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Label Mix Interview - Ansible Editions

Nina Label Mix

Expressive, human instrumental music.

By editorial


Since 2022, Ansible Editions has existed as a sister imprint to the Toronto label Idée Fixe Records. Though Idée Fixe takes a varied approach to curation, Ansible Editions is focused on the world of experimental electronic music and avant-leaning jazz, two categories that can be quite varied themselves. The label was co-founded by Alex Durlak and Jeff McMurrich. Durlak told us the label is interested in “expressive instrumental music where the human hand/breath/body is clearly present,” which could—and does—mean a lot of different things. So their mix for Nina runs along those lines: It’s a showcase of the label’s catalog and features one track from every record in the Ansible Editions discography. Give it a listen, and read our interview with Durlak below.

Where are you based?

Alex Durlak: Toronto, Canada. The post office tells us that technically we’re in the borough of York, so we’re at the top of the valley looking down on the city proper.

Can you describe your label mix?

Pretty simple: one track from every album we’ve released to date in reverse chronological order. 

What inspired you to start a label?

Given that this is the fifth imprint we’ve collectively started and that we’ve been releasing albums for 20 plus years in various capacities, it is honestly hard to remember the original reason for starting. Deep pathological neurosis? Taking DIY way too far? But in regards to Ansible Editions, we each personally have a pretty deep relationship with experimental music that didn’t align with the more “pop” focus of our other label, so we were eager to start a sister label to represent this other side of our interests. 

Does your label have a sound or a mission?

We’ve used the terms “avant jazz” and “experimental electronic,” but they both ring insufficient these days. Let’s say we’re interested in expressive instrumental music where the human hand/breath/body is clearly present, regardless of whether their instrument is a traditional or contemporary one. 

Tell us about your scene(s).

Canada is a deeply conservative place, a safe place. Our friends here are the antidote to that: messy, opinionated and extremely gifted musicians.

What's your A&R process?

Mutual agreement, ha. We really like people that work as hard as we do, if not harder. And nice people, we like laughing a lot, that’s pretty important. 

What labels do you look up to?

From a domestic context, Music Gallery Editions and Art Metropole are big influences. From the design side of things, we would be remiss if we didn’t give nods to Smithsonian Folkways, the Deutsche Grammophon Avantgarde series, and ECM.

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