diskant is an independent music community based in Glasgow, Scotland and we have a whole team of people from all over the UK and beyond writing about independent music and culture, from interviews with new and established bands and labels to record and fanzine reviews and articles on art, festivals and politics. There's over ten years of content here so dig in!

 Subscribe in a reader

Recent Interviews

diskant Staff Sites

More Sites We Like

Gizeh Recordings

Gizeh Records is a young Leeds-based label formed out of a desire to give unrecognised bands an outlet with which to release their records. Though not wishing to restrict themselves to any kind of pigeonhole, they are best known for currently specialising in the more inventive and experimentally-inclined side of music made by people, guitars and technology. Run with a healthy DIY ethos and an open ear for fresh music, they have been responsible for releases by bands such as Immune, Glissando, Invention of Hands and Detwiije, whose debut album was co-released on vinyl by diskant favourites Vacuous Pop and was the subject of an admirable amount of acclaim. We had a chat with Glissando member and Gizeh mogul Rich, who was hopping about with excitement about new upcoming material by their latest protégés Profane.

Why the hell did you call your label that?

It’s taken from the ancient pyramid in Egypt, i think it’s a great word and it was actually the name of my first band. When we split I wanted to carry on using the name in some capacity.

How did you get the whole thing started? How long have you been running now?

I started the label in 2001 as my band Glissando and 30 Day Hex were doing a UK tour and we wanted something to take with us. We had produced some CDRs and needed a label name. Since then we have progressed way beyond the initial idea.

We did a few more CDRs and I met a band called Immune who wanted to do something on the label. We decided to step it all up and take Gizeh to the next level. Paul and Rich B from Immune got on board with Gizeh and lot of hard work got us a distro deal with Universal and we have since released a couple of EPs and Detwiije’s debut album, all of which have done pretty well.

Have you been inspired by any labels in terms of style/ambition/enthusiasm?

Sure there are plenty of labels we admire, and plenty who have helped us too. Fat Cat, Ipecac, Hydrahead, Wrath, VHF, Leaf, Southern Lord – just to name a few.

What kind of a role has the internet played regarding your label? Some people these days operate exclusively via the ‘net, whilst others are still very much mail order based. What’s your stance?

We operate pretty much entirely on the internet. Time constraints are such that it seems impossible to function any other way. There are so many ways people run labels I think it’s just finding a way that works.

Is downloading killing music? Do you harbour any strong feelings sympathetic to or against the RIAA?

I believe that small labels need to really get on board with the downloading ideals. In terms of people hearing the music you put out it’s a massive avenue to pursue and it makes it easier than ever for people to find out about bands and labels.

I honestly believe that if people love the music enough they will go out and buy the CD or vinyl anyway. I know that is what I do, and I can’t see that changing in the near future. There is no substitute for artwork!

I can’t speak for the corporate labels but it works for us.

Do you feel an affiliation with other labels out there? Is there any kind of community or so-called ‘scene’ – be it local or not – you feel linked to?

Part of the difficulty we have in establishing Gizeh is that we don’t have a particular label ‘sound’ as such. We have quite a few labels we are friendly with but we’re certainly not part of a particular ‘scene’.

Has there ever been a time when you felt like calling it a day, that the label was too much trouble?

I love what I do but pulling it along with a full-time job and writing for Glissando with Elly is really hard work. With the bands we work with I believe the label will be a full-time job at some point soon, making a living out of Gizeh and Glissando would be quite an achievement. After getting all this way there it’s inconceivable to think of quitting now.

Where have you found bands you’ve released stuff by so far? Do you get demos etc sent to you? Do you ask the bands or do they ask you?

It’s nice to be able to release your own music for a start as we do with Immune and Glissando. The Greenland release was a demo we were sent from Australia, we released it in the UK and Australia. Detwiije were recommended to me by Tony from Noisestar in London, so I got them to send up the EP they had released themselves and I was blown away as soon as I put it on and decided I wanted to do something with them. As for Profane, we have been friends with them for a while but they had a lot of line-up changes which set them back a bit, once they had it all together we always knew we would do something together!

We do get quite a lot of demos through, I do prefer it if bands e-mail first though as a lot of the stuff we get is nowhere near the quality we want. It saves bands money and time. We are getting to a position now here we can approach bands, now we have a bit more stability.

Speaking of which , do you have any hot musical tips for us at the moment?

Apart from Immune and Profane who we have snuffed out already!!?? There are a few bands we have our eyes on but it wouldn’t be fair to say who.

Leaf have a new release by Hanne Huckleberg which is amazing, she is coming over for a few shows in October I think. My big tip a few months back was Arcade Fire, it’s crazy how well they have done over here. I’m really pleased for them.

Who decides the artwork for your releases? Do you have a major say in the matter, or do you let the bands decide?

It’s a collective decision, mostly we let the bands do their own thing and we tweak things if necessary.

Who do you use to make and print your records? Would you recommend them to others?

We are in the process of finding a new pressing plant. We have used GZ in the past. I would recommend Modo in Brighton who we have been speaking to recently. Mike has been very helpful.

What’s your opinion on the importance of press and media coverage? Do you have any particular policies on how to get it?

So far we have done all our own PR work. It is pretty important to get it right. Contacting people and having something you are confident in is difficult but it’s a matter of plugging away and the more releases you do the easier it gets I assure you. Having a good looking PR pack I think is important as it sets the tone for the quality of what you are doing. We try and make the art side of things run through everything we do.

Do you have any Grand World Domination plans for the label, or is it a case of natural evolvement?

We’re pretty happy the way things are progressing at the moment, so I guess natural evolvement.

Got any advice for the prospective new label mogul?

Not to get disheartened at the beginning, every level of the music industry is a pretty tough place and a lot of it is about who you know. Don’t be afraid to e-mail/ring other labels to ask for advice, everyone started in the same place at one point and most labels we’ve been in contact with have been very helpful. It gets easier as you go along!

Finally, what would be your dream release – which band, which format, and how would it be packaged?

That’s a great question and not something I’ve been asked before. I can only speak for myself here – I’m sure the others will have something different. It would be a new Tom Waits album on double gatefold vinyl limited to 500 copies worldwide. He never fails to astound me, a true genius.

Gizeh website