Abstract on Black

June 20, 2009 at 2:22 am

To kick off a practice it will be my pleasure to indulge in frequently – profiling, recommending, suggesting, what have you, what don’t you – I thought it fitting to direct attention to a relatively new venture based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, only a couple of hours from Morgantown and the Rhino Throne.

Sort of Records is one of a handful of labels sufficiently near my own, geographically speaking, to keep me assured that creativity and positive enterprise are both pervasive and that I am not so isolated from these things as attitudes in my current habitation might suggest. Sort of is run by Ray Morin, a talented artist in his own right, who designs much of the label’s packaging, all digipaks that Ray produces himself. For a while the label actually offered short-run CD duplication to musicians and labels, all packaged in digipaks, and offered at a reasonable price. For labels and musicians, this is usually unexpected, and until costs became prohibitive, Morin was one of the only people I’ve ever known of that offered such a service. I regret hugely that I never had call for or opportunity to take advantage of it.

More recently, Morin partnered with local musicians to create Abstract on Black, an imprint of Sort of “that is dedicated to releasing modern composition, jazz, improvisational, electronic and other forms of new music. All recordings come packaged in handmade digipaks created by Raymond Morin.” From what I’ve heard, the music being released under the new moniker is wonderful, with albums from producer David Bernabo and most recently John Berndt, a prolific multi-instrumentalist and tape-musician from Baltimore. You know Berndt’s grand because every press piece that discusses him bends over backwards to emphasize that he is wildly “non-commercial.”

Here’s a great video from Bernabo, and I highly recommend checking out some Abstract recording’s on on their myspace page.

Happy Birthday!



Entry filed under: Music.

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