Over the last five years Robert Curcio and Cindy Roche have seen their "side project' Mush Records go from a part-time hobby to one of America's leading indie labels. Specializing in leftfield hip hop, electronica and indie rock, the LA imprint's success, Curcio believes, is thanks to their diversity, "We're very open about the music that we put out as long as it crosses genres and is progressive. If you listen to two or three of our releases you might think that they don't belong to the same label, but if you listen to 20 of them it starts to make sense."

Splitting A&R, label management, art and financial decisions between them, the co-founders have stayed true to their indie roots, without compromising their artist's careers in the process. Now with a back catalogue of more than 60 records to their name and a roster of musicians from places as far afield as Melbourne, Nova Scotia and Atlanta, Mush's profound but consistently innovative output continues to mark them out as true leaders in a world of biters.




Describe your sound: Unfortunately all I am allowed to disclose at the present time is that it is infact a "cLOUDDEAD" sound.

Why Mush? Pending certain death and the impending doom of our early 20's, we signed in blood on a sunken pirate ship. We've also had perfect faith in captain Curcio and Mush for some time now.

What's your main instrument? Throat... pen... sampler... keyboard... blender... control...

If you were a chess piece, who would you be and why? It's difficult to approach this with any logic, seeing as we are three, or six, no three members, you'd think we could only be the Rook. However a pawn would be less responsibility and they have more time on the road.



Describe your sound: I would say that it's an electronic pop project. The emphasis is on songwriting, but there's a lot of glitched-out tones sprinkled throughout the songs.

Why Mush? I feel like they are one of the few American labels who are actually taking a chance of releasing interesting records.

What's your main instrument? I suppose the guitar is my instrument of choice, or rather that's the only instrument I can play.

If you were a chess piece, who would you be and why? I don't play chess or understand what the pieces represent so I'd be the horse, because I like animals.



Describe your sound: Playful. Chutes and ladders for college professors who DJ. It's childhood reinvented for the scholar.

Why Mush? Mush had contacted us from the future year 2012 AD to tell us that we signed with them. They were right. They embrace the type of envelope-pushing projects we wanted to put out.

What's your main instrument? We're vocalists who play zippers and do water gargling singing.

If you were a chess piece, who would you be and why? We think Mush artists are generally pretty smart, so instead of being any particular piece we think that we'd play against each other online.



Describe your sound: A fan's attempt to live out his musical fantasies. I'm open to anything beautiful.

Why Mush? They know my underground history and allow me to try and fulfill my musical fantasies.

What's your main instrument? I use an ASR-10 to get busy and dirty everything up on the Yamaha CS-1.

If you were a chess piece, who would you be and why? A Pawn that has potential to become any other piece, if I make the right moves.



Describe your sound: It's thinking-man's hip hop. It's not exactly for cats that want to dance around and talk about shorties and hoopties.

Why Mush? I've always respected the artists they've had on the label in the past, so I thought it would be a good fit.

What's your main instrument? I used to play the trumpet and piano but right now I prefer the microphone.

If you were a chess piece, who would you be and why? I thought I'd be funny and say the Queen, but that sounds bad. So I think I'd be the castle thing on the end because it slides from side to side but always keeps going forward.



Describe your sound: Vibelicious with candy sprinkles.

Why Mush? The idea was to create a label that we would have wanted to be on ourselves, a label for the artist.

What's your main instrument? I really like drums and anything that makes a lot of noise.

If you were a chess piece, who would you be and why? A Bishop, because I'm always running around trying to get stuff done.



Describe your sound: Evil Armchair Music.

Why Mush? They don't follow trends and we don't make trendy music. It works for everyone.

What's your main instrument? For Maid in Gold we used samplers, bass, guitar, Rhodes and a stack of records.

If you were a chess piece, who would you be and why? We like the Rook. Underrated, straightforward and always thinking. One of those players that you might sleep on until they fuck up your whole game plan.



Describe your sound: Sexy, Sugary, Sickly, Sweet and a bit Sloppy. In that order.

Why Mush? Mush practically runs the cartel on American left-field hip hop. I am a willing operative in furthering their less-than specified ends. Also, unlike other labels, if I needed to release elsewhere I wouldn't need a cyanide pill to do so.

What's your main instrument? It's a tie between the bass clarinet and double bass.

If you were a chess piece, who would you be and why? Well I'm no grandmaster, but I'll go for the Knight because I can make some strange moves and I'm useful in endgames.

Mush Records