its industrial influences.

In 2017, Hydra Head released Oxbow's Thin Black Duke , a long-germinating album that was slated to come out on Hydra Head and had been unable to find another label since Hydra Head's closure. Discussing the album, Turner appeared open to releasing more albums "on a case-by-case basis" [5]

<i>Thin Black Duke</i> 2017 studio album by Oxbow

Thin Black Duke is the seventh studio album by American experimental rock band Oxbow. It was released on May 5, 2017 through Hydra Head Records.

Current roster

27 is an American rock band from Cambridge, Massachusetts. 27 was formed by Maria Christopher, formerly of Dirt Merchants, and Ayal Naor in 1997. 27 is commonly categorized as a rock or indie rock band, but the genres lo-fi and emo have occasionally been used to describe them.

Agoraphobic Nosebleed is a grindcore band formed in 1994 in Springfield, Massachusetts, United States. Its line-up has changed often over the years, with guitarist and drum programmer Scott Hull being the only continuous member. The current line-up includes vocalist Jay Randall, and Richard Johnson of Enemy Soil and Drugs of Faith, along with John Jarvis of Pig Destroyer and Fulgora on bass guitar. Agoraphobic Nosebleed is one of the most well-known drum-machine grindcore bands, and has influenced many drum-machine grindcore bands.

The Austerity Program is a noise rock and alternative metal band that formed in New York City in 1997, founded by guitarist Justin Foley and bassist Thad Calabrese. The band has a distinct sound; due to their use of a drum machine, the band's categorized as an industrial rock outfit, and comparisons to other bands such as Big Black are made by critics and fans alike. The duo has a warm reputation within the American underground music scene since their formation, and their 2014 album Beyond Calculation was ranked as #12 on Rolling Stone's 20 Best Metal Albums of 2014.

Tortuga

Past artists

See also

Related Research Articles

Isis (band) Los Angeles, California-based post-metal band

Isis was an American heavy metal band founded in Boston, Massachusetts in 1997 and later based in Los Angeles. The band borrowed from and helped to evolve the post-metal sound pioneered by bands such as Neurosis and Godflesh, characterized by lengthy songs focusing on repetition and evolution of structure. Isis's last studio album, Wavering Radiant, was released on May 5, 2009. Isis disbanded in June 2010, just before the release of a split EP with the Melvins. In 2018, the group reformed as 'Celestial' for a one-off show to pay tribute to Caleb Scofield.

Botch (band) band

Botch was an American metalcore band formed in 1993 in Tacoma, Washington. The band, featuring Brian Cook, Dave Knudson, Tim Latona and Dave Verellen, spent four years as a garage band and released several demos and EPs before signing to Hydra Head Records. Through the label, Botch released two studio albums: American Nervoso (1998) and We Are the Romans (1999). The group toured extensively and internationally in support of their albums with liked-minded bands such as The Blood Brothers, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Ink & Dagger and Jesuit. Botch struggled to write a third studio album, and in 2002 the group broke up due to tensions among the band members and creative differences. Hydra Head posthumously released an EP of songs the group had been working on before they split titled An Anthology of Dead Ends and a live album documenting their final show titled 061502 in 2006.

These Arms Are Snakes

These Arms Are Snakes was an American post-hardcore band that formed in 2002 and featured former members of Botch and Kill Sadie. Before disbanding in 2009, they released three studio albums: Oxeneers or the Lion Sleeps When Its Antelope Go Home (2004), Easter (2006) and Tail Swallower and Dove (2008). Former members of These Arms Are Snakes currently play in Russian Circles, Narrows, Minus the Bear, Crypts, and Hooves.

<i>We Are the Romans</i> 1999 studio album by Botch

We Are the Romans is the second and final studio album by American metalcore band Botch. It was originally released in November 1999 through Hydra Head Records, and a remastered two disc edition was later released on September 11, 2007. A Hydra Head repressing of the vinyl was released on October 25, 2011. The repress sold out on pre-order in under 20 minutes.

Harkonen is an American post-hardcore band from Tacoma, Washington, most active between 1997 and 2005.

Lotus Eaters is an experimental electroacoustic group which features Aaron Turner, Stephen O'Malley )), Khanate, Burning Witch), and James Plotkin.

Hydra Head Records discography

This is a complete discography of Hydra Head Records releases. Hydra Head Records is an independent record company based in Los Angeles, California, founded in 1993 by Aaron Turner. It has two imprints, Hydra Head Noise Industries, which specialises in experimental and noise music, and another entitled Tortuga Recordings.

Robotic Empire is an American record label based out of Richmond, Virginia. They specialize in hardcore punk, heavy metal, and alternative rock. Some of the most popular bands signed to the label over the years have been pg.99, City of Caterpillar, Crowpath, The Red Chord, Circle Takes the Square, Cursive, Versoma, Daughters, Isis, Kayo Dot, Cave In, Red Sparowes, Torche and Hot Cross. Robotic Empire was known as Robodog Records for their first 14 releases.

Knut are a mathcore/sludge metal band from Geneva, Switzerland that formed in 1994. They started by playing in the local underground squat scene, publishing a couple of seven-inch releases as well as their first CD in 1997, titled Leftovers. This early material was put out on Snuff Records, which was run by Roderic and Didier. In 1998, Knut released their first full-length, Bastardiser, which showcased a sharper and more focused aggression, combining heavily distorted guitars, odd-time signatures, use of discordance and repetition, and harsh vocals.

