Leiko Ikemura, Sven ‘t Jolle, Mai-Thu Perret, Sophie von Hellermann & Sybren Vanoverberghe
Vancouver-based tape label 1080p may reference high resolution, big screen televisions and cutting-edge 21st century technology in name, but in practice Richard MacFarlane’s growing collection of cassettes of haze-inducing rap, abstract analogue techno and soothing ambient electronics has a much rougher edge. Debuting with former LOL Boy Heartbeat(s)’ debut tape Home Remedies last summer, 1080p has ramped up production with four new tapes in the last month and change, including alterego releases by Luke Wyatt and Coyote Cleanup. With yet another handful of tapes seeing the light of day in the coming weeks, we thought it about time we linked up with Richard to talk cassettes, blogging and musical enterprises. Oh and he made us an exclusive mix crammed with new original and unreleased tracks from the 1080p Collection.
Hi Richard! What are you up to these days?
I’m living here in beautiful British Columbia, running 1080p in my spare time from this Web Development course I’m half way through.
The name of your label might suggest a high-definition format, yet the material you release often touches on the lo-fi end of music.
I thought that the obvious and dumb of something hi-tech for a low-tech medium like tapes was pretty funny but I didn’t really mean for that to be the main point of the name. It’s more in reference to some idea of being obsessed with those particular types of technologies. I started getting obsessed with it from working with this guy on this Christmas job I had for Nintendo Wii-U at Metrotown, a mall here in Vancouver, who wore a Fedora and was really hyped on the 1080p capabilities of the system. That, and 1080 Snowboarding and generally goofy, graphic stuff.
The music you released switches from ambient, to techno, to rap, and back. What creates the consistency in the label?
I wanted the musical styles on the label to be relatively broad but still linked together with a similar culturally responsive, experimental and good-humored kind of ethos, having unique art for each releases but some vague underlying ideals, rather than template-style releases.
How do you come across the music that 1080p releases?
I’ve come across some things on Soundcloud; though recently I’ve been fortunate enough to have some amazing people contact me about doing releases, which makes me really happy. It’s cool too working with friends from online and real life on releases too; it’s very natural!
What draws you to the cassette format?
Primarily the compact size of cassettes is what made me want to focus on them as the sold medium for the label, and the relatively low cost of making them. To me they are also more casual, too, which is important for me as I wanted to keep the label as a smaller and kind of chiller outlet with frequent releases (I’m aiming to do one every two weeks) that is less tied in with the machismo that can sometimes be apparent with DJ culture – not always of course, but it fits with the scope I had for the label. Also, the labels that really got me into music like Not Not Fun and Night People always had the sickest cassettes. Of course digital is a huge part of the label as well, but it’s not as if the tapes sound lo-fi or anything; the folks at NAC in Missouri do an amazing job of dubbing.
How did your work as a blogger for Rose Quartz tie into the label?
I made a lot of friends on the internet while doing Rose Quartz, which is really fun and has resulted in some great real life friendships too. I always looked at blog of that sort of MP3 format as a casual way to share music I love working with other people, and I get a similar feeling when choosing stuff to release on 1080p. Blogging about tracks is definitely more fleeting/temporary though, it’s real important to release stuff you will still be into a year down the track. I think the role of a small label like this has changed a bit recently.
What are we hearing on this mix exactly?
This is sort of a sampler for the spring season of upcoming 1080p stuff; all of it is unreleased and mostly unheard. Not all of the tracks feature on upcoming releases, though all the artists featured have tapes on the way soon.
Magic Fades + Soul Ipsum – Dumb Wrist .obj
Beat Detectives – Summer in the City
LNRDCROY – Slam City
ATM – 3
Khotin – Ghost Story
M/M – 4am
D. Tiffany – Chains
Auscultation – Tied
Neu Balance – Restate
Khotin – Hello World
Infiniti – 1-2
Beat Detectives – Oh That Felix
MCFERRDOG – Club Amniotics
Karmelloz – Beyond Freezing (ft. C Plus Plus)
Wywy B – Wywy B Wywy
Richard released his 12th 1080P cassette – Karmelloz’s Source Localization – last week and readies his next tape – Magic Fades + Soul Ipsum’s Zirconia Reign – on 8 April. Keep up with 1080p at 1080pCollection.net.