Updated: Oct 20, 2021
Statement of principles
Whatever your take on the communist era in the USSR, I reckon even the most begrudging of critics would admit that it produced some wonderfully designed propaganda posters.
The majority of the workers who belonged to the kollektivnoye khozyaynstvo (collective farms) were illiterate, so posters were image-led with a minimum of text in order to have maximum impact.
The collectives were cooperative farms run on state-owned land by peasants from a number of households. They were paid as salaried employees on the basis of quality and quantity of labour contributed.
At the conception of Blowtorch Records, the name came first and then the logo. The conversation with the wonderful Magda who designed it went along the lines of 'make it look like a Soviet propaganda poster'. Such clear directions.
But great designers can run with that and she (and her partner Conor) produced the early prototype you see right before the final green version which graces the website.
Hegel believed that mode of consciousness was determined on an individual level. Marx expanded on this with his theory that most people are alienated from their inate human nature by their social class - particularly the working class. For them, as they produce items in a capitalist system, the mode of production influences the mode of consciousness.
So without getting too philosophical, here at Blowtorch we believe that bands should be free from any production constraints to deliver their best work in a conducive environment.
Some bands are more established than others and have had national radio airplay and been reviewed in established blogs. This benefits every band on the label and thus we harness the power of the collective. It is incumbent on each artist/band of course to add to this with their own creativity.
A recent re-reading of the Factory Records story and understanding the unwavering commitment of Anthony H Wilson, Alan Erasmus and Peter Saville to a non solipsistic, design-led label, crystallised ideas which have always been in my head. I thought it worth committing them to paper - OK a well-designed blog at least. Better late than never.
Blowtorch Records will:
always be independent of any outside interference
place principles before profit every time
give unsigned, independent musicians a digital space & promotion for their recorded music and facilitate physical releases
leverage the power of the collective for the good of everyone
encourage each artist/band to add to this power with their own creativity
encourage and facilitate our releases to have beauty, interest and meaning
remember that punk is an attitude not a type of music
not tolerate any form of hate speech or discrimination. And fascists can fuck off.