RIP Arachnidiscs 1999-2019

Holding AD001 and AD200, both by BABEL

Halloween Is A Good Day To Die.

After twenty years of operation, and 200 releases, I am laying Arachnidiscs Recordings to rest. I talked about one of the reasons for doing so in this article I wrote for Now Magazine about how in the digital age a (mainly) CD-r micro-label simply doesn’t have as vital a role to play as it once did.

Tied up in that philosophical rationale were a myriad of more personal reasons I didn’t get into. To get to those, I have to first talk a little about why people, including myself, run music labels in the first.

The Four Motivations.

I see there being four basic motivations for a person to start a record label, be it a tiny underground micro-label or a larger cog in the capital-M, capital-I Music Industry.

1. To make money. This would be a more common motivation in the 70s or 80s when the possibility of making a living selling recorded music wasn’t so far-fetched. People still believe in the golden dream of the Music Industry’s pre-Napster heyday, but they often become disillusioned by the reality of the current industry landscape and they fold before ever releasing any product.

2. To feed the ego. Similar to motivation #1, but with less of an emphasis on monetary gain and more on status. To be the cool person running a cool label, hanging out with cool artists at cool places and be constantly told how cool they are. I’ve made this sound a little bit like a Studio 54 nightmare, but it exists in all music scenes from the executive working with pop megastars to someone running a DIY noise label. To adapt an idiom: Those who can, start bands — those who can’t, start labels.

3. Altruism. To help your scene, your community, your friends prosper and gain the recognition they deserve but may be eluding them. To add to the cultural landscape and clear a path for others to follow. You see this talked about a lot in the mission-statements on the “about” page of indie labels.

The tricky thing is Motivation #2 can seep into this laudable intention and taint the waters. And why not? If you’re doing important work and get praised for it, chances are your ego isn’t going to spit that out like it’s poison (unless you’re truly enlightened and then you’re probably not dabbling in worldly exploits like running a record label). Also—at risk of coming off as cynical, jaded, and pessimistic— on occasion you will run into those who claim Motivation #3 but are really exclusively #2, but dressed up to be more marketable to artists, music writers, and customers.

4. Fun. When you’re running a small indie, there’s truthfully not much in the way of reward. Whatever your motivation is, if your goal is to fill your tank on money, praise, or warm altruistic feelings, you’ll more likely than not find yourself running on empty. But whether your motivation is ostensibly 1, 2, or 3, having fun should be your overriding objective. And once it stops being fun, you should get out.

Before I talk about why I got out, let’s remember why I got in.


Arachnidiscs Recordings was founded in 1999 as an extension of the cassette label No Love Records which I started ten years previous while still in high school. I started Arachnidiscs for the same reason I started No Love: to release my own music. In reality, I wasn’t launching a new label so much as re-branding a vanity press which had been dormant for a couple years at that time.

Having made the switch to the then new CD-r technology, I wanted a name which reflected the format. It’d always bothered me I’d named a cassette label No Love Records. So I came up with Arachnidiscs. The “arachnid” part was an ode to the iron spider’s web front gate at my parents’ rural property (where I often found myself living in my twenties), and the self-explanatory use of the word “discs” created a portmanteau inspired by Sloan’s Murderecords.

The first release on Arachnidiscs Recordings was the debut recording by my own BABEL project in late 1999. The CD-r album was sold from the Nanaimo, BC record store Blackball Records, which was like a second home to me at the time. Soon friends and associates of Blackball were given releases on Arachnidiscs and the label made the leap from vanity project to independent label. 

Not adherent to any one genre Arachnidiscs has released albums ranging from free-jazz to psychedelic rock to folk singers to electronic experimentalists (as well as more accessible electronic musicians) to harsh noise and any variation in-between. The common denominator has always been “music for and by weirdos” — the label’s slogan since around 2009.

And it was fun for a long time, until it wasn’t.

So What Happened?

It probably is obvious to anyone with a passing experience of human nature that my above four motivations are simplistic. To suggest only one of these motivations, or a combination of two, are all that comes into play when running a label would be reductive. In fact, shades of all four are always present and the ratios are ever-shifting.

Arachnidiscs, by design, has always hovered around the break-even point, often plunging into the red. This was part of my plan to keep it fun—I found it excruciatingly stressful trying to compensate artists fairly if there ever was profit (and keeping track of profits/losses was killing all enjoyment) so I budgeted and priced every release to break-even as a best case scenario.

