Hypnotic Dirge Records - A Manifesto
-A public declaration of principles, policies, and intentions
Hypnotic Dirge Records is an independant non-profit underground record label, distro, and webshop dedicated to releasing and
promoting quality underground music closely related to the Doom Metal, Black Metal, and Post-rock sound but striving first and foremost to release expressive, emotional, and melancholic music regardless of genre. We currently possess 31 official releases, with plans for a lot of new releases througout 2013. Our label is currently located in Saskatoon, Canada but is a worldwide label in the sense that our main aspiration is not necessarily to promote a local scene exclusively but instead to focus on quality music from around the world, regardless of location. Bands and artists on Hypnotic Dirge Records come from all corners of the world including Russia, Ukraine, Italy, France, Norway, Iran, Australia, Canada, and the United States among others.
The history of Hypnotic Dirge began in the small city of Swift Current, SK, Canada in the summer of 2008 when the idea to start an underground label first arose. The summer months were used to plan out the direction of the label and prepare for the first official releases later that year.
We officially opened on October 20th, 2008, and soon thereafter released our first two official releases 'Winds of Sorrow - Through Twilight..., and 'Ancient Tundra - Requiems of a World Lost'. Initially, Hypnotic Dirge Records released mostly CD-r releases in an effort to spread the word about our label and the bands on our roster while being limited to an extremely small budget. However, we occasionally released some special editions such as a 2CDr re-release of Neige et Noirceur's L'Abime des Jours, l'ecume des nuits, as well as a CDr/DVDr Symbiosis/Ancient Tundra split in a Super Jewel Box packaging.
However, starting in Mid 2010, we decided to take the next logical step in the progression of the label and decided to release all of our upcoming albums on Pro-CD. The first example was the emmense Exiled From Light - There is no beauty left here... double-CD released in July 2010. After that release, the label moved to its current location three hours north of Swift Current to a city called Saskatoon and shortly thereafter released a new album from The Foetal Mind, and the debut album from the one-man alternative black metal/trip-hop project netra.
The beginning of 2011 was a slow time for the label due to a lot of time being spent concentrating on university. However, it was during this time that current HDR artists Ekove Efrits and stroszek were signed to the label and that summer came the release of Ekove Efrits' first album on Hypnotic Dirge entitled 'Conceptual Horizon' as well as Funeral Fornication's Pandemic Transgression, and Ov Hollowness' Drawn to Descend albums. Later in the fall, official Hypnotic Dirge shirts were released to mark three years in existence.
Doom metal became an increasingly important aspect of Hypnotic Dirge' sound beginning in 2012 due to my own growing interest in the genre, and it was during this time that many of the label's current acts were added to the roster including Odradek Room, Subterranean Disposition, Nethermost, and Lycanthia. As far as releases go, Old Forgotten Lands' Primal album, and stroszek's sound graveyard bound kicked off the year, and was later followed by Epitimia's first album on HDR entitled 'Faces of Insanity', Silent Path's debut album 'Mourner Portraits' - a funeral doom/depressive black metal album from the same musician behind Ekove Efrits in the early months of Summer. Following that was the release of netra's much anticipated sophomore album, Sørbyen - an interesting hybrid of trip-hop, depressive black metal, alternative, and experimental music with goth-rock and electronica tendencies which once again received extremely favourable reviews from both listeners and the press. Following that was the release of the first album on Hypnotic Dirge that could truly be classified as doom, the debut album from Terry Vainoras' Subterranean Disposition an interesting experimental death-doom album from the musician behind The Eternal, Cryptic Darkness, and Insomnius Dei.
Plans for 2013 are many but among them are the debut albums from the Ukrainian progressive death-doom band Odradek Room, the debut EP from death-doom outfit Nethermost, the re-release of gothic doom band Lycanthia's 'Oligarchy' album, a special stroszek release, and new music from Epitimia, Ekove Efrits, and Subterranean Disposition to begin.
Although Hypnotic Dirge Records ships worldwide, our aim is to have our releases available through a variety of distributors and webshops around the world anyway. Though our releases won't necessarily be available through your webshop of choice simply because with release editions of 500 or 1000 copies, it is simply impossible to have it everywhere, the goal is to have our releases stocked in as many regions of the world as possible. Send an email with your location to get a list of shops in your area that carry HDR releases.
Distributors interested in carrying Hypnotic Dirge titles should also send us an email. We offer cheap wholesale rates for orders of 10 or more CD's (any combination of releases, and mailed without cases) and trades are also possible though not always a guarantee due to high cost of shipping trade packs and being quite selective about the titles offered in our distribution shop.
Hypnotic Dirge Records is the official North American distributor of the great Russian doom metal label Solitude Productions and its side labels BadMoodMan Music, and Slow Burn Records. Solitude has released over 100 releases to date, which are all available through HDR (except those which are sold out) New releases from Solitude typically arrive every 2-3 months as well as restocks of older titles. Bands of interest from Solitude Productions include Raventale, The Morningside, Kauan, Inborn Suffering, The Howling Void, Ea, Tears of Mankind, When Nothing Remains, and (Echo) among others.
The main motivation for having a record label is to spread good music and art, not to restrict it. For that reason, all of our releases are available to stream in full on bandcamp with no watermarks or other "anti-piracy" bullshit. It is our belief that there should be as little restrictions on music (and other artforms) as possible, and it is for that reason that we take a "free access" position to the music that we release and promote. We believe that every album should be readily available to be previewed in full before someone buys the album to avoid the common trick of releasing one "good" single in an album otherwise fleshed out with filler. Listeners and fans should be treated with the common courtesy to be able to listen to something in full before deciding whether or not to buy it. If you like the music and wish to support our activities, full digital downloads are available on bandcamp for $5.00 per album, and CD versions are available for $10.00 (plus shipping)
One of the most important artistic projects for Hypnotic Dirge Records are the free digital compilation albums released each year to commemorate the label's "anniversaries." The albums are released in November/December each year and are treated as a sort of "multimedia" project consisting of audio, video, visual, and text components. The audio section consists of a track from each active Hypnotic Dirge project from recently released or upcoming albums, as well as 2-3 different guest artists each time as well to keep things interesting. Additional video, visual, or text (essays, articles, short stories, etc.) are also included in the compilation albums, as well as a digital booklet including an introductory note, and insight from all of the artists on their contribution.
The first three compilations were mostly the work of the label only but starting with the fourth compilation the albums are now treated as a collaborative effort between all of the participating bands and artists where decisions on a title, album art, theme, and contents are decided with everyone's input. The purposes of these compilation albums are really multiple, some of which are - a thank you for listeners and "fans" for their ongoing support, an opportunity to promote upcoming releases, a creative outlet for non-audio art and expression, the opportunity to work with guest artists, and the overall collaborative spirit between many artists and bands.
The aim of Hypnotic Dirge Photography is to go on photoshoots regularly and capture a variety of different shots which can be freely used by bands or labels for whatever their needs may be. Whether that be album artwork, t-shirt imagery, label/band banners, etc. all of the photos are available free of charge. The only requirements being that an email is sent first asking for the availability of the photo(s) so that they are not used twice, and if the photography is for album artwork to also include a credit in the album notes, and a copy of the album.