Reeks of Effort
Sometimes it is difficult not to be but a little disconcerted by how seemingly little others care about something you are passionate about. I mean to say, I appreciate my mum reading the articles I’ve posted on the blog, but sometimes I wouldn’t mind someone else doing so. I’m joking of course, my mum hates it, but sometimes it is hard for music and labels to find a voice when all the money in the world and all the attention is directed elsewhere. Sometimes it is hard for ventures to find a place in a world saturated in distraction and short attention span. But that is what they want us to believe: We know people care, if only because we do.
Reeks of Effort are a Cardiff (and elsewhere) collective that started out in 2010 as a music blog, ventured into putting on shows and finally took the plunge into becoming a fully fledged record label in 2012. If you visit any of their social media spaces you will see they describe themselves as a DIY record label battling monumental indifference. Although this is a lifted lyric bathed in gallows humour, there is a certain truth posturing against a brick wall of insouciance: Namely that nonchalance is cool, eagerness is not. Them’s the rules. However Reeks of Effort don’t care for rules, they do what they want, because they can and because they care. The word “collective” can be served up on a plate of platitudes, but with Reeks of Effort the collective avidity shines through, with the likes of members of Joanna Gruesome, Playlounge and King of Cats all digging in and helping out. It’s by the people, for the people stuff and as they put it when we spoke to them, “It’s just cool to occupy your free time with phat tunes and nice people, it beats most other things.” As mission statements go, we think that’s pretty fucking grand. As a result of this we get to hear lots of superbly lo-fi, joyfully thrashy and genuinely affecting music..
2013 has seen Reeks of Effort release music from the likes of Trust Fund, Ides, Beta Blocker and the Body Clock, Joey Fourr, Lone Omi, Birdskulls, YRRS, and of course, King of Cats and Playlounge as well as putting on shows and even holding their very own pool party.
Whilst musical trends can be subject to the whim of marketing executives, label politics and self satisfied taste-makers, people get together, form bands, write songs, play shows and all because in some way they have been touched by something that has gone before them. Or perhaps because it’s fucking fun and beats joining the real world. Whatever. It’s not necessarily the kind of music that will attain commercial success (although Joanna Gruesome are doing alright I’d say) but it does and will touch others. Here are a collection of songs released on Reeks of Effort this year that have touched us.
We asked for Reeks of Effort for their thoughts on 2013 and hopes for 2014 and here is what they had to say:
My favourite album of the year is probably Dean Blunt – The Redeemer. I just think he’s like the coolest dude and I’m also really into what he did with Hype Williams too. He also did a hushed release of an album that he recorded in a hotel room in Moscow called stone island which is really great.
Trust Fund is one to watch for 2014, we put out the Don’t Let Them Begin EP this year; he’s the nicest dude and is really dedicated to the DIY pop scene which is always something to admire in an artist. I’m not 100% sure what his plans for 2014 are, but whatever he does will rule.
The Playlounge and Plaids albums are also something to look out for next year. Laurie and Sam of Playlounge help out a lot with Reeks of Effort and are two of the most hard working and genuine guys. Basically; super cool guys, super cool band. Big riffs, bigger hearts. Plaids are another really hard working band (they run a DIY venue / recording space in notts called JT Soar) and Greenberg (Plaids Guitarist) writes some killer licks.