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Who we are


Our vision

Music obsessives are born every day. Their statistical number, though, is likely under the radar. The identifying gene usually reveals itself sometime during pre-adolescence, when the hapless youth discovers that nothing beats the unique thrill of acquiring music, listening to it, and then sharing it with one's pals. Most people enter adolescence consuming the music sanctioned by their peer group and then mature into members of the dependable demographic targeted by "Oldies" radio. Music obsessives, however, live to maintain their pre-adolescent edge, always looking for new music to love and share. The second part gets harder, since one's old pals long ago forsook the opportunity to share with the words "Give me Eagles or give me death." The obsessive always equated the Eagles with death. So he/she became a music store owner. Or a disc jockey. Or, if he/she were particularly interested in losing money, started a record label.

Kimchee Records is run by a couple carriers of that pesky gene who still want to share. In their passionate search for the new in a world that champions the known, they're exposed to a goodly number of artists/bands whose music is not getting heard. That's a desirable state of affairs in many cases. (Even the Eagles were new once.) But in others it is just a crying shame.

It's those others that give Kimchee Records a reason for being. Those who are creating music that entertains, educates, and inspires deserve to have as wide a listening audience as possible. Kimchee Records can assist these musicians in bringing their recordings to radio, to the press, and to retail. And along the way, if you or even a non-obsessive falls helplessly in love with the music and feels the need to share it with others, then Kimchee will know it's doing something right.


Our history

1996. Kimchee Records blinked its eyes, rousing to its half-conscious beginnings. Andy Hong and Bob Dubrow, engineer and host respectively of WMBR's live local music show Pipeline!, nodded sleepily and agreed it was time to make some of the archives available to the public. The result: the 2-CD set Pipeline! Live Boston Rock on WMBR, featuring 40 tracks by 40 bands from the then 7-year old MIT radio program, co-released with Slow River Records. All proceeds from the sale of the discs benefited the non-profit, all-volunteer station. The show still thrives today.

The following year Bob and Andy, still in mid-yawn, turned their heavy-lidded eyes in the direction of Tugboat Annie, and recruited Big Top Records to assist in a co-release of that band's second album, Wake Up and Disappear. Andy and Bob woke up, rocked a bit, and disappeared--only to hibernate for the next 2 years.

In early 1999 Kimchee brought to light an eye-opening collection of top-notch musicians recorded in Andy's living room. Definitively titled In My Living Room, it featured the likes of Karate, Mary Timony, Chris Colbourn of Buffalo Tom, and Richard Davies. It's lovely, lulling ambience made Andy and Bob want to rest a bit on their sofas. So they did.

But the smell of coffee often accompanies a new millennium, and so it was that in the year 2000 Bob and Andy drank a cup. Good to the last drop it was, and with the final sip came the realization that it was time to take a "Kimchee Holiday." No, not another leisure opportunity--quite the opposite, in fact.

Kimjang is a Korean custom observed just prior to winter in which neighbors cooperate with each other in the preparation of kimchee, a spicy, pickled-vegetable dish. Cabbage, turnip, or cucumber is seasoned with red pepper, garlic, onion, and salt, and stored underground in large earthenware containers to ferment. No matter how simple a meal, kimchee is always found on the Korean dining table.

Wait. A slight correction. Andy and Bob went on a "Kimchee Records Holiday." Call it a neighborly convocation of label and artist cooperating in the preparation of uncommonly savory musicstuffs, if you will. The goal being a Kimchee record in every pot--or at least in every record store. The plan is to extend the holiday indefinitely.

The Victory at Sea / Helms split EP commemorated the new awakening and Helms' The Swimmer, released at year's end, was in effect the announcement that dinner was being served. In 2001 Kimchee invited listeners to feast on releases by Heidi Saperstein, Clairvoyants, The Pee Wee Fist, Rosa Chance Well, 27, Victory at Sea, and Chris Brokaw.

And in 2002 the table top got crowded as Kimchee released a banquet's worth of music on twelve discs. But when it comes to music, can one ever be totally satiated? It's 2003, and we continue to dish it out!



Last modified: Friday, 25-Jun-2010 14:15:01 PDT

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