About three years ago it wasn’t just becoming an expensive hobby, but all four factors began dipping into the red.

Ultimately, it was Motivation #4, to have fun, that had ceased to be sufficiently fulfilled. And since Arachnidiscs wasn’t breaking even—sales have steadily dropped every year since 2016, and production costs are steadily rising—it was only going to become a more expensive hobby.

I’ve worn many hats at Arachnidiscs: A&R/curator, recording and mastering engineer, graphic designer, shipping & receiving, producer, and promoter/publicist. The problem is I’m a truly terrible publicist and to continue the label it was clear to me I was going to need to hire a pro in order to keep sales at a reasonable volume. And when you’re dealing in terms of selling as few as 25-50 copies of a cassette (in the last year Arachnidiscs’ average run on a album has been a mere 18 CD-rs, 8 of which go to the artist), hiring a publicist or PR company is prohibitively expensive. An already expensive hobby was only going to get ludicrously expensive and it’s one I was no longer enjoying ludicrous amounts. I think there’s nothing wrong with dropping the majority of your disposable income on a hobby—be it golf, knitting, snowboarding, building dollhouses, or collecting comic books and records—but only if you’re actually enjoying it.

So why wasn’t I enjoying it? As I wrote in the aforementioned Now article, seeing the vital role of a micro-label to bring underground music out of the shadows, when Bandcamp can put it into the light as well or better, Motivation #3 (to be an altruistic community builder) no longer felt a fulfilling or necessary goal. And tied to that, I’m big enough to admit, was my ego—Motivation #2 rearing its ugly head—began to question why I was sacrificing my time and money for no purpose and no reward.

Once I came to this epiphany, it was impossible to keep having fun.

But I did have fun, for many years, and I did have the pleasure and honour to work with many talented people from across Canada and the world. And I think, for a time (roughly 2010-2016), Arachnidiscs did play a small but important role in the Canadian underground music community. I have no regrets in running the label for a few years longer than I should have (my slight OCD would not let me quit before reaching the tidy accomplishment of 20 years and 200 releases), and I have no regrets in putting it to bed.

The Future.

When I started letting people know I was ending Arachnidiscs, they all asked a variation on the same few questions.

Do you think you’ll start another label? Hard to say. Perhaps. But if I do it’ll be with a partner or partners and it’ll be run more like a business than a hobby.

That said, I’m not personally going to stop making and releasing my own music (though I’m planning on slowing that down too) and I’ll probably slap an imprint on anything I physically release. Maybe No Love Records? Maybe not.

What’s going to happen to the Bandcamp? It’s going to remain up and selling until there’s nothing left to sell. I’m considering re-branding it ArachniDistro for the purpose of selling any of my own music I personally release in the future or is released by other labels (for the purely opportunistic reason a lot of people subscribe to that account and I’d be a fool not to try and keep that revenue stream open). But this change will just be a new banner graphic, really.

Will you be selling off your stock? Yes, of course. I really want to clear out the basement of what’s left. But it’s not going in a landfill or being donated to a thrift store… yet. Watch for sales in the future around the usual capitalist sale seasons. Or, and this would be even better, don’t risk missing out on a some low-stock items and load up now. This would really help me recoup some of the costs of running this label.

Thank You.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading the nostalgic ramblings of navel-gazing hipster. If you’ve ever bought anything from Arachnidiscs, THANK YOU (see the liner notes for Thirteen Exquisite Corpses for specific shout-outs). If you’ve ever agreed to let Arachnidiscs put out your music, THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES.

