Some time ago the label Shiny Happy Records was recommended to me by Gregory Harrigan (from the band The Skating Party) as a small DIY cassette label with a nose for cool twee, shiny jangle and dreampop, run by a friendly guy in Indonesia. My band is now close to releasing a cassette with the label, and some of my talented friends, like The Skating Party, The Arctic Flow and Ablebody, but also Jetstream Pony and Gingerlys already preceded us there. At the moment Jigsaw Records in Seattle, “the label/record shop/mailorder that sticks up for the little guys, specializing in indiepop, janglepop, lo-fi pop, indie rock, powerpop, twee, punky pop” is distributing the tapes amongst others, and the tapes were sold out in a jiffy! (Order here!)
Time for a chat with Eko Sutrisno, the super-nice guy behind “Shiny Happy Records“.
-Who are Shiny Happy Records and what do you do?
Eko: Shiny Happy is an Indonesian label run by my self. I do almost everything.
-How do you select what you release?
Eko: A few years ago, I loved to spend my time finding good bands on myspace when I found one. I usually communicated with the band through private messages. This communication thingy gave me an idea to start the label: I was thinking if I love the band why don’t I contribute something for them. Eventually, this habit became the way on how I select the bands. In short: if I love the band, I message and subsequently I release! I only release the bands I love.
-Do you think the twee DIY spirit is having a revival?
Eko: I think DIY spirit never died, there are always people who keep the spirit alive and inspire other people. I remember few years ago, a guy named Chris from Series Two Records was very active in keeping the DIY spirit alive, he connected the DIY labels around the world by making myspace account “DIY Label Collective”. He is actually who inspired me to start the label. And now, there are more people who keeps the DIY spirit alive, like you for example with your blog and DIY label.
-Do you think DIY labels and bands are the future?
Eko: Yes I still believe that DIY labels and bands are the future, and that they also connect to each other. I am convinced that a band can easily produce and release their own album, but also that the label needs to support the band. That is what I mean by connecting to each other, and I believe there will be more great DIY labels in the future, to support the bands.
-Is there a twee/jangle scene in Asia?
Eko: I can say yes there is. This question is the reason why I made a compilation cassette called Asian Pop Heaven on which I compiled 20 bands among tons of great bands in Asia.
In Indonesia, currently there are so many great bands and labels in the scene even though it is a little bit difficult to organise gigs here. You must check Dismantled Records with bands like Sharesprings, The Cotton, Humsikk, Aggi. Kolibri Recs with their bands Bedchamber, Atsea, Grrrl gang, Seahoarse. Anoa Records with Kaveh Kanes, Damascus; Don’t Fade Away Records with Whistler Post; Supercrush Records with Yaw Yaw, Vulture On Rails and Heaven Punk Records with The Sensitive. For other countries in Asia, I know twee scene in Japan is still healthy there some great bands including Wallflower and Ivory Past. Philippines also have so many great twee/jangle bands such as Slumbook, Apple Orchard, Soft Pillow Kisses. Singapore has Middle Class Cigar Records with the band Sobs. In Thailand there is Parinam Music with some great bands including Wave and So and Sealpillow.
-Jigsaw Record are helping you distribute the cassettes, which is cool. Are there any other international distribution channels ?
Eko: Chris (Mc Farlane) is a very helpful person, He helps me to spread our releases to the world. Hands and Arms from France also support us. Fast Cut Records also often times bring our releases to Japan.
-What are you releasing this year?
Eko: I’m so excited to release some great bands this year. I will start this year with a fabulous EP from Nah… then we will have a collaboration release with Kocliko Recs and Shelflife Records for the band Lost Tapes’ new EP in February. In March we will release Shiny Times which is a side project of Kim Weldin from the band Tape Waves. And many more great releases!
Listen to the Shiny Gems: