Founded in 1989 by Alan Herrick and Jenny Liang, Auricular Records began as a humble little record retail store in the Lower Haight neighborhood of San Francisco. Originally Auricular Records donned the name Kaleidoscope Records, taken from the phrase Terminal Kaleidoscope (for you Legendary Pink Dots fans out there).
After 6 months or so of business the music distributor Kaleidoscope sent us a letter asking us to discontinue using the name. Oh well...Auricular it would become. The philosophy at the time was to provide a small shop where people could find some of the more unusual or hard to find music that was available on the market. This meant no major label product in the new record bins and alot of cassettes produced by the experimental music DIY community that had begun to thrive in the bedrooms and living rooms of the world.
Auricular Records had started to slowly carve out a small niche for itself in San Francisco and was offering in-store performances on an almost weekly basis, exposing the neighbors to the likes of which they had never seen or heard. It started with the Haters filling the store with hay, toilets, and other hater-like detritus then the fire department came during a Seemen performance, a naked Lisa Suckdog chasing Seymour Glass out of the store and down the street, Hafler Trio/Phauss/Bilting Karkowski performing country music complete with bongos, Merzbow treating us to a sonic ocean, to name just a few. Auricular become San Francisco's place to visit and perform for many bands such as Schloss Tegal, Voice of Eye, Zoviet France, Belt, Big City Orchestre, Nux Vomica, Brook Hinton, the list goes on and on and on.
Auricular Records began to produce live performances around the Bay Area with the assistance of Another Umbrella Corporation, a small collective made up of Brook Hinton, dAS, and Alan Herrick. Auricular presented several San Francisco Experimental Music Festivals gathering diverse bands and acts from around the globe and within it's own community. With the help of the local artists and fans of experimental music we had built a comfy little home and family.
Out of all this music and noize grew a small label. Auricular Records - the label - began with the release of the first Auricular Audio Magazine on cassette. Keep in mind that at this time for small DIY artists and labels cassette was one of the only options. We did not have CDr and DVDr.
The first release was a tasty little morsel featuring tracks by Big City Orchestre, Haters, Nux Vomica, Chemical Toybox, and the Molecules with Steve Buchanen. All this sound was sandwiched between two 45 rpms that had been sewn together with twine. Released in a limited edition of 100 this handmade package sold rather quickly and allowed us to release even more. Auricular managed to release 12 of these Audio Magazine plus branched out into releasing projects by individual artists including: Big City Orchestre, Haters, Nux Vomica, Seemen, Temporary temple, Sense/Net, Cliff Neighbors. For a complete list of artists who have appeared on Auricular Records please check our artists section.
Unfortunately in 1992, the recession (thanks George Bush) had hit San Francisco pretty hard. Many of our regular customers had moved away from the area and we had a very hard time supporting the store and keeping the doors opened. In January of 1992, Auricular Records closed the doors of it's retail shop.
After falling into having to work in the real world, and passing the now thriving experimental music community off into the hands of the next generation, Auricular Records went on hiatus. Now, 18 years later, with the affordability of technology and a new outlook Auricular has returned. We are hoping to continue to release new material by artists we find fit into the Auricular family and hope to continue to preserve and present some of the material we had released in the past.
The Auricular Records website is a place where we hope you will come to download and listen to some of the music that helped shape the Bay Area experimental music community back in the late 80's and early 90's. As we come close to the 20 year mark, for some of these recordings we begin to enter the world of "classic" noise. Unfortunately , we will never have a commercially sustained "classic noise" radio station so we hope to fill the gap. Auricular will continue to preseve, remaster, and make available our back catalog of recordings, now in digital format, recordings of live performances from the past, present live and studio videos of events that occurred, and serve as an archive for what was. At the same time we hope to bring you new and exciting music and noise and present to you "what is" and "what will be" in the form of CD, CDr, DVD, MP3, streaming media etc etc etc. It is with your help and support that we can keep this all going.
In the Fall of 2015, Auricular Records moved their homebase from the San Francisco Bay Area to the small New England town of Glastonbury, CT. Nestled in a wooded lot of this small town, Auricular continues to work with a worldwide array of experimental music artists to bing unique and unheard music to our fans and friends. We continue to strive to awaken the ears of the unititated as we engage in our efforts with both the label and weekly radio show (dis)PERSE Dispatch. The radio show airs weekly through DFM Radio TV International in the Netherlands and streams online at http://dfm.nu every Friday afternoon at 12 Noon PAcific and 3:00 PM Eastern.