iwari.com

Submitted by minimism on Wed, 2006-08-23 22:01.

York: with so much history it sees to leach into you after more than a few days; with so many teashops and cafes that it has to be some variation on a Douglas Adams joke; and with so many pubs, and so many churches that you sometimes wonder which inspires most reverence.

Move past all this... into just another terraced street, hidden behind terraced street after terraced street. "You are in a maze of twisty passages, all alike" as the ancient computer game would have it. Somewhere in the maze there is the current home of a record label releasing a stream of CDs and vinyl with a single-mindedness and purity of vision which is refreshingly apart from the current cookie cutter pop we are constantly affronted with.

iwari.com was set up by ex-computer game programmer Martin Wheeler initially as a vehicle for his own Vector Lovers project when work as a game-programmer dried up a few years ago. After meeting up with other like-minded DJs and producers centred on the legendary (but now sadly defunct) Pure Sheng record shop, where demos would be spun, opinions offered, and events arranged, a series of limited-edition albums, EPs, and singles were released to much critical acclaim. History tells us that it wasn't long before the Vector Lovers project was picked up by Soma in Glasgow; but iwari.com continued, with subsequent vinyl releases from York's namke communications, Bognor's Scape One, the compilation 12" 'Our Friends Electric' featuring iwari contributors past and present (Vector Lovers, Scape One, Robokid, namke communications, and Monofonix), and a CD-EP from the perfectly-monikered Badly Born Droid (Martin producing some particularly fine music outside of the Vector Lovers canon).

The releases show no sign of stopping just yet, with the current release (Troubleshooter's "Switch Flicker" album), and the first international artist on iwari.com, Belgium's Greetings from Tuskan.

And now, Martin, and hence of course, iwari.com has relocated to Berlin where the lights are brighter, the atmosphere a little more.... 21st century? and opportunities are (hopefully) greater.