Just two weeks after announcing that founder Slim Moon will vacate his position as president of the label next month to take a job in A&R at Nonesuch, Kill Rock Stars has revealed that they plan to shutter their experimental sister label, 5RC, for the foreseeable future.
According to Maggie Vail, Kill Rock Stars' current vice president of A&R (and director of West Coast operations as of Moon's departure in November), 5RC will put out its currently scheduled 2006 and 2007 records "and then become dormant." 5RC's final releases include the Punks' Unanimous Bangers, due out on LP and digital download only on November 14, BARR's Summary, out February 20, and In Advance of the Broken Arm, from new signing and guitar virtuoso Marnie Stern, out February 20. It is undecided whether Xiu Xiu's forthcoming remix album will come out on 5RC or Kill Rock Stars.
As for the rest of 5RC's roster, which includes bands like the Advantage, Excepter, Hella, and the Robot Ate Me, Vail said that some will move to Kill Rock Stars (as Deerhoof and Wooden Wand have done). However, since many 5RC artists are not under exclusive contracts and are free to release records on other labels, Vail said that she was not sure what path every act would take.
"We're trying to figure out what we're going to do," Vail said. "We're calming down a little bit and not putting out so many records. We'd like to focus on our bands more." It makes sense, given that Kill Rock Stars and 5RC put out over 40 releases in 2006--a daunting task for any label.
Vail added that the consolidation of the two labels under the Kill Rock Stars umbrella had been a possibility for some time, but with Moon's departure (and his wife, Dr. Portia Sabin, taking over as label president) it "seemed like the perfect time" to lay 5RC to rest. "It was more Slim's vision than anyone else's," Vail said, "unlike Kill Rock Stars, which is more of a group effort."
Moon started 5RC in 1997 as a vehicle for more unconventional releases than those traditionally bearing the KRS name (not that Kill Rock Stars has ever been anything close to conventional). Its full name, 5 Rue Christine, comes from Gertrude Stein's Paris address.
Over the years, the imprint was responsible for some of the most groundbreaking noise coming out of North America, unleashing records by avant-garde standard bearers like Out Hud, XBXRX, Men's Recovery Project, and No-Neck Blues Band in addition to the aforementioned Xiu Xiu, Deerhoof, Hella, etc.
Vail said that the 5RC catalog will remain in print, and that the revival of the imprint at some point in the future has not been ruled out.
Kill Rock Stars already has a busy 2007 ahead, with January 23 bringing both Deerhoof's Friend Opportunity and the debut from Australian rapper Macromantics, Moments in Movement. A Gossip DVD and an album from Mary Timony are due in April.
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