An Encyclopedia of Political Record Labels, by Josh MacPhee
In each political movement, the question of how to disseminate information constantly arises. During the second half of the twentieth century, an often-unobserved method involved the vinyl record. In An Encyclopedia of Political Record Labels, Josh MacPhee highlights the span of political influence throughout vinyl's predominance by compiling record labels with a vast range of regional location, genre, and political affiliation.
As MacPhee showcases, there are not distinct criteria signifying what a political record label consists of. Some labels appear to be sections of a political party that release vinyl copies of political music, while others are larger labels with a less political agenda but show solidarity by putting forth a record with a particular political focus. With the lines blurred, the Encyclopedia highlights thematic structures within record labels that span musical genre, cultures, and borders. From this, various relationships between politics and the vinyl record arise and call for potential areas of further study.
October 15, 2019