|Welcome to Reciprocal Records!
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What is Reciprocal Records?
In a few words Reciprocal Records (RR) is a record label and event organizer for the Maltese Punk/Ska/Independent music scene.
We started with organizing gigs around 10 years ago for the bands we play in, and for our mates' bands, but at that time, the name ‘Reciprocal Records’ did not exist…The main goal is to keep the scene punching and kicking as we all wish it would on it's own, and we are here to make sure it does.
In concrete terms, we co-ordinate record production from beginning to end, of course according to the deal involved. This also includes help in the organising of the CD launch. For example, with some bands we print the sleeves, make record copies, promote the band and the record involved as much as possible, distribute, produce and sell merchandise and push for media coverage. The list isn't exhaustible. We discuss with the bands involved the possibilities and we finally tailor a unique package that suits everyone. We also aim to get the bands to support each other, keep track of upcoming events and also offer any other needed aid to the scene and especially our bands.
Past gigs and festivals are now uncounted and many of the RR bands, have reached recognition in their own particular ways. Organizing gigs is just a passion for us, it's the best way to combat the weekend boredom, and the best way for a night out with friends.
Reciprocal Records might seem too much of an ‘establishment’ name for the small Punk/Ska/Independent music scene of Malta but here we have to mention that the main force that pushes us forward at RR is just the plain old stone cold feeling of the need to have something worth putting your mind to, and there is nothing better than Music as a cure. Having a good time and keeping the scene and our Music alive is our main concern. Doing it DIY was always our style, and that's how we'd like it to be.
Know Your Roots! (history)
Reciprocal Records started off with very justified reasons 6 years ago during a telephone call. We had just recorded live for the first time with cheap and very straight forward equipment the punk fest ‘Festahwid’ (it was the 4th), and me and Fredrick ‘Il-Fre’ came up with the idea to release a track from each band who performed live as a release. Then we thought that for a release we need a label, and without any ambitous plans we released our first Live Compilation. It was a solid project to cling to and held it's own identity as an idea.
In truth, the scene was quite strong at the time when the first Compilation was out, but just a couple of years before that, BNI, at that time with Fish on Drums, were scouting out pubs and bars all over the island to get an opportunity to play live. Let down but never beaten, bands like ‘Rage Against Society’ and ‘BNI’ kept things going strong in their own manner, and slowly things got stirring. Bzzzz
As soon as the label was setup, circa 2002, more bands seemed inclined to release their material, and with the label as a point of reference releases were easier to go by. Totema's ‘Silent Frequency’ was released and after that the re-release of BNI's First album ‘Native Tongue’ which was sold out since the year 2000. The ‘Festahwid’ festival, which is in fact older than the Label as an ongoing project drew new faces and is still up to today waited for by many. (Even if we have skipped our duty in the past years). More and more bands got together and highly acclaimed releases were coming out from the Maltese scene like Dripht's ‘Global Warning’ and Xtruppaw's ‘Is-CD ta' L-iXtruppaw’. BNI kept heads high with ‘Force Majeur’ and Abstrass released their first Album ‘Hard to Understand’ after 20 years of gigging. The first Broadband Gathering was the first festival organized by RR which got bands from different scenes on stage, and the first project RR embarked on together with Matthew ‘Nofxu’ as part of the team. It was also a first try for what was to be the second Broadband Gathering, held at the Lowenbrau Fields in Marsa. At this time, Nicholas Grima ‘Nico’ and Ludvig Gellel put forth their talent and the second version the RR website was lauched together with a sister website for the festival. Many will remember the previous RR website as many used it as it was highly interactive and many bands and artistes from every scene and country were listed. We are sure many will be let down by the changes in this new website from the previous version, but promoting everyone is just not the job of a Punk rock label. From then on, the opportunites to release records, and organize festivals and gigs grew, and we took advantage of these the best we could.
2005 was undoubtedly the busiest year for RR. The list is huge: The ‘Festahwid Compilation 2’ comes out comes out with ‘Delli Wah-du’ and ‘Vixaw’ as main attractions for the night. The Broadband Gathering II was also another huge success for Reciprocal Records. The festival managed to bring 20 bands from different scenes in 2 days on the same stage. It took a clean 3 months of daily work and effort to make it happen. All of this momentum and energy was transmitted into the punters and critics alike. New bands were cropping up, crowds grew at gigs and everyone was doing his music and his bit. RR was also getting recognition on the local media thanks to the likes of Mike Bugeja and Woody Aki.
From the Broadband Gathering II we just needed to sit down, or better lie down, and take a rest for a while. We sorted our priorities and stooped low on large scale festivals and delved into releases and CD Production. At this point we wanted to define better what we wanted out of RR and decided to start producing merchandise for local bands other than the record label's bands. With the knowledge we got from our own works we created RR Services, an offshoot of RR.
