Insides Music's Bryce Beverlin II talks compilations and noise
Like most independent labels, Insides Music started as a way for owner Bryce Beverlin II to get his own music heard. With a motto of "low hype, low cost, large emphasis on artistic vision," owner Beverlin has dedicated himself to documenting the experimental underground soundscape, both regionally and nationally.
Since its beginnings in 1998, the label has issued about 80 releases, including cds, tapes, records, and download-only files, epitomized with the recent Cold As Fuck compilation. While many of the artists Insides Music releases are firmly established, they continue to fly below the radar, choosing to work through the long-established underground network of basement shows and tape trading.
Gimme Noise: How do you describe your label? What is the genre or focus you strive for?
Bryce Beverlin II: Insides Music is a label which concentrates on exceptional recordings and artists creating sonic works of art with dedication and finesse. The focus of the label is more about a sound and intention, rather than presenting a specific genre of music. The styles are varied, including free improvisation, noise, electronic, phone work, progressive punk, and more. I'm interested in presenting works that provoke thought, inspire, and ultimately move me in some way. The releases on Insides Music are unique and I'm always looking for interesting works to add to the family.
What's the biggest misconception people have about noise music?
I would say that most people don't even have a conception of noise music. They're not aware that it exists as a genre of music and when they find out that people make noise music, they're not sure what that is, let alone what to think about it. The tacit response is simply, "Well, that isn't music," but of course it is. However, in those people who are slightly more aware of the genre of noise, there is a wide range of misconceptions about noise music, most of which are perpetuated by noise artists who perform shocking acts along with the presentation of the music. It's easy for people to think of noise music as purposely shocking because they don't have a solid idea of what the music is about and many of them may not be able to discern the differences between noise music or noise artists. This isn't surprising, given that most Americans grow up listening to tonal and rhythmically structured music. Therefore, the lens through which they are viewing noise music tends to distort, deceive, and ultimately co-opt the artist's intention into other forms of art, such as performance art. The noise artists are basically misclassified because of the people's attitude that the artist couldn't possibly be making music.
You recently released Cold As Fuck, a compilation of 25 Twin Cities bands. How many of the bands did you already have a relationship with? Was it hard getting everybody on board?
I personally know just about everyone on the compilation. I've also played shows and attended shows of nearly all the bands. Getting everyone excited was easy. It was just a matter of organization to collect all the tracks, arrange them into a listening order, and gather information to be printed in the insert. Everyone on the compilation was thankful and helpful, which is appreciated. I think there has been a desire to document some of the underground music scene in the Twin Cities for a while and I certainly was bitten by that bug several years ago. It took a few years to get it together, but I think something like this needs to have time to settle out and form into a solid artifact so I didn't mind it taking so long.
What percentage of your releases are Twin Cities-based?
Well over half of the releases are Twin Cities-based. I've tried to keep that balance so that there is a strong rooting in the local interests while keeping some distal connections forming.
Has running a label changed how you listen to music?
I suppose it has in some way, but I'm not sure how.
Additional information about the label and its releases can be found at insidesmusic.com.
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