I don’t think of myself as an early adopter. Usually, bandwagons are off, running and are becoming exhausted before I’ve even noticed that they exist. To illustrate, I still have no idea what Schitt’s Creek is. The only time that I have got into something at year zero was when Postcard Records, the sound of young Scotland, emerged. But that’s a whole other story for another day. So, imagine my unbridled joy at stumbling upon a brand new label, just at the moment of their birth. Imagine owning the first three releases of their catalogue. Now I know how the guy who owns FAC1, FAC2 and FAC3 feels. (Note to the geeks – I know that FAC1 and FAC3 were posters, not records. Please, indulge me.)
2020 may well have been the annus horribilis to end all grim years, but one sliver of shining light has been the launch of Paul Scott’s Cue Dot Series. It’s the realisation of an incredible ambition that centres around an absolute passion for electronic music. Most admirable is the fact that Cue Dot operates on a strictly not-for-profit basis. Artists share equally in the profits associated with their release, with Cue Dot’s share being ploughed back in to invest in future releases. In these challenging times that is really incredible and cements Cue Dot as a project worth supporting.
So, Cue Dot have a fantastic artist-friendly, operating model. But what about the tunes? Because, after all, that’s what it’s all about. Well, I’m delighted to report that the quality of music matches the ethos of the label. We are only three albums in (only? already?), but they are three absolute belters and, on that evidence, the portents for 2021 are very strong.
Cue Dot announced itself to the world in September with the release of Lyndon Scarfe’s outstanding Shoreline. I reviewed it here and described it as “a blueprint for what ambient music should be”. And it is. Furthermore, I have to say that the majestic Going Back is one of the finest pieces of music I have heard in 2020.
That was followed up in October with Lying Cat’s snappily titled A Pleasant and Profound Hand into a Peaceful Death. This soundtrack to a movie never realised really comes into its own in a dark room with the headphones on. It will take you to places you never imagined.
Yesterday, Cue Dot 03, Stories From An Island, was born. SAD MAN and Francis Lowe’s fantastic blend of electronic genius and six eerie stories, narrated superbly by Lowe, has dropped just in time for Christmas. You will revel in these terrific tales as you sit by the fireside on a long winter night, warming beverage in hand. Come on, nothing beats a tale of the supernatural at Christmas.
So, a new label is born and i feel privileged (and a little bit smug) to have been present at the birth. The consistently high quality of the music is testament to Paul’s high standards and I am looking forward to seeing how Cue Dot evolves in 2021.