Pocketmoth is a Meanjin based independent record label. It was co-founded by Iti and Zach, musicians, DJs and curators in their own right.
The label has had a prolific output over the years, with 11 releases since its inception in 2018, including a number of compilations. The label fosters a global community, releasing music form Brisbane, Melbourne, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Vancouver and Novi Sad.
They've run many events at venues across Brisbane, including Bloodhound, Heya Bar, Spring Hill Reservoirs, Netherworld, Jungle Love, The Foundry, and Blackbear, including multiple residencies at Superwhatnot and The Quivr.
"Music has been an integral part of both of our lives from a young age, for which we’re very grateful. We both played various instruments and were exposed to a lot of different music. We developed a lot of our tastes together; we’ve been playing in a band, producing music and listening to music together since high school.
We connected with dance music because it's visceral, accessible and community-driven. It’s underpinned by participation, rather than the exclusivity that more formal styles of music often exude. It speaks to our innate human instinct to congregate and dance."
"We met while we were in high school, and started a band called Twin Haus with a couple of friends. We've also always loved the various aspects of electronic music; computer production, synths, DJing, dancing etc. We made electronic music ourselves, and knew a bunch of friends that did so too, however none of us had a platform to release our original work. Thus, we decided to start a label ourselves, and it grew from there.
We had to figure out a lot on the fly when we started the label, and continue to learn every day. Perhaps, the most rewarding aspect is working alongside artists to realise a collaborative creative vision, whether it’s for a release or an event. Other perspectives help us grow."
"The meanjin community is very tight knit, supportive rather than competitive, encouraging of new artists and DJs, and there is a collective sense of thoughtfulness and responsibility by both punters and promoters. We may not yet have the exposure/staple clubs/resources that other cities have, but our DJs and producers are of the same calibre as anywhere else.
It feels like a big family, and we were welcomed with open arms when we started. In much the same way as other artists and crews, we try to make small contributions to bettering dance music in Meanjin - anyone who does that is welcome.
We are, at the moment, one of the only local labels pressing vinyl, which we've been shown a lot of love for. Without the support of the local scene, it's a really hard thing to do, so it's really nice that it's possible. We want to keep pressing more, with more local artists."
Putting on shows
"Having the opportunity to invite the community into a space that you have had a part in curating is a very special experience that we are hugely grateful for.
Exploring the energy of different venues across Meanjin has been a super fun adventure; each space seems to bring out a different type of event from us. But honestly, I hope we can do something at Spring Hill reservoir again in the future - that was really special. Some of our favourite venues are Super Whatnot, Warehouse 25, Black Bear Lodge, various parks and warehouses."
"International collaborations bring sounds and influences from scenes very different to our local scene. We really value this broad perspective on sound and art, and it’s something we’ve always wanted to represent in the Pocketmoth discography.
Most of these came about through the internet. For example, we came across Gabriel Magedlani’s music online and got talking, which ended up leading to his releases on the label. Some of the more minimal and hypnotic sounds on the label come from international collaborations, and we really value these releases. It’s also a super rewarding way for us to organically build international presence."
"As a label, we want to be open to all types of music, whilst remaining coherent in our output. I think Pocketmoth sits on the deeper, more introspective side of electronic music. We’ve released all types of music: ambient, house, techno, acid, dub techno, minimal, alt-rock, tech house. That’s always been a goal of ours - to keep our vision broad. In saying that, all of the tracks have a thread of a certain deepness and floatiness or airyness. It’s a hard one to put into words. In part this comes from our tastes, and in part comes from the amazing mastering work done by Chris McCormack on all of our releases.
Our first vinyl pressing is a special one, naturally. It was a collaborative release between Gabriel Magdelani and Niran Mantin, two incredible and well established musicians in the Tel Aviv Scene. They are Arab and Jewish Israeli respectively, and the release showcases that music transcends identity and politics, and connects communities. It was an amazing project to be a part of, and the music is stunning.
Hopefully our next physical release will be later this year, subject to pressing plant timelines. We should have concrete details to share very very soon! We are really looking forward to this one, as it will be our first vinyl release from all Meanjin based artists. A trend we hope to continue far into the future"
Upcoming artists, gigs & labels to watch
"Too many to fit in here. Squidgenini just released a fantastic EP with BONN, and has followed it up with some exhilarating live shows and mixes. Axon Growth Factor’s recent and future output is super impressive - definitely something to follow.
Pokies, recently returned from Naarm, has also been dropping a steady stream of high quality audio and visual content. So many parties! BTHC 6th B’day party, where we will get to see Hannah D play in Meanjin for the first time in a while!
Also, shouts to all the other local labels that are doing awesome stuff; Dialogue, Foreign Frequencies, WYWS, Earthed, BONN and yourselves of course!"
"We have a few releases planned for the rest of the year, including the vinyl release mentioned before! All the music we’ll release this year comes from local artists. We’ll be playing at Super Whatnot in September, and have a few other things on the horizon. Keep your eyes on our social media for updates.
2022 is most definitely an open book at this stage. We aim to press more records next year, hopefully with as many local friends as possible. Heaps of exciting music is floating around here; the future is very exciting."