New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
London record label Dirty Water Records has agreed licensing terms with the new, independent, US label Dirty Water Records USA. This will make the UK label's catalogue more readily available stateside, enable Dirty Water Records USA to release and promote its own product under the Dirty Water Records brand, and create a transatlantic partnership to work together to continue enabling the music we all love and to give all our fans the least expensive option to harass their neighbours with their loud rock'n'roll records.
The London-based record label has been growing rapidly over the past few years, its irreverent, raucous brand of garage rock picking up new fans with each new release. Founded in 2004 by club DJ and club promoter PJ Crittenden (who ran the now infamous Dirty Water Club, the label started off doing small run releases for friends' bands and quickly developed into a full-on record label, riding the wave of the near legendary North London club night that is notorious for its many gigs that have gone down in history, celebrity regulars, and wild DJ stomp parties that continue to rage on after more than 20 years.
The club and label's name is a tribute to The Standells' 1966 hit "Dirty Water" which glorifies the US city of Boston, Massachusetts. Coincidentally, not only was the original, long-term home of the Dirty Water Club a North London pub named "The Boston
Arms", but US ex-pat Paul Manchester (aka Boston
Paul) - first a fan, then a friend, then a partner - engineered the label's first big release: the reissue of the Boston
group Lyres' 1979 classic single, "Don't Give It Up Now" c/w "How Do You Know". Spanish dynamo Diego
Dominguez was the third initial partner in the label and the fourth partner, Bostonian ex-pat Matt Hunter, first met Boston
Paul at the Boston
Arms before a Dirty Water Club gig by Boston's legendary Lyres.
Since then, the label has released a world class selection of acts including American chart-botherers Muck and the Mires, from Boston, LA's Mr. Airplane Man & The Morlocks, San Diego's The Loons, Detroit's The Hentchmen, Cleveland's Archie and the Bunkers, NYC's Dirty Fences, Keokuk's GONN (a particular honour and pleasure to release) as well as Magic Christian (featuring the talents of Blondie's Clem Burke and Cyril Jordan from the Flamin' Groovies) plus Japan's The Routes & The Fadeaways, Argentina's Los Peyotes ,France's Les Grys-Grys, The Dustaphonics, & The Arrogants , Denmark's The Youth, David Peter
and the Wilde Sect and POWERSOLO, Sweden's The Branded, Thee Gravemen Holland's De Keefmen, Portugal's d3o, Spain's Los Chicos, Hollywood Sinners, & Los Bengala, Ireland's The Revellions & The Urges, Austria's Wild Evel and the Trashbones (soon), New Zealand's The Cavemen, Australia's The Kits, UK's MFC Chicken, King Salami and the Cumberland 3, The Vicars, The Masonics, The Priscillas, The Vipers, The Despondents, Johnny Throttle, Oh! Gunquit, Atomic Suplex and Suicide Generation and The Dirty
Last Summer whilst on sabbatical in Phoenix
Arizona, the label's publicity and A&R supremo Matt Hunter
serendipitously ran into local (and international) rock chanteuse, (and former label owner of Atomic A Go Go Records) Nicole
Laurenne (of the Love Me Nots, Zero Zero and Motobunny) who was just starting her jaw-dropping new all-girl project The Darts (US). Hunter was already intent on signing them after randomly discovering the band on a Facebook post before they had even played their first show.
The two eventually met up one evening in the cosy basement confines of Phoenix's Valley Bar, where the two instantly started plotting world domination over drinks with just an eyeliner pen and upside down beer mats to map out a strategy. The simple plan entailed removing the store sign off of Atomic A Go Go Records and replacing it with Dirty Water Records USA, with Nicole
assuming the role of proprietor.
"I always envisioned the label having some kind of US based operation; I just never imagined it would be located in the middle of a desert", says Hunter. "After that first meeting with Nicole, who was already a big fan of Dirty Water, I knew this just had to happen by any means necessary - and signing The Darts was the ultimate cherry on top of this whole amazing endeavour taking shape."
