❚ HERE IS “A UTOPIAN VISION” as an antidote to the reign of Simon Cowell’s production-line X-Factor performers. The Preston-based Laboratory Project makes enormous claims about “supporting artists with integrity, skill and soul to break into the music industry”, backed by studio space and its production and engineering team, plus expertise in marketing and independent brand development. The project was founded in 2008 by Tony Rigg, a hospitality entrepreneur who previously spent 18 months as operations director at the Ministry of Sound.
The Lab is concerned to return both creatively and commercially to the roots of a band-led scene and to rekindle passion in the music-making that it promotes. The creative division claims to deliver “unparalleled music and multimedia experiences via a record label which represents a coalition of artists as a complete rethink of what a label should be for today”.
Rigg has said: “It has become more important how music looks than how it sounds. The X Factor is an extremely effective, headline grabbing, money-making machine. For many artists it is incredibly difficult to get original music heard. The Laboratory Project exists for the people who want something more from music.”
This weekend the label launched Taste Masters 2, its second eclectic compilation CD with 11 tracks of music “derived from human performance, solo artists and collaborations” — 80 musicians who include The Salford Jets, Jimmy Docherty and Antistar, as well as bands who had not previously released their work commercially such as Super 8 Cynics, Straightlaces, China White and Dresden. The original 14-track Taste Masters compilation album has been available for download since October and included Drama King, Evenhand, Fez, The Horn Brothers, Our Day Remains, Helvelyn 2 and Osiris.