By: Elvera Butler
Over the past 35 years we have supported Irish artists through promoting live events and assisting them by recording, releasing and promoting their music, both in Ireland and internationally. We want to continue to support Irish artists and would benefit enormously from having facilites where artists can engage creatively, and where we can encourage the development of new music.
About the Project
Reekus is an independent record label/music company based in Dublin. The brainchild of Elvera Butler and the late Andrew Foster, Reekus was established in Cork in 1981. The label grew from Elvera's student Downtown Kampus gigs in Cork’s Arcadia Ballroom. Her policy of using local support acts when international bands like The Cure, XTC, Rory Gallagher etc.,played at The Kampus led to a vibrant music scene and gave birth to many bands in Cork, including Microdisney, and thus the spirit of Reekus was born.
Throughout our history we have helped launch the careers of Aslan, The Blades, Microdisney, The Radio, Saville and Big Self, and also released albums from performance artist Nigel Rolfe, Perry Blake, David Hopkins, The Moondogs, Mocrac and Sundrive, Carosel, and Paul Cleary among others.
In 2003 we published our first book: “It Makes You Want To Spit!“, a historical and cultural artifact that documents the punk scene in Northern Ireland against the backdrop of the Troubles that received critical acclaim at home and abroad.
Our current roster includes Sweet Jane, Keith Moss, Deetrich, Perry Blake’s Electro Sensitive Behaviour project and Death In The Sickroom. All of our acts use separate rehearsal spaces and even the recording of demo material has to be outsourced, which drives up the cost considerably. Several of our acts have played at international showcases around the world such as Eurosonic, SXSW, Midem, Music Matters Asia and CMW, with the label providing most of the funds for these events. We believe that these opportunities are very important for the artists.
We keep our expenditure on office space/admin to an absolute minimun by operating out of a spare room in a house but we are increasingly in need of space to accommodate interaction with our growing roster of artists, and a shared space where they can operate creatively. We are approached by several artists a day for help, but due to the mounting financial constraints of the music industry it has become increasingly difficult to finance musicians whose projects we feel need to be heard, and we are constantly having to turn them down because we simply don't have the funds to help them realise their vision. After all, rehearsal space, recording, touring, and promotional work are all expensive.
We believe the funding on offer from The Arthur Guinness Projects would allow us to:
- continue nurturing and developing new, up and coming talent
- acquire a shared rehearsal/recording space of our artists.
- Assist with tour support to get our artists to every corner of Ireland and further afield
Here are some things people have said about Reekus:
“Independent record labels are crucial to any music scene – and Reekus Records has been the outstanding independent label in Ireland over the past 30 years. Running an independent label is a labour of love – and in that respect no one has shown a more genuine and enduring love for the music than the label’s founder, driving force and inspiration, Elvera Butler. Irish music owes her a huge debt of gratitude.” – Niall Stokes (Hot Press Magazine)
“In Cork as it existed precariously on the brink of the 1980's, Andy and Elvera put up with a great deal of hassle and hard work for not much material reward, to bring great music to the city, when literally no-one else was interested in making that effort. Certainly, myself and Sean O'Hagan's passage into making the records we have would have been even less likely without Andy and Elvera's help.” - Cathal Coughlan (Microdisney/ Fatima Mansions)
“Butler and her team launch careers and press records and toil away for presumably little monetary gain. But that’s what you do when you love something enough.” – State Magazine
“Vital Irish indie label” – Colm O’ Hare (Hot Press Magazine)