Various Arachnids

Anthony Teeth (Frederick Brummer)
The Metrics
Cellar Doors (Jordan McKenzie)
Amarillo Stars/Gown (Andrew MacGregor)
Mr. Zap (Eli Konsorado)
Down With Everything / Everything is Geometry / The Clap
Rubacuori (Tony Pucci)
Nicole Gauthier
Silent Land Time Machine
Theo Angell
Summer Amp
Healthy Animal
Andy Futreal
Aaron Lumley
The Knot (Storring/Lewis)
Nick Kuepfer
Khôra (Matthew Ramolo
Mad/Mod; Totenbaum Träger/Projet Muet (Dominic Marion)
Partli Cloudi (Stephen Warren)
Muted Rainbow (Michelle Proksell)
Beard Closet (Phil Hamilton)
Primate Pyramid (Paul Manhas)
Ross Baker
Chik White (Darcy Spidle)
Holiday Rambler (D. Alex)
Téléphone Maison
Clara Engel
Nite Audit
(Colin) Fisher / (Mike) Gennaro
Unquiet Grave
Hazy Montagne Mystique (Chittakone Baccam)
Ylangylang (Catherine Debard)
A Sacred Cloud
Lost Trail
M. Mucci
Heraclitus Akimbo (Joe Strutt)
Erm + Nickname
CHOBO (Ben Boles / Jessica Cho)
Radio Samson Di Maria (Luca Capone)
Eiyn Sof (Melissa Boraski)
Sister Ray
Gad Whip
Richmond Avant Improv Collective
Dark Bird (Roan Bateman)
Moth Bucket
Lusco e Fusco 13
Bullshit Dub Sound System
Eric Wong + Naturalismo + Sherman + Sin:Ned
Women of the Pore
The Side Eye
Dame Cook
Mira Martin-Grey
Lunakin (Quill Hardy)
A Half With Tinnitus
Soft Thoughts
Serpent Season
L’électrique brûlant
Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks
Brodie West (as part of the “Babel Ensemble”)

And anyone I missed, OMG, I’m so sorry.

Releases Round-up: August 2019


We’be had a number of releases across numerous genres since our last update. Give them a listen, below.

Available on pre-order

Dynamic free-jazz from The Side Eye (Aug. 30, 2019)


Experimental electro-acoustics from Mira Martin-Grey.
Limited quantities.

Lynchian bunker jazz from Women of the Pore. SOLD OUT

Floyd-worshiping instrumental space rock from Heavy Moon.

Experimental minimalist free jazz from A Half With Tinnitus.
Limited quantities.

Kosmische jamming post rock from Stargoon. SOLD OUT

Dark ambient esoteric ritual music from Serpent Season.
Limited quantities.

Crystalline ambient electro-acoustic drift from storyinsoil. SOLD OUT

Cosmic analogue synthesizer for black holes from Jakob Rehlinger. Limited quantities.





Jakob has lost his mind and is slashing prices!

Everything must go!

Over 30 back-catalogue titles priced at ONE DOLLAR* Canadian!

That’s about $0.76 in “real” dollars!

Most newer releases at a discount!


But, seriously, we need to make room for new stock so this is a great chance to pick up some really great music at fire-sale prices.

*Regular shipping rates still apply. Email to get a more accurate (than Bandcamp’s) shipping estimate on bulk orders.

Store Updated



Ever since we started our Bandcamp site as our online shop for ease and convenience, we’ve been meaning to get the older in-print titles that predated the shop up there. Most notably the first few volumes in the Split Tapes Series and Moonwood‘s River Ghosts LP were missing (available on this site, but buried way, way, way down in the store page listings where people fear to tread).

Now ALL our available stock is easy to browse at!

Also note the prices are in CAD, so with the plummeting Canadian dollar (at time of posting this) being at a mere 68 cents on the American dollar (or €0.63) you might want to take advantage of our economic collapse and score some deals.

In addition, some out-of-stock items are now back in-stock having retaken possession of some stock from a downsizing/relocating distro, so if you thought you missed out on something, maybe you didn’t!

MOONWOOD ‘Desert Ghosts’



Out now! Desert Ghosts by Toronto psychedelic space-rockers MOONWOOD.

“Like Moon Duo hopped up on pure wormwood extract, the Toronto-based improv space-rock outfit known as Moonwood have plucked another full-length jewel from the ether. Drawing on a cornucopia of worldly throwback psychedelic influences from the Middle East, Asia and Germany, Desert Ghosts is a relentless assault on your psyche, bound to blow your consciousness out the back of your skull and into a kaleidoscope of interdimensional possibilities. …. The first half of Desert Ghosts is noted as ‘Earthbound desert rock,’ a voyage through the deserts of the American West with fuzz rock and cosmic surf grounded by motorik rhythms, and the second half is a Trans Arrakis Express suite, signifying the arrival on the fictional desert planet from Frank Herbert’s famed 1965 sci-fi novel Dune. The change in sound is audible; the first half propelled by frontman Jakob Rehlinger’s incendiary guitar and Luca Capone’s impertinent drums, while the second half is more meditative and mystical, featuring more of bassist Matt Fava’s violin. Both sides are united by filtered synth drones and Jacqueline Noire’s mesmerizing vocals.” ~ Exclaim!

