Saturday, March 11, 2006

Oi Vey! Absolutely Kosher Records

Calum Marsh

This morning in my mailbox, I was greeted by a lovely little sampler CD from the good people over at Absolutely Kosher Records - a label I (and you, too, probably) know solely for their two biggest acts: much adored indie-pop dandies The Hidden Cameras and - my personal favourite - the delightfully scary Xiu Xiu. But on closer inspection, Absolutely Kosher is offering a whole lot more than gay choir-rock and suicide soundtracks: we're talking, of course, about a label that is also home to fine acts such as Goblin Cock - indeed.

As if monstrous phalluses weren't enticing enough, Absolutely Kosher dishes out a whole bunch more intriguing outfits. Some of their more notable minions include: Frog Eyes (featuring Casey's cousin, no less), The Dead Science, Sunset Rubdown, Rob Crow, Okay, and The Court And Spark. These guys are all pretty bizarre, too (but what did you expect from a label that parades Goblin Cock - nothing against those fine chaps, of course), but they're all of surprisingly high quality. The Dead Science is perhaps my top pick of that bunch, their track 'The Future, Forever (Until U Die)' being one of the sampler's highlights.

All indie labels have their weak spots, of course (well, except the DFA, but that's another story), and Kosher is obviously no exception - but for the most part, this is a label of surprising consistency; they're not all great, but damn it if they aren't interesting - and often that's enough. These are fringe artists doing weird things, and with an open mind you're sure to find much to get excited about. Will you like it all? Probably not. Only a handful of albums in the Kosher catalogue are particularly strong, and some are outright worthless - but where most labels' weaker material is completely forgettable, Kosher's entire library of music is deservingly infamous and, in the very least, worth talking about afterward.

Ah, but what about the apprehensive indie rockers? Listeners who fear the unusual will be relieved to know that Absolutely Kosher still has them in mind too, kind of. The Wrens are comparatively normal - as well as fairly well-known in the indie world - and are, if you're unfamiliar, pretty terrific. The label's newest act, Ex-Boyfriends, too, are a huge departure from the weird-and-scary territory that Kosher's known for: they're indie-pop, plain and simple (think Hidden Cameras, if you strip away the weirdness and tone down the gay just a tad), and they're actually rather good. They might not be as "interesting" as some of Kosher's more, um, infamous artists, but they're nevertheless worth checking out.

Wading the waters of Absolutely Kosher was an interesting musical adventure, to be sure. And though the image of demonic private parts may be permenantly etched into my brain, I'll surely remember my label exploration fondly.

The Dead Science - The Future, Forever (Until U Die)
Ex-Boyfriends - Him For Me
The Hidden Cameras - In The Union Of Wine
Frog Eyes - One In Six Children...
Okay - Now

The Dead Science - Frost Giant
Goblin Cock - Bagged And Boarded
Ex-Boyfriends - Dear John
Frog Eyes - The Golden River
Xiu Xiu - A Promise

The Life and Times of Dependent Music

Comments on "Oi Vey! Absolutely Kosher Records"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12/3/06 12:33 pm) : 

Have Hidden Cameras always been on Kosher?


Blogger Jonathan Migneault said ... (12/3/06 8:25 pm) : 

No, the Hidden Cameras have been on three different labels.

Their first album, Ecce Homo, was released on the Canadian label EvilEvil.

Their two subsequent albums, The Smell of Our Own and Mississauga Goddam were released on Rough Trade (and EvilEvil in Canada).

It's only their latest album, The arms of his 'ill', that was released on Kosher.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (24/3/09 5:26 am) : 

Do you know the maple mesos? It is very interesting and if you have enough mesos,you can be strong. So i often go to play the game to get more and more cheap mesos, sometimes i can get the maplestory mesos from my friends who i know in the game. However i like the game very much because of the maple story mesos, i want to play the game more often.


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