2006 saw further release from skankers The I Skandal (‘Skaccomatto’) and BNI with the aptly titled ‘On and On’. 2006 was also the year where we concentrated to have the ‘Festahwid’ done open air and wholly managed by RR even at the bar. It was the ideal situation at that time, but in hindsight, we realised that we had chosen a venue that was too large, and the usual atmosphere of clogged up dance floors and crowded halls, now so synonymous with ‘Festahwid’ was lost.
From that day, we hibernated, pondering our possibilities and taking our chances. We decided to give ourselves a break in order to be able to see what, if anything, might be lacking in the underground scene. With the lack of appropriate venues as one of the main difficulties in organizing musical events, the situation is made even harder with many people's idea of Punk rock as being too loud for certain places. It's such things that have forced us to postpone major RR events like The Broadband Gathering and the ‘Festahwid’ Festival. We are confident now that in the future we will manage our own venue, and this, is our ultimite goal. Time may not be so ripe at this point, but we are leaning on chance here and hope to find our golden opportunity soon… In the meantime, enjoy the new website and Thank you for reading!!!
Joining Reciprocal Records
We are a DIY label, so there is nothing too complicated about your band signing up with us! We are first and foremost a STREET PUNK/SKA/REGGAE record label, so of course your music has to reflect what you think will be interesting to us. Of course, everyone has his own definition of what PUNK or SKA means but as the list of our signed bands shows, we are quite open minded as to what defines these terms. Our offers, as explained in the ‘About’ section, differ from band to band and from record to record, and these have to be discussed directly with the band to see where both parties can compromise on a final deal. So far, we are too small to sign up bands for multi-record deals, therefore every deal will exclusively be for that particular record. Of course, that doesn't mean that Reciprocal Records can't release your second record (Batteries Not Included, for example, has done this for the 3rd time now), but that would mean that you would also have a second, seperate deal, possibly with different offers. If this sounds too complicated, don't worry. We're not some CEO's wearing ties and suites. Just send a buzz on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you!
Major Reciprocal Records Events
As explained in the ‘About’ Section, Reciprocal Records organises a couple of big events every now and then (depending on the mood we're in, or the situation we find ourselves into). Explained below is a list...
Festahwid started off back in 1999 (way before RR was even born), when JP ‘Iz-zghiru’, came up with the idea of doing a small concert at ‘THE EDGE LIVE VENUE’ (RIP), in Bugibba, consisting of all the local punk bands playing at the time. Some of the bands that played in that concert included Rage Against Society, Batteries Not Included, Rivals, Strajk, One-Way, Abstrass and others. The turnout of people was bigger than everyone expected, and the crowd was just going mental with the music. Speakers blared, guitar strings broke, the beer flowed and bodies were covered in sweat, heat, beer and whatever you can imagine!! It was just pure Punk 'n Roll. No one would have thought that eventually FESTAHWID would be organised more or less every year...although we have skipped our duty in the past years, we didn't think twice to organise two FESTAHWID'S in a single year!!
The ‘Festahwid’ festival, as an ongoing project draws new faces every time and is still up to today one of the most awaited festivals in the Maltese Underground scene. Check out the releases section for information about the live records of FESTAHWID concerts.
THE BROADBAND GATHERING
The Broadband Gathering (TBBG) was another creation of master-minder JP “iz-zghiru”, but so much work was put into this event that lots of people contributed to it's huge success TBBG is a festival that includes bands from all genres of the Maltese underground scene. The first year it was held (2004), bands from the punk and metal scene merged in a night of great music and total chaos at Buskett Roadhouse. The audience turn-out, once again was bigger than expected and we decided to go ahead with the festival a year later. With the help of Matthew “Nofxu” Dimech and several other people, we managed to spread the event over two days and tried to also include bands from other scenes. The event was held at The Lowenbrau grounds in Qormi. Some of the bands that played included: Batteries Not Included, Lumiere, Fire, Arachnid, Abstrass, Slit, Deluge of Sorrow, Dripht, The I Skandal, Hiddensun, Xtruppaw, and Beheaded.
TBBG was a success also in the sense that we managed to combine and get things moving from all the underground scene in Malta. Lenny and Miki from the sorely missed Naasha Bar were busy serving delicious foods. Music journalists such as Michael Bugeja and Raphael Vassallo were giving us slots on local papers and magazines, and adverts were all over the place with the help of the energetic street team we set up. TBBG showed that in unity there is power. Even in conservative Malta, were setting up a relatively small festival of underground music comes with the hassle of dealing with unnecessary bureaucracy with officials, police permits etc etc, we managed to pull out a couple of nights to remember and put down this date in the history of Maltese rock music.
OTHER FESTIVALS AND GIGS.
We really are up for a party and a good time for most of the time, so there's always some chemicals running in our blood that make us come up with something...that's why other festivals like Breaking the Barriers and countless gigs have been organised along the years. So, like already stated elsewhere on the site...if you think that your band fits our ethos and want us to give you a helping hand, give us a shout.
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