We currently run four directly connected labels in Nomadic Kids Republic, Koen Music (KOMU), Tokyo Droning, and Folk Reels. We are also part of a larger group (of friends) who run the Modern Composers Group out of Japan. Apart from distributing our work through Morr, Boomkat, Inpartmaint, Cargo, Forced Exposure etc, they work alongside a number of wonderful independent labels who are run by many friends of ours.
You can find more information about these below:
On a very basic level, Home Normal is about organic, soulful music. The label was set up with a focus on artists, who let the music and beautiful, minimal photography and design, do the talking. It is slowly evolving with more of a focus on film works, and quite a lot of noise and minimal south-east Asian influences coming on board for the end of 2014. The main ethos on the label though is still firmly on organic works.
Nomadic Kids Republic was set up to release small 'polaroid' releases. The idea was to keep the packaging very very simple and release cross-genre work. We have released 19 albums by some amazing artists, and the label has grown particularly well in Japan due to its enveloping nature. However, due to sheer workload and needing a change of direction Ian put the label on hold over the last year and eventually decided to get a new team to run the label so he could focus on Home Normal. Since March the New York and Tokyo based team have been getting the new site, packaging and design tied up with more of a focus on double package releases including live works and remixes for each release. With new works by some superb Asian electronic artists and bands, as well as some very talented artists with connections to Home Normal, the label will be re-emerging as a digital platform to promote music from exciting young artists from around the world in April 2017.
You can hear all the work on the Bandcamp page here: nomadickidsrepublic.bandcamp.com
Koen Music (KOMU) was set up to release works which Ian was involved directly in and which he didn't want to have to go through the whole promotional routine with as the idea of it felt rather unnatural. The label has no promotional output and releases work without any great statement beyond popping up in stores when they are ready. The first few releases were 'The Shattered Light' by Ian Hawgood, 'Wolven' by Ian Hawgood & Friends (such as bvdub, Dag Rosenqvist, Aaron Martin, Spheruleus, y0t0, Pillowdiver, Hakobune (this was a collaborative release with Hibernate), ‘Sparks’ by The Black Elk Quartet (w/ Tim Martin, Clem Leek, and Danny Norbury), a remastered reissue of the original 'Wolfskin' by Ian Hawgood, and more.
You can hear all the work on the Bandcamp page here: komu.bandcamp.com
After having our site and blog hacked a number of times, whilst we still retain the work here, Ian's own work has now been moved over in its entirety to his Folk Reels page - folkreels.bandcamp.com. This is his ongoing project to release his entire work (albums, sketches, film work, installations etc) - one release per week!
Finally, after being originally founded in 2009, Tokyo Droning was re-issued in 2011 to include materials by local companies affected by the Tohoku earthquake of 2011. Tokyo Droning was focused on more experimental (for want of a better word) outings by Home Normal artists, such as live shows and installation work. However, Tokyo Droning as it was is now basically closed. It has evolved into something else which is still a ways off, but we were forced to stop the original label as we used locally made paper, but they eventually went bankrupt after the earthquake as the company were from Fukushima and the lack of governmental support saw many local industries close down. The label will be restarted in May 2017 and will also run alongside the new Tyo-Kyo label run by our friend Masa. Whilst Tokyo Droning will continue to focus on experimental music worldwide, the Tyo-Kyo label will focus solely on young Japan-based artists who typically get no exposure outside Japan.
You can hear all the work on the Bandcamp page here: tokyodroning.bandcamp.com