Transparent purple vinyl, first 150 copies come with limited edition 12×16 risographed print.

LP: $17.99 CAD (plus regional shipping rates) | Digital: $7.99

Listen and purchase HERE or in the player below.

Released November 5th 2015 in partnership with Pleasence Records.

IMG_0377 IMG_0382IMG_0378 IMG_0379 IMG_0381-crop photo

ADR 2014 in review



At a label fair last night, while perusing our table with a friend, I noted, “Shit… I had a pretty good year!”

In 2014 we released 15 physical albums and 9 videos. That is three more releases than we planned to do and six fewer videos (calculating that we’d meant to create some form of video for every release). We got 24 (to our knowledge) positive reviews on various blogs and print publications. Two titles sold out. We put on a small handful of shows and relaunched the NO LOVE imprint (just today, actually). And I indulged in our most excessive package to date for one of my own pet projects.

As we were at the start of 2014, we’re planning to drastically scale back operations in 2015. As with 2014, we’ll see how that goes (we already have two releases scheduled for January and one in February).

2014 Year End Top 5

(of Arachnidiscs Recordings 2014 releases according to Arachnidiscs Recordings)

#1. Dominic Marion: Totenbaum Träger / Projet Muet

Creeping drones and cinematic post-jazz improvisations.

#2. Uvesen: III

Creepinger drones and dark, reverb-drenched noise improvisations.

#3. Clara Engel: Ashes & Tangerines

Something like the haunting folkiness of Vashti Bunyan corrupted by the bombastic gloom of Nick Cave.

#4. Nite Audit: The Audiot

Apparently the Ween brothers, Beck and Lou Barlow had an orgy and Nite Audit is their love child. There’s something wonderfully ’90s yet incredibly current about Kyle’s music.

#5. Colin Fisher & Mike Gennaro: Sine Qua Non

It’s like Rashied Ali and John Coltrane on bath salts. Free jazz that breaks the chains of your mind.

NO LOVE in 2015 and RAINBOARD too


NoLove2014 A little under a year ago we announced the intention of definitely possibly maybe resurrecting our previous incarnation, NO LOVE, as an “indie-rock” imprint. This was pretty much for the sole purpose of releasing a cassette by a friend’s band, but that discussion sort of faded away somehow and now they seem to have broken-up.

In the meantime we jumped on the chance to give an ecstatic “yes” (instead of the regretful “no” we’d prepared) to Rainboard as we were doing this thing anyway.

And thank heavens because The Midnight Slide is a corker set of ’90s alt inspired noisy shoegaze and space-rock, fuzzily psychedelic with no waves to be found. Not entirely a throw-back to the pre-grunge post-punk era of youths who were sonic or dinosaurs who were junior, it’s current to the noise-rock scene. It has the seasoned, mature sound of alt-rock veterans and the visceral edge of upstart indie-punks.

We’re releasing it, and launching the imprint, on December 31st, 2014. You can “pre-order” it now (inverted commas because we’ll ship immediately, holidays allowing) and take a listen below.

Tonight in Toronto! Blü Print: An Arachnidiscs Showcase



An eclectic showcase of Arachnidiscs Recordings artists and double-tape release celebration

face-melting free-jazz

depression era storytelling

drone/noise/post-music guitar god

TRANZMIT (debut performance)
Dark elektro radio sampling, musique concrete, audio manipulation

That SEMEN PRIEST interview

So, our favourite electro-lunatics Semen Priest were interviewed by the blog Raised by Gypsies. And apparently they’re not huge Arachnidiscs fans and have some “interesting” ideas about how the music business works. Anyway, though it’s entertaining as all heck, I do feel the need to clarify a few inaccuracies in the Q&A. I’ve highlighted my clarifications in orange. You can read the full interview HERE.