""I'd been trying to get the attention of Dirty Water for years with The Love Me Nots but they never seemed to take notice," Says Nicole. "When Matt wrote to me out of the blue that he was interested in The Darts and my little DIY label, I almost fell off my chair. After five minutes together we knew we had a lot in common in musical tastes, mutual friends, business ideas and more. We were both so psyched, we couldn't get this off the ground fast enough."
After several weeks of long distance discussions and forward planning, Hunter flew back to London with two Phoenix
bands on the roster, The Darts and Playboy Manbaby, which sent loud signals from the Big Smoke that something interesting was brewing in the 'Valley of the Sun'.
Fast forward almost eight months later, and a licensing deal has now been struck between Dirty Water Records Ltd and Nicole
Laurenne to effectively spin off a separate label to her, with full creative and financial control that will in turn carry the Dirty Water Records label brand name that will help promote and distribute the current London roster, whilst creating a whole new label with a diverse flavour of sounds, including perhaps some not typically heard from the label before.
"The idea is to create a select roster of artists who we fully believe in enough to launch and support in a variety of different ways worldwide, while also offering existing Dirty Water records and other products that we absolutely love, from a lot different worldwide sources, to US customers so everything can be bundled and shipped domestically", says Laurenne. "The tastemakers involved with DWR USA have kind of eclectic taste - but with a common theme of loving music that tears your face off in its awesomeness and power and leaves you on the floor. That's our goal."
PJ Crittenden says: "The club night and label started off as a small time DIY effort with, at the beginning, myself doing everything. Once Paul and our Spanish dynamo Diego
came on board, with their extra skills, knowledge and experience, we were able to take things further than I'd originally imagined. With Matt's input we've grown even further. So this is the next logical move for us. From a very young age I was completely into American music - rock'n'roll, blues, soul, proper old rhythm'n'blues, sixties garage, psych, and so on, the kind of music that I see as the real deal. In that context, a US branch of Dirty Water in my eyes is exactly what we should be doing. Giving some rock'n'roll back to the place where it started!"
"These are exciting times for us!" says Paul Manchester. "Dirty Water has already grown beyond what any of us were initially expecting, and Dirty Water Records USA is a quantum leap for us. But this isn't just about geography - we have distribution and a large fanbase in the US - it's also about the great skills, flair, and drive that Nicole
and her team bring to the table. It's a perfect fit, and the future looks Dirty."
The new label already have five new artists and forthcoming releases poised to build up its roster and will also offer a full service agency for booking, promotion, publishing and artist representation - in addition to delivering the highest quality in new music on a variety of formats; vinyl, cassettes, digital, and CD's with Worldwide distribution from Cargo
Coming Soon From Dirty Water Records USA!
Mean Motor Scooter: Fuzzed up, farfed out, Fort Worth quartet of psych-garage goodness firmly rooted in the Texas
traditions of The Butthole Surfers, The Dicks, and Roky Erickson with tab of Scratch Acid.
Escobar: Two-headed touring pirate beast from Limoges, France that spar in the vicious dens of Suicide and Nirvana
with a bloodying, stinging assault on the senses from their 'biggest' sounds.
Baronen & Satan: "Garagedeath" quartet from Gothenburg, Sweden that exercises the demons of The Cramps and Siouxsie and the Banshees into a whirling dervish of dark, spirited tones and ferocious guitars.
Bee Bee Sea: This irresistible trio from Castel Goffredo, Italy shoots addictive pop-fuelled, garage-spiced rave-ups, like a Sonic Boomerang flung out into space and returning to spear the listener through the heart.
The Callas: Hailing from Greece, built around brothers Lakis and Aris Ionas, The Callas offer Krautrock grooves and hypnotic, scuzzed-up guitar lines, featuring the undeniable six-string genius of Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth). This artistic, luxe record will find favor with fans of The Velvet
Underground, The Horrors, and Neu!.