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LABEL PROFILE. 


Whimsical originally sprang to life in 1999, when Edinburgh band EMPORIUM began issuing limited edition promo cd’s to radio and press.

The previous year , while sending out demo tapes for reviews and airplay, Emporium’s music had been described by one journalist as ''whimsical pop with an adventurous sound''. This quote in Front magazine prompted the band to create a label name, and as the format for presenting their music was changing from cassette to cd , it seemed like the ideal time to create Whimsical Records.

The very first promo release was the single e.p Zombie (EMPS1) which won great acclaim on BBC Radio Scotland’s Beat Patrol. In fact, featured song Sleeping Dogs made the show’s year end top 10 tracks, as published in NME during December. The Emporium album A fine fine line (EMPCD1) was also issued at the tail end of ’99, along with a second promo single Elevate (EMPS2), much loved and much played by indie music champion Jim Gellatly on Scotland’s Beat 106.

In 2000, via a demo targeting service ad in the NME, Emporium’s music was mailed out to 15 record labels and publishers. One of these companies just happened to be a sister to distributors Shellshock, and, as they liked what they heard , it was suggested that the band should release a single (via Shellshock) on their own label.

Email Eddie (EMPS3), the first nationally distributed Whimsical release appeared in the shops on January 22nd 2001.It was followed by a second e.p Lisa on the screen (EMPS5), and an album Hallucinations (EMPCD3) which was made album of the month on 2 European radio shows, including the much loved Popscene.

Between 2001 and 2005 Whimsical issued 3 Emporium singles and 2 albums via the Shellshock deal, generating copious amounts of critical acclaim and a large catalogue of radio plays for the band and label, at the same time helping to create a hefty database of media contacts, whilst building up valuable business experience in the technicalities of releasing music to the market place.

Using this experience, it was decided during 2005 to develop Whimsical further, with a view to contracting artists, not only to the label, but to the newly created Whimsical Songspublishing arm.

And so, via a licensing and publishing deal, SUNSHINE VARIETY CLUB  were the first signing in September 2005. The girl with the crooked smile / Bone idle pop idol (ICAL1) was released on January 17th 2006, achieving airplay on BBC Radio 2 and becoming Steve Lamacq’s single of the week on BBC 6 Music, where it was also given a glowing review on the long running BBC show Roundtable.

Further physical release and digital download licensing deals were then secured including ALFIE KINGSTON’s I will wait (ICAL2) and BIG LIFE DESIRE’s debut single Your love is (ICAL3) which was also contracted in July to an American company for inclusion on the dvd release Project Everlasting, the first synch placement for Whimsical.

The label/publisher signed its first recording deal in May ’06 with Scottish band JACK BUTLER. Their debut single Velvet Prose (ICAL4) was released on September 25th to rave reviews, and was playlisted by XFM London, helping to propel it into the official UK indie charts - the pinnacle to an exciting and encouraging 12 months in the continuous growth of Whimsical.

2007 saw the release of a 21 track various artist compilation ELEVATE (ICALCD1) which met with rave reviews, and featured 2 tracks licensed by Whimsical to the American feature film 'Pinko's Place'. ADAM TEDDER's debut single It'll be soon (ICAL5) followed along with Jack Butler's second single, the highly acclaimed Boy vs. Beast (ICAL6). Recording of their debut album continued.

A new subsidiary imprint was formed in summer 2007 - PLATFORM RECORDS - which also offered a label service to artists. First release was by THE SHERMANS, their debut singleCalling it wrong (FORM1) reaching UK indie chart no 23.NATASHA ENGLAND's UK top 10 single also got a re-release on Platform. Iko Iko (FORM2), a summer hit in 1982, has sold almost one million copies worldwide, and Platform are delighted to have given this classic it's first ever digital outing.

BIG LIFE DESIRE aka the multi-talented Keith Harbottle issued his debut album dribs and drabs in the latter part of 2008 (FORMCD2), another Platform release. This followed NATASHA ENGLAND's 42 track double cd anthology Back from the mists of time (FORMCD1) which contained her complete set of 80's recordings, delighting fans who'd waited 2 decades to see her vinyl albums transferred to cd for the first time.