3)     What is your relationship like with Arachnidiscs?
What relationship? Pretty sure Jakob hates us. And the feeling isn’t unmutual. They’ve done shit for us. Our album is fucking amazing and they just sat on it. It’s like we spend all our time kicking his ass to do shit and nothing gets done. He keeps pushing us to tour but isn’t giving us $$$ to tour. And no money to do a proper video. We have all these ideas and we can’t do them becau$$$e. Anyway, he never sent cops after us about the bloody condom thang, so… it’s all good? He knows we’re not serious about shit. Whatevs. 
It’s not really in my nature to “push” anyone to do anything. When they asked my why more blogs and websites weren’t writing about them, I suggested that they should play live and that if they played a show somewhere like Toronto that’d probably help with exposure. Though they’d voiced displeasure at the “cheap” and “shitty” Another Bad Day video I’d put together for them, producing another video was never discussed. I also SET UP THIS VERY INTERVIEW.

4)     You’ve released a split and a collaboration with Tranzmit.  What is your relationship like with Tranzmit?
Well, that’s fucking Jakob again. He’s TRANZMIT so the relationship is pretty much the same pile. But better. Which is super weird. Like schizophrenic weird. We like working with him as a musician more than as a label. He actually seems interested in doing the music stuff. Which WE DIDN’T EVEN ASK HIM TO DO. He fucking took our new single and “improved” it without asking. Removed our vocals and added all that radio shit and made it longer. The result is kind of amazing, so it’s fine, I guess. But, that fucking guy… GOTTA LUV HIS AZZ.
I was under the impression that when they sent me the project files, they wanted me to remix the track. The email only said, and I quote, “DU SUMPTIN WIT DIZZZZ YO!” I realized, later, my mistake in not clarifying their intentions.
5)     Who else would you be interested in collaborating with or sharing a split with in the future?
Dream collab? I dunno. DAFT PUNK, but that’ll never happen. *sadface* UNDERWORLD, Xcept they suddenly started to suck. *double-plus SADFACE*. How does that happen? A band makes amazing records for what? 15 years? Then they just turn to shit with that last one? I guess their first two records were crimes against hearing too. *shrug*…. That leaves Lady Gaga. I think we could perform CPR on her career. Call us. We’re ready to let you vomit cum on us.
But realistically? Maybe DOOMSQUAD? We heard one of those dude’s liked our tape. Which is probably a complete fucking lie. Or, what’s that girl called? Vile Bitch? No, Bile Sister? Yeah, I just googlized it and that’s her. Zsa Zsa’s a fan. Bile Sister. That’s a good name. Not as good as SEMEN PRIEST, but good name. All those assholes are in Toronto and we’re not in Toronto. And, you know what? Fuck smug-ass Toronto. I guess we could do email collabs like with TRANZMIT but… 
I’d like to apologize to Julie (Bile Sister), in advance, if they contact her. In that conversation about playing shows in Toronto, I suggested they get in touch with some “like minded” bands. Doomsquad and Bile Sister were part of the list I gave them. Ooops.
6)     Will “Grung Grindr” see a physical release?
Fucked if we know. Wanted it to be a 12″ but Arachnidiscs won’t do it. $$$ issues. We’re feeling out other labels. We’ll never self-release because only assholes self-release. It’s like literal figurative musical masturbation to put your own shit out. We didn’t even want to do Bandcamp but Arachnidiscs said we had to. 
At no time did we ever discus a 12″. At one point the track was going to be part of a future TRANZMIT tape, but they wanted it for themselves. I also never said they “had” to set up a Bandcamp, I just said it made more sense if the money for digital downloads went straight to them.
9)     Final thoughts, shout outs, etc… ??
I do have to agree it’s a good album.

How to open your Téléphone Maison tape



Hey, those foil-sealed Toujours Partout tapes by Téléphone Maison look sharp. But how do you get the nifty orange tape out without entirely destroying the nifty shiny packaging? It’s actually pretty easy, just follow these steps.

Update! A fan in the Netherlands has made an actual unboxing video for this release.

1) You will need one of these:


If you don’t have one, go HERE, to our Bandcamp page and order one.

2) You’ll also need something sharp.


3) Find the top of the cassette box.


It should be the side with the sticker. But I’m not comfortable guaranteeing that. Also, the opening of the cassette box should be to the right of the sticker. Again, I’m not going to guarantee that’s always going to be the case. So look for a little indent like the one indicated above.

4) Using your handy slicing tool, make an incision along the top edge, tracing three sides of the box.


If you do this reasonably carefully your Toujours Partout should open like any other cassette.

5) Place cassette in player and let your mind melt.


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