Running a site like this, one thing is for sure; you have to care. I work full time and then spend the majority of my spare time painstakingly checking features, making sure that everything is in its right place, that the pictures look good, that youtube embed codes have the correct ratio… Yep, it gets that exciting. But it does matter. It matters because it’s a representation of me – and our contributors – and if I get to the point where I’m half-assed about it then there really isn’t any point in doing it anymore.
The first time I discovered the Cascine label, I fell for them before hearing any music on their roster. One look at their site and you can see just how much all of the above applies, and how much it means, to them. The term ’boutique’ label has been used a lot and it certainly applies. While they don’t put out too much, every thing they do release is perfect. From the overall sound, to the artwork – it just feels right. You can’t fake that. It comes from having a vision, a hell of a lot of passion and a team that shares the same set of beliefs. In a ‘struggling industry‘ Cascine stands up as a beacon for all that is good about the music industry right now.
On a recent trip to New York, GoldFlakePaint had the pleasure of sitting down with Jeff Bratton, the man behind the label, and chatting about life, love and the label. At some point during the conversation we even managed to sweet talk him into giving us an exclusive track.
On that note, GFP is very pleased to present a brand new track from RxGibbs. You can stream and download the stunning ‘Codesh‘ below. We suggest listening to it while reading our interview with Jeff…
Good day sir! Where are you and what does today hold for you?
Hey friend – I’m in LA right now, at a hotel in Korea Town. It’s close to midnight and I’m about to power down for the day. I’m here until Friday juggling some agency job stuff and then back to the east coast for the weekend.
Can you just introduce yourself and tell us a little about who else is involved in Cascine?
I’m 33, live in New York, but spend time in California each month. I lived here for six years, before moving back to Brooklyn last fall. I oversee Cascine, and have a phenom team of people to work alongside – Sandra Croft in London, who handles press and media for Cascine. Sandra’s a gem and we’d be lost without her. Jason Romanelli is our art director, responsible for things like album art and the overall look and feel of the label. Jason’s based in New York. Lucy Bridger in London is a creative at Cascine and has art directed shoots for bands including Chad Valley, Selebrities and Pandr Eyez, and shot videos for a number of our artists too. We adore her work – such a soft touch. In fact, she’s working on a video for Erika Spring as we speak. Jason Kapiskosky also helps with the label. He’s based in D.C.
Are you pleased with the labels progress?
I really am. The momentum is high and I’m extremely grateful that people are responding so well to the music and visual elements. We care tremendously about what we do and it’s gratifying to see others starting to understand that.
What has been the high-point for you so far?
It was early on, fall of 2010. I was standing in my girlfriend’s kitchen in LA, reading a review of one of our first releases. It was like 7am and I was looking at it on my phone. The write up started with: “Just out on everyone’s new favorite label is…” It was the first piece of good press I read about Cascine and I nearly collapsed. My girlfriend was standing next to me. I looked at her and she kind of swelled up and said: “remember your firsts, honey.” Pretty significant moment for me.
The World Tour EP has just dropped, have you been pleased with the reaction so far?
I have. Those kids are brilliant songwriters and I think it’s one of our strongest releases yet.
Which releases are you most excited about for the rest of the year?
We have some big things on the books. Erika Spring’s EP will be massive. She’s a true star and the tracks are fantastic – grade A material. Jensen Sportag has just delivered their debut LP and it’s just as stunning as everyone’s hoping it will be. Excellent albums by Southern Shores, Chad Valley and The Whendays on tap for fall, and we’re close to completing a project with Picture (who is David from Sail A Whale) that’s fantastic too. Oh, and we’re re-releasing Boat Club’s Caught the Breeze, which needs no introduction.
Any personal plans for the summer months? Will you have time to take a holiday?
I will, actually. Planning some time in London in June for Lucy’s birthday, and then I’ll likely spend most of July in Sweden hanging with friends and working with the Korallreven guys on some festival plays.
Finally, what does Cascine mean to you?
For as silly as it sounds, the intuition aspect we often talk about is super important to me. I trust my gut with the music and it works. It’s our recipe. Cascine’s also very much a family, made up of both the people that work for it, and the artists who are on the roster. Every person that touches the label is essential to its success.
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Photo of Jeff by Stephanie Seeley and Lindsey DeWitt