Fred Hystere’s Label Of The Year: Cascine

In a year when I discovered MANY record labels to fall in love with, one rose to the top of my pile more frequently than any other. That record label is Cascine.

The past few years we’ve witnessed the complete collapse of entire industries before our very eyes – but few have collapsed more than the music industry. While I agree that piracy has contributed to the decline of album sales, I honestly think that the record labels are continuing to overlook one major fact: The music they release is SHIT – which is why this is an exciting time to be an independent label, an independent artist and an entrepreneur.

That’s where Cascine comes in..

Cascine was founded by Jeff Bratton, a massive music fan with a unique ear for top quality music. In fact, the thing that I love MOST about Cascine is that each artist represents a fresh take on a sliver of music history as opposed to a ‘movement.’ (Example: Grunge was a movement – Trip Hop was a sliver.)

Many of the artists signed to the label belie most stereotypes, genre-wise. An example is one of my favorite bands signed to Cascine, Shine 2009, i.e., two white Finnish dudes who make Paula Abdul-style pop circa 1991. But Shine 2009 are just one example of a label whose diversity is only outdone by the quality of the music they release.  Pandr Eyez bring to mind Aalyiha as the lead singer of Portishead; while Selebrities are Joy Division with a female lead singer, and Chad Valley is the Beach Boys through the sonic eyes of 2011.

That’s what makes Cascine so great. They have an ear for contrast that’s unlike any other label I’ve heard in years. My emotions run the gamut while listening to each of their artists individually; while collectively their artists take me on journeys around the world through snapshots of music history; telling the story in their own unique way and with their own spin.

If you are a true fan of music – the history, evolution and future – pay attention to Cascine, the most exciting record label to come around in years. Check out  10 of my favorite songs released by Cascine in 2011 below.


1. Selebrities “Into The Night”


2. Shine 2009 “Public Exposure”


3. The Whendays “Namnlos”


4. Pandr Eyez “Leave Me Here”


5. Chad Valley “Fast Challenges”


6. Southern Shores “Grande Comore”


7. Wintercoats “Blood Prints”



8. Chad Valley “Shell Suite”


9. Jensen Sportag “Gentle Man”


10. Wintercoats “The Sea Change”



If you want music, you’ll find it everywhere on this site..If you want to laugh, go to the Daily Fred section and read all of my silly daily observations about life, people, and politicians.

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