Out of Round is a collaborative, artist-run label, the brainchild of musicians Norman Rutherford, and Andrew Kushin, formerly of Contraband and Live Human respectively. The idea behind the label is a simple one: to provide San Francisco artists of similar musical sensibilities and visions with the means to record and produce their own work, free of traditional record company oversight and intervention. The majority of sessions were engineered and recorded at the Out Of Round Studio by label founder Norman Rutherford assisted by some of the other label members.
Out of Round is a label in the tradition of the early Jazz, Blues & Folk labels such as Arhooli, Verve and Sun Records, which made available popular or people's music that was considered too “outside" or un-commercial for mainstream record labels at the time. In the course of time these early labels paved the way for wider recognition of then-obscure artists, and eventually were able to expand the boundaries of folk and popular music to reach wider audiences.
Several of the label's artists make use of traditional folk instruments: banjos, guitars, accordions, double basses, brass, woodwinds and percussion. Also featuring heavily in some of the music are “found instruments"-- particularly percussion, toys, junkstore finds-plus ingenious, one-of-a-kind, artist-fabricated sound sculptures and instruments such as the panjo, the ski tamboura, the comodium and the bass ektar, a one-stringed instrument made from a five gallon plastic water bottle and tuned with a kitchen spoon. The use of such instruments adds a strong visual element to the performances, which often also incorporate theatrical and sculptural elements, dramatic lighting, and Super 8 film. The unusual instrumentations and visual presentation are complemented by well-crafted songwriting and Imaginative arrangements.
Please check our archive for a full catalogue of music released since the label's foundation in 2001.