Vibrations Feature: One For The Road – Richard Knox (January 2011, Issue 16)

Most people would be content with being one half of Leeds ambient duo Glissando. Not Richard Knox.

He formed Gizeh Records around 2002, and the rest as they say is history. Nearly ten years on and he’s released, promoted and toured with artists ranging from worriedaboutsatan and Her Name Is Calla, to more recently, Conquering Animal Sound and Fieldhead.

So, where did it all go right?

Some things are just meant to be.

Originally the idea came about to start a label in order to release some limited edition Glissando CDr’s when we first started the band. There was no long-term plan as such; more just to have a name to place on the CD’s to make it all a bit more coherent. I never envisaged getting to the point we are at right now.

Mix business with pleasure.

I find it a wonderful pleasure to be able to deal with the artists on Gizeh – to work together on what is now a long-term collective project and to enable everyone involved to be able to release their art to a wider audience. Over the years of playing music and touring with Glissando I’ve met a lot of quite remarkable people who I have grown to love and respect. Luckily this has resulted in being able to work with some of these people in a more ‘professional’ way through the label.

There are no shortcuts to success.

The main challenge is always a financial one, alongside pushing the artists to a level that their art deserves without towing the typical ‘industry’ line. We have good ethics and we all work very hard to push each project forward. Over time I think (or hope) that we have earned a reputation for releasing some beautiful records by artists from all over the world. It’s a learning curve every single day and I’m constantly trying to find new or more efficient ways of working.

Variety is the spice of life.

It still means the same thing each time a record comes back from the pressing plant or each time a band goes out on the road to tour. The difference in working with a new band/artist is more from their own point of view and their excitement and freshness for it all; it’s nice to embrace that.

Life’s too short for regrets.

All the ideas that haven’t worked out over time have good reasons for being that way.

If something is difficult, it’s worth doing.

It’s very difficult for me to promote my own work in a way that I’m happy with. Trying to write a press release for something you have spent your heart and mind on for years is not a nice thing to do. To put that into words is impossible. At the same time I choose for it to be this way. The benefits of Glissando being involved with Gizeh far outweigh my own insecurities and I deal with that the best I can.

Success is a journey, not a destination.

My aim is to naturally progress both projects over the coming years. Both are in a good place right now – built on some solid foundations and I feel that both are being managed in a good way.

For Gizeh, this coming year we have some very exciting releases on the label. We also have a new distributor and they have been incredibly supportive and enthusiastic thus far.

We are also working slowly on a new Glissando record but it’s far from being finished. We are taking our time with it and letting it do its own thing and evolve in its own way – sometimes, when you make a record it becomes a personality in itself or an enigma and right now I feel like it’s still finding itself, still discovering new ways to evoke what it wants to say and I’m fine with that.

When you hit a roadblock, take a detour.

The collective ideal of Gizeh is something I really strive to maintain with whoever I’m working with. Of course you inevitably encounter some problems along the way but that’s something I would never discuss publicly.

Learn from your mistakes, don’t dwell on them.

It’s easy to reflect in hindsight but like anything in life it’s an incredible learning curve and a journey. I’ve made some wrong decisions in my time but who hasn’t? The fact is that you learn and progress and try to be better each day at what you do, no matter what that is. It’s a challenge but I enjoy it and my passion for what I do is stronger than it’s ever been. I’m working with some really amazing people who inspire me every day and I’d like that to continue for as long as possible

Anything is possible. If you’re realistic.

If you have good ideas and a passion for music then do it. It’s hard and it’s a lot of work but it’s possible. There are now so many options as to what you can do, find something that works for you and do it to the best level you can.

It’s important to make friends and ask questions but perhaps the most important thing is to be very careful with what money you have available. It’s very easy to blow substantial amounts in trying to release and promote records and at times it can become disheartening. It takes time to build something and you have to be patient. You may not always be able to afford to do everything you want but in the end you have your goal and it’s a constant process to achieve it.

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