Retort Records aim to shake up the UK music industry

Adventurous Australian label working to break the mould with the help of Quite Great Music PR

Retort LogoBased in Eastern Australia, Retort Records is a new label focussed on one mission statement – to release interesting music with adventurous composition and what they term an ‘Odyssean’ form.

What this means in practice is that they work exclusively with innovative artists who don’t conform to genre stereotypes, creating sprawling, epic pieces of brilliant instrumental music. Not only that, but they also specifically commission artwork from talented artists to create an even more evocative vinyl or digital release, making for a true hub of artistic creativity.

I am interested in the concept of the record label’s role as a curator”, says label runner Oliver Keefe. “Retort Records really fits the more adventurous listener whose taste isn’t confined to style or trend. For this type of listener the abundance of music and its ease of access can be both a blessing and a curse, as there is great music out there that can take ages to find, because it takes time to sift through stuff that either isn’t good quality, or just doesn’t suit your tastes.”

Listening to the eight artists currently in their stable, it quickly becomes clear that Retort Records are true to their word – ignoring obvious, commercially friendly releases in favour of some truly inspiring music by people who work outside the box.

The Artists

A truly eclectic group, Retort Records’ artists work together to create a high quality, hugely varied release schedule. Their current roster of artists includes:

Kashiwa Daisuke

A Jazz infused instrumentalist from Hiroshima, Japan, Kashiwa Daisuke specialises in creating an affecting, ambient electronica sound with nods to more traditional roots/jazz. Since starting work as a solo artist in 2004, he has developed a truly unique sound, with this  treatment of a Ravel classic forming one side of the split 7” with Koby Israelite.

Listen to new single ‘Jazz Pour Une Infante Defunte’ here:

Koby Israelite

A cinematic composer with a love for all genres, multi-instrumentalist Kobe Israelite combines his Easter European roots with his love of rock, classical, jazz, world music and an avant-garde sensibility to create something truly special. Having collaborated with the varied likes of Madonna, John Zorn and Fanfare Ciocărlia , his career has seen him become one of the pre-eminent electro-alternative producers in the world.

Listen to new single ‘Solitude’ here:



Specialising in the development of new music techniques, Lodsb is a German electronica artist with a classical background. Mixing a host of genres you wouldn’t expect to blend – electronica, techno, classical, EDM – his innovative approach marks him out from his peers.

Listen to a track from his upcoming album ‘Helicon 1’ here:


Stellar Ink Pony

Another specialist in experimental electronica, Stellar Ink Pony is the artist name of Mikael Stegman. Based in Sweden, Stegman has developed a following with his unique approach – another example of Retort Records unearthing a gem and offering them a platform to continue reaching a wider audience.

Listen to new single ‘One Tiny Memory’ here:



Composer of brooding, minimal techno music, Xenoscapes creates a dark, atmospheric and compelling sound. With music ‘created from the mechanical creatures and thought processes within the mind of Benny Mcgrigor’, this Australian artist works to straddle the boundary between the prehistoric landscape of his home country and the futuristic aspects of his genre.

Listen to new single ‘Cities from Prehistoric’ here:


Zen Paradox

Alter ego of another Australian Electronica artist, Steve Law, Zen Paradox is something of a veteran in the field. Based in Melbourne, he warps and works with the structures of techno music to create his own experimental soundscape. With a career that has seen him work with top genre artists throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, Zen Paradox is an experienced musician with a wealth of knowledge.

Listen to new single ‘Magnetosphere’ here:


Hadal Drop

The creator of sparse, occasionally beat based psychedelic electronica, Hadal Drop’s ambient textures mix well with his sporadic flirtations with more solid rhythms. Real name Kevin Babbage, he continues Retort Records’ recruitment of Australia’s top electronic talent.

Listen to a track from his upcoming album, ‘Thalassic Pantheon’ here:


Leo Coman

A guitar specialist who weaves traditional guitar sounds and tropes into his more experimental approach, Leo Coman is a composer of atmospheric, ambient pieces built around his instrument of choice.

Listen to new single, ‘Death Rattle Taunt’ here:

With individual releases from many of these artists on the schedule for 2014, it’s set to be a busy year for Retort Records and you’ll be hearing plenty about those releases thanks to a new promotional deal signed with UK PR firm Quite Great.


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