STS 007 - Discrepant


Discrepant is a gradually evolving kaleidoscopic record label based in London, UK. It spontaneously emerged in 2011 in order to present a diverse and exotic musical collisions between different cultures and composing methods. Kink Gong’s music inspired by South East Asian traditions or more psychedelic and aerial Cédric Stevens’ pieces are good examples of the label’s broad musical ideology. Having chosen a vinyl format as primary and recently started cassette series, Discrepant is progressively becoming a true lighthouse for those who are seeking for exclusivity, story behind the sound and even inspiring weirdness.

Gonçalo F Cardoso (a.k.a. Gonzo and Papillon), who is also a productive producer, was keen to answer Secret Thirteen questions regarding Discrepant label’s background and partly reveal his profound personality. Moreover, he recorded a special mix that consists only from records released on Discrepant.

Right-click and save a copy of Discrepant mix


Could you tell us more about when, where and how Discrepant emerged in this doomed world? Was it your lifetime goal to launch a record label or did it come spontaneously?

Discrepant started in 2011 in London and like all good things in life it happened spontaneously and with no aim in mind. I was actively making mixtapes mostly for my friends, but was encouraged to start putting them online, so I started a website/blog type thing. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was approaching artists I respected and admired to ask if they were interested in releasing some music on my label.

How do you select musicians to be released on Discrepant? Are there any specific guidelines? Maybe you have recommendations for musicians who wants to send their production to Discrepant?

I'm always looking for surprises in music, I want to be challenged and taken to a different place. I'm an avid music listener so I usually listen to everything I receive, even if most of it doesn't surprise me or challenge me. Most of the stuff I decide to release fits one or all of those factors: surprising, challenging and with a strong aural storytelling. In practical terms, if I hear something that ticks those boxes I'll investigate the artist output further more by checking his/her discography, Soundcloud samples, Youtube, Facebook, whatever is out there to give me a more complete picture of the artists’ work. If I'm still into it at the end of it I will approach the artist to see if they're interested and take it from there. Rarely I am taken away or surprised by a demo I get sent but I stay hopeful it will happen eventually.

It is easy to notice that fragments of traditional and classical music play a big role in many of Discrepant releases. Why is so?

I was always interested in the collision of different worlds musically, geographically, culturally. I can only see things from my very own perspective, but I find it very interesting when different worlds collide for better or for worse. One of my aims with the label is to musically deconstruct traditional styles of music and reassemble it back together in random, unpredictable ways. We've done it with South East Asian traditional music (check Kink Gong albums) as well as North African tape culture and Russian industrial music. We're planning more releases that will further explore this displacement of music genres and styles.

Which Discrepant release would you suggest to listen first as an introduction to your label? Why?

I would suggest starting from the very first one Kink Gong 'Xinjiang' LP, because for me it embodies everything the label is about. It takes field recordings of two different ethnic groups in the Xinjiang region (Kazakh and Uyghur people) and it smashes it into smithereens only to be reassembled again by field recordist and expert collagist Kink Gong.

Seems that Discrepant chose cassette format as its primary. What is so special about this format and the published music? How do you interpret this collision?

Our primary format is in fact vinyl. It's only recently that we started to release cassettes, mostly because its a quick and cheap way of getting stuff out whilst maintaining at the same time a strong visual and physical presence, which is essential for me. I see music as art and for me that should embody sound as well as a visual representation, making each release a beautiful art object.

Also, a lot of the music I release can be quite demanding for the listener and I think that vinyl allows for a more immersive listening experience.

Do you face any difficulties in this ‘business’? Maybe you have recommendations about ‘what not to do’ when you start a label? We are asking this, because we believe that it is always better to learn from mistakes.

Yes, who doesn't. I think everyone who wants to start an independent label these days must be not only very passionate, but also crazy to be putting so many hours into something that only a very few people seem to appreciate fully, it can be quite frustrating but hey, no one forced me to do it, so I'm not complaining.

