Listening to the Wind: Encounters with 21st Century Independent

Ian Preece


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  • Omnibus Press
  • 2020
  • ISBN 9781785586309
  • 720 pages
  • Softcover
  • 23.5 × 16 × 5.3 cm

If there’s a cultural artefact capable of withstanding the vagaries and fickleness of the digital age as well as the printed book, it’s the vinyl record . . .

In Listening to the Wind, Ian Preece sets out on an international road trip to capture the essence of life for independent record labels operating in the twenty-first century. Despite it all – from algorithms and streaming to the death of the high street and the gutting of the music press – releasing a record to serve its ‘own beautiful purpose’, as 4AD’s Ivo Watts Russell once said, is a flame that still burns through these pages. With countless labels, albums and artists to be discovered, this book is for those who share that inextinguishable love for music.

**Features extensive, original interviews with the likes of Analog Africa, Light in the Attic, Thrill Jockey, International Anthem, Dust-to-Digital, Pressure Sounds, Heavenly, Touch, Mississippi, Sublime Frequencies and more!**


‚Appearing at a time of pandemic and privations, when the futures of those who make and sell records are so uncertain, Listening to the Wind is an unexpectedly moving valentine‘ – The Wire

‚Comfort food for the heart and mind. For all the soulless Geffen-worthy wrongs of this world, there are people in the real world honouring a pristine love for music, musicians and fellow music heads. These are the stories Preece went looking for . . . moving onto the next chapter soon becomes a time-consuming pleasure‘ – Shindig!

‚By focusing on a select number of labels, there is a clear structure and conciseness to the affair. That is partly where the beauty of Preece’s colorful and detailed literary excursion into the world of esoteric and surreal sounds lies; it provides the reader with a wealth of information on different artists, outfits, shops, labels, venues, and releases, but it also serves as a great introduction to a massive sphere of captivating and compelling sounds. A beautiful portrait of the day-to-day realities of running an independent record label‘ – Eternal Terror

‚Essential reading for anyone mad enough to start a label. Casual nerdy observers will be gripped too‘ – Record Collector

‚You can’t help warming to his anti-populist folly and soon acquire a shopping list as long as your arm‘ – Mojo

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