For all the press we throw down for local labels like Tender Loving Empire, Hush, Eggy, Marriage, Apes Tapes, etc., you and I have to know that underneath the radar are dozens of smaller independent labels that have rosters just as strong as any of the imprints mentioned above. Hell, a music-hungry town like ours wouldn't have it any other way.
Still, running across a label that I haven't yet been privy to still gives me that electric charge in my spine like the days when my older brother would send me a mix tape and I would hit upon a song that sent me reeling. Such is the case when I stumbled into the world of Nueva Forma.
This "audiovisual label" based in NW Portland says they are "a collective of sound-makers, designers, and ever-evolving digerati. As an eclectic music label, our agenda is simple; to offer you a wide variety of acousmatic pop, IDM, dub, click house, ambient, hip-hop and more."
A simple agenda, yes, but one that has guided the label into some amazing directions. The releases by glitch-house genius Masmod and the jazz guitar meets ambient beats of Lapse are just two examples of their impressive roster.
It is the label's upcoming release A Loom & Not Me, by the artist known as IG88 that could help bring some richly deserved attention to this outfit. Created by the Bellingham-based artist Branden Clarke, these 13 tracks have the liquid, enveloping quality of sinking into a warm bath. Honeyed synth melodies play sportingly off of beats that throb with the blood of hip-hop. Check out the track "Adult Tree" to see what I'm talking about. The sandy beat shifts underneath synth lines that have a New Age-y tinge to them. It's the kind of ambient beauty you wouldn't mind having on your iPhone when you're cooling down after a long run or relaxing in a spa. I can only hope Clarke takes that as the compliment it is.