Begin Records, a netlabel of sorts curated by Krist Wood, takes a unique approach to the notion of a release. Each "record" consists of a singular website, a zip of mp3s, and a pdf. Wood described in an email to me that the "Records" in "Begin Records" refers "simply to the act of recording data for the purpose of preservation." Moreover, the project is an attempt to "explore the data organization, communication and dissemination methods used in formal science as a means to record and codify artwork of myself and others." The pdf plays a key role here -- each one follows the format of a scientific research article, except the contents are wildly abstract and colorful, and easily artworks in themselves. The capacity for all three elements of the release -- the website, the zip, the pdf -- to circulate either together or on their own speaks instinctively to the serendipitous discovery and distribution of information online. In this respect, Begin Records sets up an interesting model, one that I wish other labels would take up more actively. Check the website for releases by Maryann Norman, Krist Wood and Kevin Bewersdorf.
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by Nate Hitchcock on Nov 20th, 2013