Mush Records is different - in a good way. Its umbrella identity, Dirty Loop, was set up in 1997 by Robert Curcio who, at the time, was a traveling DJ. The studio that was Dirty Loop fast became a centre for budding artists wanting to explore different musical hybrids - artists such as Boom Bip, Lulu Mushi, DJ Osiris, and J. Cru. In the past few years they have gone from three releases a year and one distributor to thirty releases scheduled for this year and they have been picked up by fifteen distributors and are hitting every major music market in the world. LoQUAY caught up with Robert Curcio to find out more.
As A&R, how have you tracked down the artists you have signed? What sounds and ethos do you look for?
Mush signs music we like - without regard to genre. We consider ourselves an independent abstract label. We have releases ranging from instrumental, dance floor, jazz to trip hop to electronic bossa nova to underground hiphop to indie rock to drum'n'bass. We usually sign an artist to a single record deal (although we have signed a few to two record deals) and try to license the music to as many other territories as possible.
We have done licensing deals with Compost (Germany), Big Dada/Ninja Tune (UK), Tri Eight (Japan), East/West(Japan), Clean Up (UK) and many more. A&R is handled by me with some help from the entire Mush staff - especially Doseone. Even though we release different genres of music, we look for something in each that keeps the entire Mush catalog coherent. We stress quality of the music, vocals, writing, and artwork equally. I think this may be why we have gained some acceptance across multiple markets - out releases are complete packages.