Everything you need to know about Cuneiform Records
Just what is the experimental music label Cuneiform all about?
“I love fucking with people’s expectations,” laughs Steve Feigenbaum, founder of Cuneiform Records. He’s responding to Prog’s observation that the label’s latest signing, the pop-tinged Bent Knee, is almost mainstream by Cuneiform standards.
Since Feigenbaum founded the label in 1984, he’s curated a roster of unconventional acts that reflect his idiosyncratic music tastes. The independent label draws from the fringes of jazz (Isotope, Cosmologic), progressive rock (Deus Ex Machina, Djam Karet), electronica (Peter Frohmader, Heldon), and experimental collectives (Chrome Hoof, Guapo).
“We do a lot of arty music in a lot of genres,” says Feigenbaum. “I’m trying to have the most interesting label possible while still paying the bills.”
In large part, those expenses have been paid through rarity releases by Canterbury Scene acts such as Soft Machine, National Health, Gilgamesh, Nucleus, Phil Miller and Hugh Hopper.
“Robert Wyatt has been really nice and supportive for 30 years or so,” says Feigenbaum, who lives in Maryland. “Those are historically our best sellers because I don’t have to establish why they’re important.”
More recently, Feigenbaum has become enthusiastic about the Swiss group Sonar, who released the 2015 album Black Light on the label.