Album art for ATG’s debut record featuring Nicky Blitz. Image courtesy of ATG Records.
With Ian MacKaye’s Dischord Records, the District has one of the most influential do-it-yourself record labels ever created. Now it also has the newest. The four men behind Washington’s All Things Go music blog announced yesterday that they’ve formed a record label called ATG Records. The label is the latest project from the blog, which, taking a page from Brightest Young Things, began promoting concerts and events in spaces such as the Gibson and U Street Music Hall earlier this year.
Their first seven-inch vinyl single is pressed and ready to go, and features “Alive,” two minutes and 45 seconds of offbeat dance punk from Miami artist Nicky Blitz.
Will Suter, who founded the blog along with Adrian Maseda, Stephen Vallimarescu, and Zack Friendly, says the new label will release around ten records per year, and production runs will be kept short—the “Alive” single is limited to only 250 copies. And they’ve already got a couple acts—including an artist from the United Kingdom, who will be featured on the next release—lined up for early next year, though Suter and Maseda are keeping mum on their identities.
Though neither of the first two featured artists is from DC, look out for local acts on upcoming releases. For now, the partners are focusing on artists they have a working relationship with, such as Nicky Blitz, who played at a U Street Music Hall concert promoted by All Things Go in September. “Even though they’re not all DC artists, knowing we’re based in DC will hopefully draw some attention here and will inspire some local artists to submit music,” Suter says. “We want to continue DC’s history of having a great music scene.”
That history may have played a role in their decision to start the label. The crew grew up attending free concerts at Fort Reno and listening to Dischord artists like Q and Not U and Fugazi. “I think that tradition and that do-it-yourself work ethic have seeped into our subconscious and play a part in what we’re doing now,” Suter says. And like Dischord, they’ve kept prices low—the “Alive” single costs five bucks.
“Vinyl isn’t a big moneymaker . . . to some extent this is a labor of love,” Maseda says. “We love the artists we put out, and if [the label] brings attention to All Things Go and all of the things we do, that can only help us grow.”
Naturally, with the blog’s recent history throwing parties, a celebration would seem to be in order, but nothing is on the books yet. “Once the stars align, we’ll have a proper party featuring a couple of the artists we’re releasing,” Maseda says.