In the world of crate-digging music junkies, there seems to be a new obsession every couple of years. You've had lo-fo garage, rockabilly, soul, and lord-knows how many others. Currently, the music cognescenti have latched on to obscure or out-of-print soundtracks. Thankfully, several labels have sprung up to accomodate the demands of those in search of Italo-disco, sleazy funk, and the like that scored films in the '60s and '70s. In addition to Death Waltz
, a new label has appeared -- One Way Static
. Ran by Sebastiaan Putseys
from Belgium, their first release is David Hess
' recordings for Last House on the Left
. The test presses
for that release just got approved and sent back to the plant to have the LP pressed, so we reached out to Putseys about the label's inception and upcoming plans, along with the whys and hows of reissuing records.
Your first release, Last House on the Left, has been in the works for a while. You announced it back in late January, if I remember correctly. Is it the standard Record Store Day delays in getting it out?
Well, the fact that it's been taking a while is actually a combination of things. We press at one of the oldest and best US pressing plants (this results in that they have quite a long waiting list), the mastering took a while, we had to gather liner notes from over 10+ contributors, we took our time in establishing a solid distribution partnership (really happy to say we will be working with Light In The Attic) ... not to mention tracking down all the right holders and the legal clearances. We could have done this fast and kept it basic but that would not have felt right you know. The release is dedicated to the memory of David Hess, so we took our time making sure it would turn out 100% as we had envisioned it. Good things can't be rushed.
Now that the test presses have been approved, when do you expect it to be in your hands, if not those of consumers?
Hard to say, the big work is done, a bonus surprise has been made… We are now finishing the album cover and then it's off to the plant. They'll give us a street date so we can issue a complete press-release and start the pre-orders, after that it's a couple of months to physically hold them in our hands.
Are you doing pre-orders, or waiting until it's sitting on a pallet and ready to go before it goes up for sale?
Yes, we'll be doing pre-orders soon (a matter of weeks), pre-orders are more of a practical thing. That way we can prepare shipping and logistics. It speeds things up and when we get the release in it can be sent straight to the fans and record stores.
For Last House on the Left, did you work from the master tapes themselves, or from the CD David Hess released in 1999?
We've been working with the 1999 CD and the engineers at the plant did an excellent job getting it ready for vinyl. We worked with that for two reasons actually. The most important one being that David Hess supervised it's production himself and we did not want to mess with his vision of the songs. Second one being that the only masters that exist are old German movie Dat tapes, starting from those would actually result in the same outcome. The sound is really good judging it's such an old recording (1972). Sure it has its cracks and pops: it has soul and it's raw, just like the movie.
What's involved in reissuing a record -- who do you have to speak with, how are rights determined, etc.?
Let's just say that when you release a soundtrack you have to track down and speak to lot of people (record labels, publishers, right holders, movie companies ...) and if you want to have additional people collaborating on your project (ex. liner notes from cast & crew) then you'll need a lot of patience. Some people are around and well represented, others have passed away. Tracking down right-holding relatives can be quite some trouble. It varies: Last House On The Left took about 6 months to get everyone on the same page & one of our next releases was concluded in 5 days. It varies from project to project.
Are you already working on your next release, given that your first one has taken a bit to get out?
Yes, we have 2 more killer releases lined up at the moment and working on several others. They will follow up on LHOTL
I've seen some communications between you and Spencer Hickman at Death Waltz Records regarding putting together a shared forum. What will that be, and when can folks expect it?
Yeah, really looking forward to that! It will be hosted on the DW site and will basically be a place for people to talk soundtracks, movies, … hang out & chat with us. We'll see where it goes, it just seemed like a cool thing to do. Won't take long now before it goes online, Spencer is on it. ! SPIN THE BLACKEST CIRCLES !
It seems like One Way Static, Mondo, and Death Waltz have all sprung up at the same time, doing some really stellar stuff. Why soundtracks and why now?
Yes, Mondo has been doing prints for a longer time but I believe they did their first OST ( the original Maniac
) somewhere late 2011 if I'm correct. I started One Way Static Records in june 2012, Deathwaltz released the Zombi2
score around that time. When I found out about this I got in touch with Spencer and we've been in contact ever since, totally love his releases and he's such a great guy. We try to support/promote each other as much as we can. There are a couple more labels popping up looking to do similar stuff, I guess it's becoming a small hype. I have no problem with that, as long as they take good care of those cool pieces of history and try to be original in what they are doing you know…
That's easy: I've been running labels and putting out records for as long as I can remember. Soundtracks have been a passion of mine since I was a kid. I've always been impressed by the impact that sounds can have in combination with moving images. So the idea of starting a soundtrack label was always lingering somewhere in my mind. It was partially born out of frustration due to the fact that a lot of these scores are so hard to find or just plain non-existing. I just want to re-release these records so I can spin them myself & let others discover or re-visit these forgotten gems. It's a labour of love.
More information about One Way Static can be found at their website, Facebook. You can also follow them on Twitter (@onewaystatic).