Every few years, the organically vital local music scene of Louisville configures itself in such a way someone threatens to trap us in someone else’s shoes with these seemingly innocuous and well-meaning words:
“Louisville is the next Seattle!”
The mid-nineties alternative explosion centered on Seattle was an absolutely singular phenomenon, setting any city up as its “Second Coming” as a recipe for failure. History has taught us the next Beatles, the next Star Wars, the next Pulp Fiction, the next Seinfeld, and the next (insert huge pop cultural icon here) never quite materializes, and those pushed prematurely into their rarefied air become fodder for punchlines and trivia answers.
People like Dave Rucinski are busy making sure that Louisville remains Louisville, with all its own unique, bouncing glory. He’s made it his mission to seek out and shine a light on musicians who might not otherwise get their shine on, courtesy of his wholly independent label, Gubbey Records.
His mission statement says it all: “Gubbey Records pronounced (Gub-Bee), is an independent record company from Louisville, Kentucky. We release music from all genres, on all formats. Our focus is on documenting obscure, isolated and eclectic Louisville music.”
He’s not kidding about all formats — most of Gubbey’s releases are only physically available on cassette tape. They do come with the ability to download them and listen digitally, but for the most part, those who maintain functioning cassette decks get the special treat of listening to Gubbey products in their tactile form.
Gubbey takes documenting Louisville’s sounds seriously. The popular Head Cleaner series, now in its sixth volume, has compiled over six hours of music from myriad Louisville musicians like Twenty First Century Fox and Rude Weirdo, as well as any number of acts that would’ve slipped straight through the cracks in past epochs of the Louisville scene.
Every new release leads to a launch party, usually held at Sean Liter’s Modern Cult Records, Louisville’s leading source for local product.
Constantly on the move, Rucinski is wasting no time keeping those rolls of tape spinning:
“This year is shaping up to be a very busy one. So far in 2016 we have released Black Birds of Paradise’s Terror Bird on vinyl and cassette, as well as the IamIs’ Go Supernovae! cassette. In queue for the rest of 2016, we have cassettes and record releases from Rachel Short, Twin Sister Radio, more from Twenty First Century Fox, Baby Bones, Satellite Twin, Black Kasper, Little Gem, Dream Eye Color Wheel, Burgers, and Systematika… We are so very honored to be documenting Louisville music.”
For more about the bands on Gubbey Records as well as information on how to order products, visit www.gubbeyrecords.net . Follow Gubbey as well as Modern Cult on Facebook for updates, including release dates for new releases. This article originally ran at TABs-View.