AnalogueTrash is an artist-focused independent record label with its grip on the most innovative grassroots music – created right here in Manchester but now collaborating with artists worldwide.

2018 sees the label release some of its most exciting underground material yet – from the spoken-word-meets-swaggering-bass of STOCKSNSKINS with the Dizzy Heights EP to St Lucifer, whose highly-anticipated album Music Is Violence is released on the 23rd of November.

And with DEF NEON (who recently incensed crowds at Infest), Copenhagen-meets-Canada trio Neonsol, the post-rock resonance of Room 1985 and electronic music masters Vieon, just some examples of other artists on the label – listeners are likely in for a treat.

There’s also an adventure behind the AnalogueTrash story, which involves its evolution out of Manchester’s own alternative clubbing scene. The key team behind it – Adrian Brian Thompson and Mark Buckley – first kicked things off in June 2009 with a gig and club night in the tiny back room in what was then the Northern Quarter bar Moho Live.

Their approach? Putting on packed parties, powerful performances and DIY antics which made an impact, gearing up the momentum to launch AnalogueTrash as a record label in late 2013.

By February 2014 they’d released their first album, forging forward the ethos of an 100% independently owned and independent label which celebrates innovation.

From artists experimenting with synths to breaking up beats, an array of experimental and engaging sound is celebrated– leaving the over-tired scene of the city’s white male indie bands far behind. Within a year AnalogueTrash was working with a vast range of musicians from across the world, from socially-searing sonic power of Salford’s Factory Acts, to the artful American PreCog. With packed-out gatherings at the iconic Oldham Street’s Castle Hotel, it certainly was making a home impression too.

And it keeps on growing. 2016 saw the emergence of a new AnalogueTrash music blog, followed by a radio station the year after. This expansion has gone onto include putting on artist showcases, becoming involved in alt-queer clubbing ventures (as one half of Anointed, which we covered at HAUNT here) and co-running a festival, Foundations – which debuted in 2016 and returns for 2018.

We spoke to the label’s co-owner Adrian Brian Thompson to find out more:

Hello Adrian. Why do you think it is so important to celebrate grassroots and underground artists?

“That’s simple really – without the grassroots, the underground and the emerging artists there’s no future. Even the most successful bands started somewhere, and those big, legacy artists aren’t going to be around forever. If we don’t support new, innovative artists and those people who bring something different to the table then the world’s musical landscape is going to get very boring, very fast.”

Do you have a particular approach to selecting the artists you work with?

Not particularly to be honest. There are a few things we look for though. We love working with artists who are doing things differently – that can be putting a new, interesting slant on an existing genre or even mashing up styles of music that don’t usually go together. We tend to specialise in art and music that breaks down barriers and blurs boundaries, but other than that genre isn’t really that important.

“As well as the musical side, there has to be that feeling that an artist is right for the label, as a person and a creative entity. We’re a big family really and a collective of like-minded souls, and I suppose we tend to wear our ideals, ethos and politics on our sleeves, so if we’re going to work with someone then they’d need to be comfortable with that side of AT.

“Thankfully, everyone we’re currently working with is amazing, really gets it and is creating music and art that genuinely deserves to be recognised and enjoyed.”

Why do think Manchester serves as a good base for the AnalogueTrash label?

“I love Manchester’s diverse communities, creative variety and most importantly its DIY attitude. That’s what makes it such a perfect base for everything we do. The city’s grassroots music and art scene is built on the work of passionate, creative people who see a need for something and create it rather than just lamenting on it not being there. Not only is that inspirational in itself, but it’s meant that there’s a whole city full of creative people, spaces and events to attend, collaborate with and learn from. That’s an amazing thing to be part of.”

What’s the weirdest music submission you’ve ever received?

“Because we’ve so few creative preconceptions about who or what we’ll work with, nothing’s especially weird to be honest! I just wish that we had the time and resources to work with all the awesome artists that get in touch.”

How can people support the work of a label like AnalogueTrash?

“It feels a little obvious to say this but: invest some money and time into what we’re doing. Buy the music and merchandise that we’re putting out if you’re able to, stream it, share it and enjoy it; come to our shows and club nights, explore our roster of artists, tell your friends about us and if you’re really, really awesome (shameless plug alert) then sign up to our Label Subscription to get everything we release automatically straight to your inbox. In fact, do as much of this stuff as you practically can, for any artist, label or creative that you love.”

How do you work with Manchester's wider underground scene and local creatives to carry the AnalogueTrash ethos forward?

“In my day job I look after three grassroots music venues in Manchester, so I get to meet loads of people doing cool stuff, and that certainly helps to keep us up to date on what’s happening locally and of course, we love collaborations anyway.

“We started the blog and the radio station because we wanted a platform to shout about great artists and music, even if it wasn’t something we were releasing or promoting ourselves. We’ve met some brilliant people already via those channels, even in the relatively short time we’ve been running them.

“The city’s creative community is stronger when we support each other, so we’ll very often co-promote events and work with other people doing interesting things. We’ve recently started running our alt.queer club night Anointed alongside the awesome Queer Indie Alternative at Tribeca, and this year we’ve co-promoted shows alongside Tilted Fiction promotions, DEF and more.

“We work pretty closely with other labels too, one notable example being Valentine Records who we co-curate Foundations Festival with and who we’re going to be doing a lot more work with moving forward.

“We’ve always got loads going on, so drop us a line if you’d like to work together on something cool. “