Take your pleasure, sip your leisure, in the garden waterward…
Welcome. Paradise of Bachelors opens a sturdy island home for magic and other sounds. Nominally a record label, recording company, and soundsystem, Paradise of Bachelors refuses the tired exercises of genrefication, categorization, and specialization endemic to the media trade and its imperial empiricism. Instead, inspired by piratical realms beyond the hegemonic reach, we seek to establish a Temporary Autonomous Zone for recorded music and related media products without other readily available distribution channels and sensory access points.
Because Paradise is by definition difficult to attain, we tend to attract the other-oriented, the frontier-inflected, and the border-crossing in temperament and tune. Because there is far more unheard old music than new, and because we enjoy the company of those whose music has inspired us, a reissue campaign is one emphasis of the Paradise of Bachelors mission. Because we have some expertise as ethnographers and folklorists in the field–albeit far from authoritative–we tilt towards transcendental 20th-century American vernaculars, but we are interested in making and sharing soundstuffs of all places, eras, styles, conjunctures, human patterns. Taste is a relatively recent invention, authenticity is a sweet but ultimately tooth-decaying concept, and we are omnivores anyway. Our curatorial directive demands nothing more than our sustained interest–or fascination, in the Renaissance sense of enchantment and binding.
Our aesthetic principles? Inscape. Pragmatism. Total Awareness.
We believe that the independent record label, despite the death rattle heralded by the naysayers, can still perform worthy services for artists and audiences. Doing so involves a downshift in focus and stance, away from the stifling capitalist context of product and volume and toward a more humble and personal understanding of the record or the sound-document as potentially encompassing tremendous spiritual value as cultural artifact, educational archival resource, handmade object, and analog/digital emanation of memory, nostalgia, hard work, hard love.
Practically speaking, this means Paradise of Bachelors releases recordings exclusively via small-batch and limited edition vinyl, usually accompanied by digi-download formats. Contextually sensitive and thoughtful design, writing, packaging, and events to accompany our releases are as central to our mission as the music itself; we try to make quality visuals and parties to match the impact of the audio axis. Aspirations are not necessarily proportional to humble scale and scope–the rara avis gets the worm.
This Paradise is shared between artists and audiences, and we will do our utmost to support both; because we work with many artists whose music has long been out of print, unheard, or forgotten by louder folks, we are committed to assisting the musicians with whom we partner in any way we can within our modest means, and in the spirit of true collaboration. We tailor our sponsored events and performances toward democratically satisfying all parties present. We promote reasonableness, honesty, integrity, and brotherhood/sisterhood in all our affairs, methods, and interactions.
As Waylon so aptly put it, “This is no dress rehearsal. We are PROFESSIONALS, and this is the BIG TIME.” Or, in the succinct terms of our pal Tomo, “Make a Good Rock, but always remember to Take a Relax.” It’s a hell of a grip, but somebody’s got to do it.
Paradise of Bachelors welcomes any and all submissions of contemporary or archival recordings for consideration, but please be patient in awaiting a response. We accept invitations to DJ all manner of public and private parties, for fair compensation or barter. We prefer to work with local artists and party-people, because visiting them is easier; at the present moment, we live in the North Carolina Piedmont, but we will gladly travel given just cause.
By the by, you may ask, what’s in a name? In 1855 Herman Melville wrote a story called “The Paradise of Bachelors and The Tartarus of Maids,” a satirical fictional diptych that describes in counterpoise both the luxury lair of Knights-Templar-cum-lawyers dining and reveling in their posh London Temple and the miserable winter conditions facing female workers in the Devil’s Dungeon paper mill in a dark New England forest. One might claim that our baldly idealistic mission seeks to evade or circumvent the dichotomous strictures of labor vs. capital and gender inequality conjured in this sutured twin-tale, ushering in a new day of shared classless Paradise, where Bachelors and Maids can gambol together, delighting in celestial song and dance… Or one might claim that we just liked the name.
Sweet are the oases in Sahara; charming the isle-groves of August prairies; delectable pure faith amidst a thousand perfidies: but sweeter, still more charming, most delectable, the dreamy Paradise of Bachelors…