Whimsical expanded from it's Edinburgh birthplace into London towards the end of '08, and saw it's first new signing in 2 years with new wave 4 piece THE FIRM recording 2 tracks for their debut single (and videoDismal Results (ICAL8), released on March 9th 2009. Jack Butler returned in December '08 with the single 'Are you a hustler?' (ICAL7), which is taken from their debut long-player 'Fit the paradigm' (ICALCD3) - released on 27th April 2009 to much critical acclaim. The album was included in the initial shortlist for the XFM New Music Award 2010. Lead track and single 'Hit it out the park, son' (ICAL9) was licensed to the Realtime Worlds video game APB ('All Points Bulletin'), due for release in March 2010. A third single from the set, 'Surgery 1984' (ICAL10), came out on October 12th '09.

Further Platform releases during 2009 came from Stirling five-piece THE ENCIERRO - their debut 3 track single on cd and download - 'Be Yourself' (FORM6), the debut 2 track release from indie pop combo VEGAS NIGHTS - 'Touch and Feel' (FORM5), and a second single from The Shermans - 'Venom' (3 track cd single/download) (FORM4) reaching the UK independent chart top 10, and number 7 in Scotland.

In 2010 Natasha England released her first new album in 25 years, a collaboration with innovative producer Robert Logan (Grace Jones/Sugababes). 'Deeper Into Reality' (FORMCD3R) - an experimental and electronic release spawned the singles 'Stop Doing Nothing' (FORM7R) and 'Darkside' (NE1), the latter being licensed to the independent film 'The Last Days Of Edgar Harding'.

A new business  THE MUSIC ELEVATOR   was also set up in 2010, this offering artists a release co-ordination service along with plugging to webzines and radio.

As a celebration of the first 12 years, 'The Best Of Whimsical'  (ICALCD4) appeared in 2011, featuring 21 tracks from the catalogues of Platform and Whimsical Records.

 

Whimsical label founders Emporium returned during 2011 with a 17 track 'Best Of' compilation 'From Another Planet' along with a re-promotion of their 2005 album 'Silver Brainwaves' which was hailed by Pennyblackmusic as ''Sublime 1960's-influenced pop''. New single 'The Umbrella Shop' followed in March 2012 winning 'single of the week' at Allgigs who described it as 'Bloody Lush'. The band's final album 'The Afterlife' (14 tracks) was released on December 22nd 2012.

The debut single from Edinburgh's THE OK SOCIAL CLUB was released on Platform Records, March 12th 2012. The lead track 'The Shape Of Things To Come' won Steve Lamacq's Rebel Playlist competition on BBC6 Music and became 'single of the month' on BBC Radio Scotland's Janice Forsyth show. Follow up single 'The Late 90's' appeared on July 9th, with the video featuring on Channel 4 and MTV.

The late singer-songwriter SUSAN FASSBENDERs collection of early recordings (along with collaborator KAY RUSSELL) featuring the original demo of 1981 hit single 'Twilight Cafe' was released as a download album by Platform Records on April 2nd 2012. Record Collector Magazine highlighted the release in glowing terms and Pennyblack called it ''one of the best collection of songs you will hear all year''.


Also during 2012, West Lothian band DEAD SEA SOULS signed to Platform for publishing of songs on their acclaimed album 'We Were Always Electric' which also spawned the Platform/Big Rock Candy single 'Trendsetter', released November 15th. The year rounded off  with The Ok Social Club performing in front of thousands at the world's biggest street party - Edinburgh's Hogmanay celebrations. 

In 2013, Glaswegian Singer-songwriter LLOYD JAMES FAY signed to Platform for debut album 'The Black River Chronicles' which yielded the single 'Such Are Memories'- featured on UK soap 'Hollyoaks'. Dead Sea Souls released the Platform AA single 'Brave' / 'The Comet', and the first new signing to Whimsical Records for several years saw Edinburgh band KUNG FU ACADEMY release their 'Super 8 Flashback EP'. 

The debut album from The Ok Social Club 'Nothing In Common' came out on Platform which coincided with the band winning 'Best Live Act' at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards 2013. Emporium released a new Whimsical Records single 'Magical Things' from their 'The Afterlife' album on November 11th, and following inclusion on the Sony V/A Compilation 'Candy Candy', Natasha England's hit version of 'Iko Iko' was licensed to the Cattleya / Warner Bros. film 'Un Boss In Salotto', released in Italy on January 1st 2014.

                       t/a THE MUSIC ELEVATOR                                                    platformrecords@themusicelevator.com                                                (C) The Music Elevator

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