Indie Labels

Captured Tracks Goes Beyond Indie Label Showcase With New Retail Store

Captured-tracks-logoBrooklyn-based label Captured Tracks is moving to bigger digs in Greenpoint. The extra space includes room for a retail store currently referred to as the "Captured Tracks Shop." But it's intended to be more than a showcase for Captured Tracks releases. In fact, the Captured Tracks Shop is expected to be "more than a record store" as well.

Captured Tracks is a unique label known for a love of vinyl and such special offerings as the Shoegaze Archives. They even have a cassette or two in their discography.

Founded in 2009 by Mike Sniper, the Captured Tracks story is essentially the tale of a music lover who released his own music then founded a label to release the music of others. Slowly building, he gradually added employees, bands he signed grew and the label is now doing well in difficult times for both itself and for the artists. Said Sniper:

"The happiest moments for me are when bands have some success…We have a couple of guys who are able to live off of their music. Being able to have bands live off of their music, to me, that's the biggest success, to give them some freedom from the daily grind and just be artists."

"That's something I didn't think would ever be possible. Especially for me to do this for someone else. I was living off of a slice of pizza and a Hawaiian punch a day through my 20s."

Part of their success is due to the fact that Sniper and associates really care about what they're doing. Said Caesar McInulty of the Wake:

"I think Captured Tracks retains the essential spirit of the best independents from the past and yet seems able to compete and stand out in the present day…It certainly shows respect for the aims of the people involved in the groups. That personal aspect is so important. The actual process of dealing with the rapid changes of these Internet times can dehumanize everything."

The Captured Tracks Shop to be More Than a Record Store

Now Sniper is bringing that personal element to a new record and, shall we say, lifestyle store. Turns out Sniper already has a record store, Co-Op 87 Records, that he says is doing quite well. So he's going for something different at the Captured Tracks Shop:

"I wanted a shop that would be more than a record store, too. We're gonna do art books and prints and equipment, like vintage pedals, synthesizers and amps. It will be an extension of the label's tastes, which I guess are my own tastes."

"There will be a trading post, as well. People will be able to bring in their own record collections and used books with the basic idea that you can trade anything for anything else…"

"I don't just want it to be Captured Tracks stuff, I want it to be all kinds of things — tons of off label stuff from all genres and every other prominent indie label out there, plus tons of reissues…"

"There will definitely be artist appearances and signings and stuff like that. There will be some cool things that you can only get in the store and we'll have a good stock of trade publications as well…"

"I want the stock to change continuously. Depending on what I come into in terms of buying there might be a time when it's predominantly old posters because I found a bunch of old posters somewhere. There might be a time when we're inundated with 45s because I found a great 45 collection…"

"The back part of the store will fluctuate…There's going to be a place by a bay window for people to listen to records. There will be two listening booths with some interesting books nearby. So it will be an interesting place for people who are fans of the label to come and hang out."

Sounds like a great shop and community center!

Most label shops tend to focus on the label's wares as both marketing and an opportunity for direct sales. Clearly the Captured Tracks Shop is going for something more.

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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