About Shmat

Hello. Shmat Records is a small independent record label which has released mostly local Southern California bands since 2003. For the most part, these bands were comprised of several friends who lived in the area and have similar tastes in music. At one time, the label got rather complicated and busy and we enjoyed a modest amount of success. (Note: success doesn't mean profit)

However, things changed - both in participants personal lives and in the climate of the music industry. There used to be a long FAQ here, but I'm going to avoid it in order to focus on the future. We are still trying to "release" new music, but it has become increasingly difficult to survive in a digital environment where indie music is often seen as something to be downloaded but not paid for.

I'm not going to be a moral judge here - in general the ease of uploading music to Myspace and the proliferation of free MP3s is a GOOD thing for independent bands. Well, usually. And our label goals were never really about turning a profit. But then why bother to continue this indie label at all?

I'm going to be honest here - I'm not quite sure yet. And this is the reason why I've redesigned the Shmat site to be more basic. No more reviews, features or extras. Basically - I'm going to leave the cutting edge technology, the financial risk and the stress to the fresh-faced indie label owners who are 15 years younger and have money, time and energy to burn. I'm going to continue to do what I want - create music and share it, possibly for free or near-free. And hopefully, the label will be "releasing" other bands as well, but I won't guarantee it.

I hope you enjoy the music here. If you did like it, please let me know. Thanks - Bryan

Demo Policy

Currently, we are not accepting any demos.

Links and Stuff

There are certain portions of the old website that I have kept around for legacy purposes. If you should feel a need to view them, here are the pages available: reviews, features, old about. Not all of the pages will be accessible.

Here are a few other sites/projects that I help with or run. I worked as a freelance web designer, programmer, writer and blogger for many years but have given up most of that lately. I'm now focusing on our vintage modern shop online and at a local antique mall. I still occasionally update our Pyrex website as well.

a la modern - vintage goods for the modern home.
pyrexlove - our pretty famous reference and blog.

Links to friends and other sites, in no particular order:

kingsbury manx
american analog set
death cab for cutie
badman recording co.
iron and wine
shelflife records
hush records
subpop records
soma fm
asaurus records
norfolk & western
edith frost
three ring records
elk city
rollercoaster recording
yo la tengo
barsuk records