Five questions for Home Normal

Ian Hawgood of Home Normal stopped by the virtual doors to respond to igloomag.com’s Five questions profile. Learn more about this multi-faceted, independent label as it branched from its photographic inspiration.

Igloo Magazine :: When did Home Normal start up and what was your inspiration?

Home Normal (Ian Hawgood) :: Home Normal was formed around Christmas in 2008, but our first release (Library Tapes’ Sketches) didn’t come out until March of the next year. The inspiration for the label was in the photography I was taking at the time, the photography of Jeremy Bible, walking in various places be it parks, beaches, cities or wherever, and the artists who I was (and am) lucky enough to call my friends.

Igloo :: Who were some of your initial artist relations and did your location help or hinder progress?

HN :: I was in touch with a lot of artists at the time, most of whom were open to the net scene. Most of these artists I got to know through releasing on the sames labels as myself. The same artists I was close to then, I am very close to to this day. People like Konntinent, offthesky, Nicolas Bernier, Marihiko Hara, Ten and Tracer, Rene of Pillowdiver / Two People In A Room, Elian etc, but I also became very close with The Boats, Danny Norbury, bvdub (Brock Van Wey) and Library Tapes for example, mostly through label relations I think. I got to know The Boats as I released on Craig’s label, Moteer. Danny became a very clsoe friend through The Boats. David (Library Tapes) I met at a show in Japan but we were re-introduced through Danny who is a mutual friend and so on really.

Igloo :: What were some of the challenges (if any) starting up a label? …and how did you envision the label to stand apart?

HN :: Mostly time-management. I was working as a teacher and sound engineer at the time, so it was just a case of time for me. Once I worked out that I could do this and just sleep less I was ok. I didn’t think about how the label stood apart. I don’t know much about scenes, or at least I didn’t anyway. Ignorance is bliss as they say, so I just wanted to release the beautiful work friends often gave me to check out in the best way possible. I think I just felt the net-scene, as great as it has been at times, was failing them in many ways. I honestly didn’t care about being different and standing out in any way though. So long as it was done with love and in the right way, that was all that mattered.

Establishing an identity which dictates that we don’t have an identifiable identity, is more challenging and less cryptic than it sounds.

Igloo :: What is your motivation in keeping the label moving forward into the next decade?

HN :: The sheer enjoyment of the music, art and friendship—nothing else matters really. Perhaps a more inclusive answer would be the way things are quietly evolving (especially this year coming) beyond setting an identity for people to comprehend. Establishing an identity which dictates that we don’t have an identifiable identity, is more challenging and less cryptic than it sounds. However, we are finally at a stage where we can really enjoy and expand on our initial ideas and concepts as a group, and this is a real motivation…the sheer, unadulterated act of creating something pure and true, as cheesy as that may sound.

Igloo :: Tell us more about how you (and your staff?) take the label’s “sound” to the listeners and fans. Distribution, campaigns, live shows, word of mouth etc.

HN :: We don’t have a very specific ‘sound’ for people. Not one that is easy to define at least. We do the usual promo send outs most labels do, and we are lucky that we do get good word of mouth it seems. As a fundamentally Japanese label, we have to rely on word of mouth and loyalty to the label’s direction to keep things rolling over here as that is how it works. The longer we have been around making interesting turns in direction, the more people (in Japan and Europe at least) seem to be fascinated with us. We put on the occasional show with our dear friends Flau in Japan, and recently have put on a show with Hibernate in the UK. We also put on shows with non-Home Normal artists as it is something we enjoy now and then anyway as it is a close-knit community. The final thing we do is actually give a lot of CD’s away to random people and at random places. I will sometimes go to exhibitions in Tokyo for example, and give CD’s to a few people I meet. This has aided the label in an amazing way and helps to spread the word. I would do the same in London, New York, Berlin or Rome if I lived in any of these places!

For more information about Home Normal, visit their website at homenormal.com.

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