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Eight years after Salem-based record label Rykodisc folded into Alternative Distribution Alliance, two former Rykodisc employees are bringing some classics back to the North Shore.
And it starts with — spoiler alert — two re-releases from Boston’s beloved new wave mongers Human Sexual Response.
The label is called Supermegabot Music Concern, and it’s founded by Jeff Rougvie and Thomas Enright, who aim to release six albums before the end of 2017. The releases are already locked in, but Supermegabot is inviting audiophiles to guess what the albums are based on six “album art snippet” clues on the label’s homepage.
“We’re music obsessives launching a label for music obsessives — so we want to reward one of them for proving their depth of knowledge,” Rougvie notes. “A contest seemed like a fun way to launch and engage music fans at the same time.”
Two of the clues jump out as the telltale covers for Human Sexual Response albums Fig. 14 and In a Roman Mood, the third and fourth clues on the list, respectively. The re-release of Fig. 14 will mark the first publishing of the album in 25 years and features one bonus track, while the new copies of In a Roman Mood will include two bonus songs.
The timing of the announcement couldn’t be more appropriate, as Human Sexual Response have a reunion show slated for November 3 at the House of Blues in Boston. Rougvie says both albums will be out by the time of the reunion gig.
As for the other four albums, we won’t spoil the fun. Supermegabot is accepting guesses for all of the records as a competition, offering a copy of each of the label’s first year of releases to the winner who can correctly identify all six albums. In the case that no one gets all six correct, one submission will be selected as the winner at random.
Despite launching without announcing any upcoming titles, the label has announced that all of the re-releases will be distributed as CDs, at least initially.
“We get that some people prefer vinyl, but CD is the better format when it comes to sound reproduction,” Rougvie says. “Vinyl isn’t out of the question at some point, but for now we’re sticking with the format that doesn’t degrade every time you play it.”
The label also has stated that “fans can look forward to expanded track listings and special packaging wherever possible.”
Rougvie, who boasts album credits on David Bowie’s Grammy-winning Sound + Vision series and other works with Big Star, Elvis Costello, Morphine, Meat Puppets, Nine Inch Nails, and Bill Hicks, will executive-produce all of the label’s re-releases. Enright’s career, on the other hand, includes working for Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Rainbow Records, and EMI Label Services/Caroline Distribution, where he earned multiple gold records with artists like former Wu-Tang Clan member Raekwon and metal band Five Finger Death Punch. He specializes in independent music artist development, sales, and marketing.
“These aren’t all super-obscure titles, either,” Enright adds. “Our first batch includes a band with three Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members in it. Supermegabot refuses to be tied to one musical genre; initial releases include punk, power-pop, art-rock, new wave, and ’80s funk. That said, we are all about discovery — lots of great records and artists never got a fair shake. Uncovering these gems is key to the label’s DNA.”
Featured Human Sexual Response photo via Unba Unba DVD/KINO Digital.