Manimal celebrates seven years

Sjimon Gompers

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Celebrating seven years strong. (Paul Manimal photo by picture taken by Megan McIsaac)

The label anniversary spirit keeps on giving, as Manimal Vinyl celebrates seven rad years by giving us one of the first listens to the following, “Best Of” Spotify mix. Jog the memories of yesterday with the hopefuls of today with the likes of Aact Rraiser, Baron Von Luxxury, Barbarian, Bat for Lashes, Chains of Love, Chairlift, Edward Sharpe, Heliotropes, Jenny O., Useless Eaters, Warpaint, and much more.

Let the memories of festivals past comes alive with the amphitheaters of tomorrow as you reflect back over half a decade to the year of 2006. The time where the subprime mortgage crisis had yet to strike, the game was changing, and the dinosaurs of industry were slowly beginning to be taken over by their unruly progeny. The global veil of hubris was slipping as the then unknown indie titans were just beginning to seize their moment. Nobody could have predicted back in 2006 what would happen in 2007, or 2008, and so on; in the similar way we begin to say goodbye to 2013 and welcome the yet-to-be-known worlds of possibility in 2014. So sit back with some of your favorites, as Manimal rolls back the dial and the stone to give you the paths travelled and rivers crossed with a big helping of optimism for the road ahead.

We asked label man Paul Beahan to reflect back on select moments over the years, then fast forwards to now, what's new, and what's next.

Describing a look back on what you've seen over the past seven years, can you spare any anecdotes that remain of interest?

Sept 2006: It all started when I was going to the bathroom and reading an article on Bat for Lashes, I thought she looked great and wanted to hear her music. That very moment I got a text from Devendra Banhart telling me about his friend Natasha Khan who was looking to release her debut album stateside. We signed her and she went off to EMI and the rest is history. That bathroom trip was seven years ago this month.

Other moments of interest?

At times it feels like I've been doing MANIMAL for 20 years and other times it still feels like a new thing I just started. LA electronic duo Hecuba (who we released their first two records with) brought MANIMAL a lot in terms of helping us find our aesthetic and give the label some sort of brand identity. Jon Beasley, a Grammy nominated designer, completely took this vague imagery and logo we had as a label and simplified it and we've stuck to it since 2009. Hecuba introduced me to the idea of minimalism which I think before my mind was a lot more psychedelic. We signed Warpaint for their first EP in 2009, and it was so fast and expectations for the record were so low to non-existent that I only realized that when Rough Trade ended up signing them that they had a massive cult following that as evolved into a massive following, especially in the UK. Warpaint were the first 'rock' band we signed and that really opened my mind up to expanding upon that idea. Before that, I was frightened of guitars and live drums. Before that I was stuck on working with solo acts and electronic duos.

And what to expect from the next seven+ years onward, perhaps?

2013 has been our best year since 2009 as far as sales go and having access to so many talented artists that we've been following for some time. The new Chains of Love record(s) which were produced by Felix Fung and the legendary Richard Gottehrer are finally coming out this Fall. The new Heliotropes record is burning up the world, we just signed Fraser Harvey's [ex-Cameras] new band Service Bells, Trends, Is/is, Barbarian, AACT RRAISER and Allison Iraheta's new band Halo Circus are how signed with us. We are launching a future pop label called Badlands, we are opening a publishing firm, MANIMAL TV, Manimal PR is going great! We are also going to be launching a Latin America division as well as a Film Distribution Company in 2014. Nathalia from Chains of Love's label Loose (which we distribute) is signing some new garage, sleaze, psych, punk records in 2014… but after that it's all hopes and dreams and helping talented people all over the world achieve their dreams. That may be enough to keep me busy for a few years.

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