HeartFirst records is releasing 7" vinyl with their friends' bands. And I trade with some of my friends' labels because I love my friends and they put out some killer stuff by their friends' bands.

You might want to read this info if you run a label/distro and you think you want to distribute HeartFirst releases but unfortunately you do not want to part with your hard earned cash, but trade for your own releases instead. so before you send off that email:

HeartFirst Records is cutting down trading activities and has stalinist quality control in place because

  • The space here is very limited -- and my taste is very narrow.

  • In 28 years of distributing records I have seen too many lame and unsellable records. My friends have basements full of dead stock of Italian emo records from the 1990s and splits of Croatian grind core. I like to learn from people's mistakes, not just my own.

  • Many of my releases were recorded in expensive studios, the covers have some screen printed aspect to it. The kind of shtick some money grubbing labels do as their pre-order version for rich kids. I rather do the whole print run like that. So do I want to squander that kind of record and trade it for your release with Peruvian D-Beat in a xeroxed cover that only covers half of the back of the record. You can maybe guess the answer. Oh, and by the way: Did you really forget a lyric sheet?

  • I can only trade for something that will sell fast. Or something that I really like. Why would I trade the KRIEGSHÖG 7"s or BANNLYST LPs for something that will move much slower, like that demo recording of a Swedish band you found and that noone cared about in 1986, so why should I care now? (... and yeah, I know that some idiot with a blog recommended it) 

  • It really helps when the bands are very visible, meaning that they tour a lot and have releases on various labels. For example, RUIDOSA INMUNDICIA play a lot, they have toured Japan and Australia, BURIAL have been to Japan and the US, VAASKA have a least played almost a handfull of gigs in Eurospe, PEACEBASTARD play a lot in Eurospe. So even if your band is the best band in the world, people might not be interested because they only play the local bar.  

BUT trading is the best way to get your records around the world, so i do not have anything against it in general but need to enforce strict quality control on this end.

You get big PLUSes if:

  • We have traded in the past

  • You are putting out quality vinyl by quality bands that play live a lot

  • You put thought and effort into packaging and sound quality of your releases

  • Styles that always have been and always will be hot here at HeartFirst: Early 80s USHC, mid 80s Euros hc, 80s thrash, japacore.  

quality control is the most important way to keep the diy hardcore punk scene alive and strong. if you read and understood all this and still want to get in touch:

If you do not hear back from me: I'm not deaf -- I'm ignoring you.