A few days ago reedist, bandleader, and composer Ken Vandermark announced the formation of his own record label, Audiographic. The move follows on the heels of similar projects by two of his collaborators: drummer Tim Daisy’s Relay Recordings and saxophonist Dave Rempis’s Aerophonic Records. The new imprint will release new recordings in editions of 500, on LP and/or CD, as with the first two releases (out yesterday), both by Vandermark’s latest large band, Audio One—Vandermark, Daisy, Rempis, vibist Jason Adasiewicz, trombonist Jeb Bishop, cornetist Josh Berman, bassist Nick Macri, saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, violist Jen Paulson, and reedist Mars Williams. Releases will also be available as high-quality digital downloads, which will be included for free with the purchase of a physical format. Audiographic will also produce books combining text and photography, which Vandermark hopes to make available in the fall. In an e-mail he writes that one of the forthcoming books “will combine images and a scenario created for a ‘fictitious film’, which I will compose a soundtrack for. The soundtrack will be included with the book.”
Regular readers probably know that Audio One started out as Celebrating the Midwest School, a band originally launched to explore the music of important composers from the region like Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, Roscoe Mitchell, and Julius Hemphill. Recordings made by that band live at the Green Mill this past winter turn up on the album called The Midwest School. But as that project evolved, Vandermark began writing new material, and that stuff turns up on the other release, An International Report. Down the road Vandermark plans a duo recording with trumpeter Nate Wooley to be recorded at the upcoming Okka Fest 6 in Milwaukee, and a release by Misale Legesse—a quartet with Rempis, Daisy, Vandermark, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love—recorded live at last year’s Okka Fest 5.
By Peter Margasak
Originally published May 15th 2014 for the Chicago Reader online.