Observant Records was born out of impatience.
When I was growing up, I thought the only way to get my music heard by people other than me was to get signed to a record label. As active as the Hawaiian music scene may be, I knew my kind of writing would not play well in Honolulu clubs or radio.
So I waited till I graduated from college and moved to the Mainland to get a lay of the land. By the time that happened, creating your music in your own home became a viable option. As technology improved and an independent infrastructure became more accessible, the record label system seemed more trouble than it was worth.
I wanted to make music on my own and distribute it on my own. And I didn’t care that it didn’t sound entirely professional just yet. I wanted it out there now.
A stimulus check from the federal government kickstarted Observant Records, which I formed on my birthday in 2008.
enigmatics was the first release, and I optimistically pressed 100 copies. I still have 86 of them in my closet.
The label turned 10 years old in 2018, even though it hasn’t be entirely active all that time. But it’s a long-enough duration to produce an archive, one that seems worthy of retrospection.
Bandcamp made subscriptions available to artists, which I haven’t found occasion to use — till now. I’ll be making available the old Work Release Program releases, early versions of the albums now available. I might even find a few infant demos and studio experiments. These releases will be subscriber exclusives.