Last Foundation is a relatively new imprint curated by Gábor Lázár, operating from the burgeoning Budapest electronic music scene. Though you wouldn’t even know it, since their roster includes stars of the international noise and experimental scene including Ekoplekz or Russell Haswell, which they release on tapes, usually as split releases with their local affiliated producers. Aside from the sonic side, there is also the bold visuals by Gergo Szinyova. Here we asked them about the ins and outs of their imprint, and most importantly, you can listen to the music, as mixed by one of the label founders and artist Gábor Lazár.
How did Last Foundation come to being?
Gergo: At the begin Gabor and Martin (Mikolai, S Olbricht) started a label in 2008.
This was the first idea and physically we have released 2 zines. It was a zine with my drawings and music CD included by Gabor’s and Martin’s music. We made two issues only. Three years later in 2011 I was thinking about this label idea more and more. Finally I just wrote them a mail with the subject Let’s start a label. That time Martin started to make house and synthesizer music and said he is thinking about something else, so he started the Farbweschel.
So, finally Gabor and I started to work on it in Summer 2011 and we have made the first release in February 2012, Albert van Abbe’s album, called Patch For Series.
Gabor: As Gergo said; working together was not new situation to us. That fanzine thing just stopped. We don’t know exactly why; maybe all of us have changed a bit and that was the time to think about how to continue, how to implement our ideas and passion into a new way. And finally we found. It started with Albert’s stuff and then eight months passed until the split CD of Ekoplekz / Omne came out. The beginning was quite slow and relaxed. Now the communication with musicians, distributors, retailers and sometimes customers accelerated at my end and the manufacturing process became easier. It is on good way towards a proper balance.
Your backgrounds are in music and art, respectively, how is this translated in the concept of the label?
Gabor: I think there is a lot of connection between very different sounds therefore I think we do not have to translate anything because all of these pieces are already translations of each other through the connections. I would like to present a wide spectrum of creative people who, for example, represent different approaches, unique compositional techniques or people who apply new solutions in the field of music technology. The final purpose is to enrich the culture of music and visual art as well.
Gergo: It is about focusing to the newest music too. Personally in my artistic approach the music were really important and still is. I am not musician, but i feel really strong connections between these fields. It’s quite inspirational.
The cover art is also very prominent, is there a concept behind it? In a way, it is reminiscent of PAN’s bold visual aesthetics that goes hand in hand with the music.
Gergo: Yes, every cover artwork made for each release. I am working in 2 dimensions. Basically my artistic practice is based on the same. I really respect Bill Kouligas and Kathryn Politis’ label but there is no connection between our work. Basically PAN is using photo and graphic layers. The Last Foundation sleeves are simpler, black and white compositions.
Can you tell us about your A&R policy, what artists are released on Last Foundation?
Gabor: I can’t see barriers around music and there is no reason to limit the perspective. It is rather run by passion not policy. I pull people together who affected on me years before or just yesterday and I strongly believe and hope that these editions we release with these artists will affect on other people tomorrow or just years later.
Answering your question about A&R, a few of them were already friends of mine or I met them few times before they collaborated with us like Dirk Dresselhaus aka Schneider ™ who I’ve met in 2011 in Macedonia first and then in Berlin few times when I played there or like Russell Haswell who I met in Bratislava on the 13th Next Festival and then in London few months later. I think to meet people is very important to establish a circle of friends who trust in each other, become friends and work together in order to promote this culture we believe in.
Can you tell us more about the Hungarian artists you release?
Gergo: The first Hungarian is Gabor, but we are not afraid to release other Hungarian productions.
Gabor: For example, a friend of mine Raymond Kiss plays on guitar and makes long compositions of sequences of motives using precise delay setup in order to overlap different variations of different motifs. I really like his stuff, I hope he will record something of it.
What are your future plans?
Gergo: Continuing the work what we started and parallel making other projects too. The forthcoming release will be Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s new album. He is the founder of the legendary Root Strata label.
Gabor: Same. Long-term existance and flexibility. A bit more computer music.
Last Foundation label podcast by Easterndaze on Mixcloud