From out of New
Zealand come some of the best undiscovered voices in the music
industry, bands such as Alpha State, Breathing Cage, Insurgents,
Children’s Hour, and many more. In addition to being somewhat
similar in style, all of these bands have one thing in common: they
were each signed and produced by the record label known as Failsafe.
Failsafe was founded in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1984 by music
lover Rob Mayes, who actually played in many of the label’s bands.
Some of the CD’s produced by the company feature him as one of the
musicians, from groups such as Kimo, Throw, and Springloader.
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After its beginning in the mid 1980’s, Failsafe found its peak in
the early nineties, with a steady release of debut albums. Pop bands
such as Malchicks and Squirm found their way into the markets from
the record label, as well as a compilation album called Avalanche
Compilation featuring multiple artists, including Loves Ugly
Children, Supertanker, and Pumpkinhead.
Despite the initial success of the company, it did run into a few
rough spots, and after just over a decade of producing, it sank out
of sight- temporarily. In 1995, Failsafe went under the radar for a
break and a step back. The submersion was not to last, however, as
in 2001 the label again made an appearance with the release of
several new albums over the next few years. Eskimo (now known as
Kimo) and Hooster made their debut with several other artists, among
them Substandard and Degrees K.
Four years after resurfacing, Failsafe introduced a new record
series involving many bands from its earlier period in history.
Voices such as Evasive Action, Eight Living Legs, Pop Mechanix, and
Beat Rhythm Fashion, and much more combined to form the Retrogenic
Series. This series involved an attempt to release previously
unavailable albums to the greater community, songs and artists that
had been recorded in the 80’s and 90’s, but had then been archived
rather than circulated. The bands are mostly under-represented
artists whose recordings were unable to make the charts due to the
costs of producing the albums, either by the bands themselves or by
record labels. A second wave released in 2008 followed in this same
thought process, also called the Retrogenic Series, with the aim to
collect and distribute compilations from various albums and artists
that had never made their way into the public arena.
Besides its reincarnation of some of the older bands, the record
label is not above bringing out the new material, focusing on
certain newer groups to release simultaneously. Laptopdancer is a
new album recorded by the group Mulchzoid and produced by Failsafe
as part of its new artist introduction. Some of Failsafe’s releases
feature familiar groups with new albums. An old favorite with
memories dating back to the beginnings of the company, the music
group Kimo has recently released a new album titled “Surrender.”
The style that defines Failsafe is at once unique and varied,
featuring innovative use of guitar strings in a range that
encompasses the worlds of pop, rock, as well as inspiring guitar
soundscapes. The record label knows no bounds in its production of
music; indeed, at times it seems to create its own genre as the
bands that it produces combine sounds and styles in a new array of
music that is suddenly startling and intriguing.
In the future anything can happen- but for this New Zealand record
company, the future is bright with possibilities and opportunities
to discover both the glorious past as well as the hopeful future in
its continuing releases.
Copyright 2010 failsafemusic.co.uk