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Latitude / la-ti-tyood/ n. 1 the distance of a place north or south of the equator. 2 (latitudes) regions with reference to their temperature and distance from the equator: southern latitudes. 3 scope for freedom or thought, Origin latitudo ‘breadth’. – Oxford Paperback Dictionary (OUP, Ed. Catherine Soanes, 2001)
We came up with the idea of our Latitudes series in 2005, partly in honour of John Peel and the great work he did championing so many bands with his BBC Radio One sessions, and partly making reverence to Southern’s origins as a recording studio in the late 1970’s, a studio which has continued to operate alongside our label activities. Many incredible bands have recorded at Southern – Crass, Sonic Youth, The Fall, PW Long, Fugazi, Therapy, PJ Harvey, Lee Perry, Bauhaus, Mark Stewart, Antisect, Big Black, Shellac, Babes In Toyland, The Jesus And Mary Chain, Ministry, My Bloody Valentine… the list is virtually endless. However, in more recent years not so many of the bands we work with have had the chance to record at Southern Studios, though it has remained a very active studio. With Latitudes we hope to reaffirm the bond between our studio and label activities, and in 2009 we even moved all of our offices back into the studio building.
Latitudes is a simple concept. We agreed it would be a great idea to offer our favourite bands – many of them passing through London as part of a European tour – the opportunity to spend some time recording something spontaneous, collaborative, fun or experimental in our studio. Whatever the band wants to achieve in a one day session — essentially – something truly transient, imaginative and unique. Something we hoped to capture in the aesthetic of the resulting record – something with boundless creative scope and freedom – specific to a certain time and space – something with latitude…..
Another factor behind the Latitudes series was our impetus to create something unique and beautifully packaged, in limited runs, distributed primarily through smaller, independent distributors, mail orders, web shops, and retailers – basically something special for the people who love and support music, in times of mass production and musical genocide. The artwork for each one of our Latitude releases will be specifically embellished by the band. Cult designer Stephen O’Malley has provided us with a wonderful template for the series – think smoky wavy cloud scapes and creatures of apocrypha. On top of this visceral odyssey of a cardboard CD casing, we ask our bands to design an artisan sleeve motif and insert, bearing the details of the session and a photograph which symbolises the spirit in which the session was recorded,
We couldn’t be happier with the reception that Latitudes has received. Most of the pressings have quickly sold out (though we do stash away copies for our mail order), and the bands have all been really happy with the way their releases look and sound.
In 2007, we started releasing some of the titles on vinyl as well, and in 2012 we completely redesigned the vinyl packaging so that it perfectly compliments the original CD design in it’s unique aesthetic.
Latitudes is our special adventure, and we hope that you will join us for the journey.
- Grails Interpretations GMT 0:00
- Shit and Shine Ladybird GMT 0:01
- Ginnungagap Remeindre GMT 0:02
- William Elliott Whitmore untitled GMT 0:03
- Anticon artists [unreleased] GMT 0:04
- Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti Pedestrian Pop Hits GMT 0:05
- Dälek Dälek GMT 0:06
- Sir Richard Bishop Fingering the Devil GMT 0:07
- Paradise Island Seeing Spots GMT 0:08
- Magik Markers The Volodor Dance GMT 0:09
- Circle Tyrant GMT 0:10
- Bohren und der Club of Gore Mitleid Lady GMT 0:11
- Blood and Time untitled GMT 0:12
- White Magic New Egypt GMT 0:13
- Miasma and the Carousel of Headless Horses Manfauna GMT 0:14
- The Fallen Black Deer Requiem GMT 0:15
- Gang Gang Dance Kamakura GMT 0:16
- Daniel Higgs and Chiara Giovando [unreleased] GMT 0:17
- Mount Eerie Black Wooden GMT 0:18
- Gowns Broken Bones GMT 0:19
- Alexander Tucker & Decomposed Orchestra Grey Onion GMT 0:20
- Boduf Songs The Strait Gait GMT 0:21
- Nadja Sky Burial GMT 0:22
- A Storm Of Light A Storm Of Light GMT 0:23
- Master Musicians Of Bukkake Elogia De La Sombra GMT 0:24
- Future Islands [unreleased] GMT 0:25
- Wino Labor Of Love GMT 0:26
- Silvester Anfang Untitled GMT 0:27
- The Entrance Band Entrance Band GMT 0:28
- Grumblin’ Fur
- Bardo Pond
- Haxan Cloak