Southern California indie label Gold Standard Laboratories announced it will be ceasing operations this month after 14 years of championing uncompromising underground music. Although GSL will stop releasing new music, it will continue to sell its gem-laden back catalog through Redeye Distribution/11spot.
A rationale for folding is offered on GSL's website, presumably by founder Sonny Kay (of the bands Angel Hair, the VSS and Year Future): “In recent years, we've experienced the onset of factors that have seriously limited our ability to maintain what we feel is the essence of the label; the experimental attitude and artistic freewheeling of times past are simply no longer sustainable. Rather than compromise our goals and beliefs, or allow our course to be charted by financial constraint and an industry in flux, we've decided the time has come for GSL to cease releasing new music, and to close this chapter of our story.”
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Begun in Colorado in 1993, the LA-based label is best known as the home for the Mars Volta (their vinyl releases anyway) and that stadium-prog group's various satellite projects, including solo works by co-owner Omar Rodriguez-Lopez (he partnered with Kay in 2001). Other notable artists whose records have worn the GSL logo include Crime in Choir, the Rapture, !!!/Outhud, Anavan, the Locust, Gogogo Airheart, An Albatross and many others.
Below is a video by one of GSL's better new artists, Crime in Choir.