Inspired in 2010 by the mandate of imprints like Smithsonian Folkways and a diverse international, primarily artist-driven cassette community, Crash Symbols is an attempt to document and advocate. Though the label now releases regularly on other formats, the community of musicians who chose to share their music on cassette and the small, artist-run labels that existed at its start continues to offer guidance. Many of these labels, working together with musicians, cobbled together a powerful alternative commercial economy with a radical new conception of “value” crystallized in it by the experience of DIY distribution; small tape projects traded with other labels, or between artists or young designers involved with the design. Our commitment as a label is to no single genre or region, but to the ethic of co-responsibility and unstifled creativity as the best vector for a common good.
Though we have an elaborate reasoning, our first consistent compliment was “your tapes come shrinkwrapped!?” - more a measure of the person’s inspiring earnestness and how well established are the priorities of cassette labels that share in the history described above. Because our focus is on artistry and ethic, we stay empowered to release music of any genre, but the surroundings we’ve grown into have given us most opportunity to explore experimental pop and electronic music (beat/sample-oriented music, disco, etc), psychedelia of all stripes, and to toil away in the conceptual depths of today’s many-pronged synth revival. Bear in mind our good intentions and we’ll give you some tapes. Maybe you can play them in your car.
More personally, Crash Symbols is the sentimental journey of Jheri Evans, and Dwight and Liz Pavlovic, begun in 2010 on the couple’s porch in Morgantown, West Virginia. Currently Evans is based in Austin, TX, while the Pavlovics split their time between their home in Morgantown and whatever state parks they can find within driving distance.