I'd say the biggest difficulty is distribution, there are plenty of people out there that will be interested in your label and/or music, however, getting it to them is another matter. Digital platforms have helped a lot but as we still deal with physical product (vinyl, tapes) we are still dependent on high shipping costs and struggling record shops who can't afford to gamble much. I only realised this after putting the first LP out, little by little the attention and interest grew and eventually a steady distribution operation happened, but it can be sometimes a struggle. So my main advice when starting a label would be to make sure you are ready to invest your time, patience and off course (some) money.

What do you think about the media these days? Let’s look at this globally. In your opinion, is it hard to start a fruitful and longevous relationship between record label and media?

I'll be honest, I'd love to do without it. Just get stuff out and hope people pick it up because they like the artist, are curious about it or the cover intrigued them or whatever. Media outlets reflect the opinion of one (or several) group(s) of people and seldom can pick up on everything, which is fair enough. But they also seem to concentrate on what they like and are comfortable with, leaving the surprising feature behind in the process. I don't speak for all media, but in a global scale, yes, it seems to be the same people getting praise. The truth is that a lot of great music remain unnoticed.

In your opinion what were the biggest Discrepant label’s achievement? What does it mean to you as an individual?

Every time a record is out I consider it our greatest achievement regardless of its success, sales or critical acclaim. Of course all those come as a bonus and help us putting more records out, but nothing beats the feeling of seeing, touching, smelling and listening the final product. Every time a new record is out could also be the last so I always try to see it as our greatest achievement up to that point.

As an individual it fulfils my natural urge to create and spread my own artistic perspectives.

Could we say that through Discrepant you express your personality?

Not personality per se. But listening habits as well as artistic aspirations, yes.

Could you tell us more about yourself? What art, cinema, books and similar activities interest you the most? Where do you get your inspirations and life strength? Feel free to express yourself.

It would take me quite a while and it’s probably something I’d rather talk about down the pub rather than here, but in a nutshell yes, I'm attracted to art, literature and films and take inspiration from it. To name a few: Kubrick, Phillip K Dick, Fernando Pessoa, Rothko, Martin Dennis, Luc Ferrari, Dolat-Shahi Dariush, Camus, old School electro, Coltrane, Burroughs, Detroit Techno, Parmegiani, Drexciya, Moondog, Throbbing Gristle and Indiana Jones!

Tell the last word to our readers and die-hard fans of Discrepant.

We're currently busy working on our upcoming releases. These include a collaboration with Lebanese exploratory label Annihaya as well as a new Cédric Stevens LP and a new white label 12'' series introducing exclusive work by outsider artists working with no funding or no support from the music industry.

Show Playlist
1. Kink Gong - Khosa (from Xinjiang LP)
2. Cédric Stevens - Stardust (from Monsoon loop/Stardust 7'')
3. Cédric Stevens - Between The Battle and the Sheets (Fennesz Remix)
(from S.E.L. 2xLP)
4 Gonzo - Dies Irae excerpt (from Dies Irae tape)
5. Papillon - La Cavale Des Chinois (from Papillon LP)
6. GF Cardoso - Piano & Market Field Recordings (unreleased)
7. Hair & Treasure - Jive Cunny (from Jive Cunny tape)
8. Old Komm - Ventspils Movement 1 (from Ventspills EP)
9. Cédric Stevens - Siamese Level (Playground emulation) (from S.E.L. 2xLP)
10. Papillon - Petite Viande (from Papillon LP)
11. Gonzo & Lowdjo - Noise(s) (from Arab tape)
12. Kink Gong - Inside Curakhene (unreleased)
13. Old Komm - Ventspills Movement 2 (from Ventspils EP)
14. Kink Gong - Sixianmiaochoir (from Voices LP)
15. My Cat Is An Alien - Raga Of The XXII Century
(from Art Is A Tear Of Noise And Infinite Silence 2xLP)
16. Cédric Stevens - Monsoon loop (from Monsoon loop/Stardust 7'')

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An interdisciplinary journal, offering eclectic mixes and smart interviews with original artists and label owners as well as contemporary art reviews.

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