Aaron Turner American musician, artist and record label owner

Aaron Turner is an American musician, singer, graphic artist, and founder of label Hydra Head Records. He is most widely known for his role as guitarist and vocalist for the post-metal bands SUMAC and Isis, while also participating in several other bands and projects such as Old Man Gloom, Lotus Eaters and Split Cranium, a collaboration with Jussi Lehtisalo of Finnish band Circle who toured with Isis in 2009.

Isis discography

Isis was an American post-metal band, active from 1997 active until their disbandment in 2010. They released five full-length albums, five extended plays (EPs), five live albums, two singles and have collaborated with other artists on numerous other projects.

<i>Envy / Jesu</i> album by Envy

Envy / Jesu is a split album between Japanese hardcore band Envy and Justin Broadrick's Jesu. It was originally released in Japan by Daymare in 2008. Conspiracy Records released a 12" vinyl version, limited to 2,000 copies in white, transparent blue, gold and silver.

<i>Melvins / Isis</i> 2010 EP by Melvins and Isis

The Melvins and Isis released a split EP on Hydra Head Records in 2010, with each band contributing two tracks. Isis' "Way Through Woven Branches" had previously only been available as a bonus track on the Japanese edition of their last full-length, Wavering Radiant, whilst "Pliable Foe" was exclusive to this release. Both tracks were recorded during the Wavering Radiant sessions. Meanwhile, the Melvins tracks are reworked from their release The Bride Screamed Murder, described as displaying the "dadaist/trickster tendencies of the band which has frustrated and delighted fans in equal measure since the beginning of their existence". The album was released July 13, 2010 on CD format, with vinyl copies available a week earlier from Vacation Vinyl in Los Angeles.

<i>Heart Ache/Dethroned</i> 2010 compilation album by Jesu

Heart Ache/Dethroned is a double EP release by the Welsh band Jesu. Released on 16 November 2010 through Hydra Head Records, it combines the band's out-of-print, debut 2004 EP Heart Ache with a previously unreleased EP titled Dethroned. Jesu founder, Justin Broadrick, began working on Dethroned around the same time as Heart Ache in 2004, but it was not completed until 2010. Broadrick said the release of Dethroned took so long because he didn't want it to be a stand-alone EP and was waiting for the right album with which to combine it. Broadrick chose a reissue of Heart Ache to pair with Dethroned because they were written around the same period and contained similarities to his previous band, Godflesh. He said, "Both Heart Ache and Dethroned, for me, contain a huge amount of Godflesh to some extent, it's that period when the ghost of Godflesh still somewhat influenced the Jesu sound and songwriting."

Greymachine is an experimental music project founded in 2006. It is led by Godflesh and Jesu frontman Justin Broadrick. The act also features Isis frontman and guitarist Aaron Turner, Jesu bassist Diarmuid Dalton and Head of David bassist Dave Cochrane.

<i>Disconnected</i> (Greymachine album) 2009 studio album by Greymachine

Disconnected is the debut album by experimental music act Greymachine, featuring Justin Broadrick, Aaron Turner, Dave Cochrane and Diarmuid Dalton. Produced by Broadrick, it was released on 4 August 2009 via Turner's own record label, Hydra Head Records. In February 2018, Disconnected was reissued as a limited 2xLP with unique artwork and clear vinyl.

Vultures Descend 2009 song performed by Greymachine

"Vultures Descend" is a song by experimental music project Greymachine, from the act's debut album, Disconnected. Produced by the band leader Justin Broadrick, it was released on 12 May 2009 as a single via bandmember Aaron Turner's own record label, Hydra Head Records.

<i>Worship Is the Cleansing of the Imagination</i> 2012 studio album (split) by JK Flesh & Prurient

Worship Is the Cleansing of the Imagination is a split album between experimental musicians Dominic Fernow under the pseudonym Prurient and Justin Broadrick under the pseudonym JK Flesh. Released on vinyl on December 11, 2012, Worship Is the Cleansing of the Imagination was the final release of new material by Hydra Head Records, the label founded by former Isis member Aaron Turner.

<i>The Narcotic Story</i> (album) 2007 studio album by Oxbow

The Narcotic Story is the sixth studio album by American experimental rock band Oxbow. It was their first to be released through Hydra Head Records and would be their last full-length album until Thin Black Duke, released a decade later. Co-produced by Joe Chiccarelli, the album incorporates influences from blues rock and features orchestral music, arranged by guitarist Niko Wenner.

References

  1. "Hydra Head Records is welcomed to the Redeye Distribution family". Redeye Distribution. April 15, 2009. Archived from the original on October 31, 2009. Retrieved February 14, 2010.
  2. 1 2 Hill, Mike (April 26, 2011). "Isis and Hydra Head's Aaron Turner on DIY Beginnings – Exclusive Interview". Noise Creep . AOL . Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  3. "Punknews.org | About Hydra Head Records". Punknews.org. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
  4. "The Imminent Demise of Hydra Head Records" . Retrieved September 11, 2012.
  5. "Oxbow's Avant-Rock Experiments With Light and Shadow Oxbow". Bandcamp . Retrieved June 21, 2017.