October is an incredibly special month for vintage spooky kooky inspiration. To fully celebrate it I asked my long-time friend and well trusted sonic tastemaker, Robbie Carroll, to create a Halloween themed mix for us to enjoy. Robbie is the brains and brawn behind Found Object, a vinyl and tape focused record label pressed in LA and run out of Austin, TX. I’ve been asking Robbie for music recommendations and special mixes since freshmen year of high school. He’s always had his ear to the ground and a knack for picking out the perfect sounds for the occasion. While living in LA he deepened his love of music while working at a vinyl pressing company and subsequently started Found Object to create a platform for bands he loved to put out lasting tangible objects. Without further ado please enjoy and share this incredible mix (scroll down), and learn a little about record pressing from the master:
What is Found Object and how did you come to start a music label?
I've know for a while that I wanted my life to stay intertwined with music. That’s taken different shapes at different points, and Found Object is the current experiment. Found Object probably existed in spirit and possibly conversation by 2012 with my then-roommate Landon. We were hosting shows in our basement and enjoying the prospect of courting bands to create fun for ourselves and others. That all could be considered the backdrop for the real founding which took place in the first couple months of 2015. A little consulting with Landon, a little nudging and encouragement from the people close to me and it was a go.
How did you come to be involved in record pressing?
I was living in Los Angeles and I had actually just been suspended from my job. And I guess the uncertainty of whether I still had a job or not mixed with the excitement of shooting for the moon on a job search in LA and that resulted in an apprenticeship of sorts as press operator at an audio engineering/vinyl manufacturing plant.
What surprised you the most about the behind the scenes at a record pressing factory?
The type of work it takes to generate a vinyl record. So many hands involved, so many types of mechanical processes taking place across different states, the level of specialty companies you need to be in touch with to replace a part on your machine, etc etc. It's wild that those things come together at all. Probably why those things maintain their charm.
What was the first release on Found Object?
FOR001 belongs to Austin, TX's own surf sergeants The Avocados. It was a pretty obvious choice as they were one of the earlier bands to play one of those previously mentioned basement shows.
How do you find bands to do vinyl releases for and what do you generally look for when you're seeking out new projects? Is there a theme or a certain style you try to maintain?
With the exception of the Etla releases, Found Object has largely been a rock and roll label. That's the kind of scene I grew up around and what feels close to home, but that's such a loose term nowadays. The releases have all been diverse within that framework. I fully intend see the label stretch out into other genres and sounds. As long as they're embodying an attitude that I identify with. As for how I track em down, keep consuming music. Go to shows, word of mouth, blogs. All that good shit.
What was your most recent release?
That would be the Etla - LP1 cassette, Found Object's first tape release. I knew TJ Masters through his Conveyor days in New York, and with his arrival here in Austin I got to see him churn out these intense experimental noise soundscapes. He has a great mind for music and was a person I knew Found Object should work with. The second installment of the Etla project, LP2, is a 12" vinyl that is now inches away from release.
Do you have a full team or are you wearing a lot of hats at Found Object?
I got hats on hats. Though I do see a future where I have the whole friend family all on staff. Wait, do the 9 UT students working for school credit count?
What’s the biggest stressor in the process of putting out an album?
Timelines you desire vs. the likelihood of them playing out that way. There's a ton of anticipation poured into the release of an album so the artists and the label are both excited to get their hands on the final product. Unfortunately there are a few steps of the process, often multiple-month-long ones, that are just out of your control. The day you reach out to a band to the day everyone is holding records is an unpredictable amount of time.
What are your goals for Found Object?
Stay in the scene maaannnnnn.
What's featured on the mix that you made for us? I have an affection for all things campy, sleazy, pulp, etc., and the Halloween/Horror genre inspires some exceptional content that really excels in those attributes. From Saturday shock show film trailers to muddy, murky garage tunes, the mix is heavy on songs that live in that space for me. That being said, a musical diet should be diverse so it's loaded with all sorts of directions to get pulled in.
What are you going to be for halloween?
You can find out at 38 1/2 St. on Saturday night.