Last Sunday, Mas Music Records held their official soft launch at east Austin’s psychedelic wonderland, The Electric Church. The evening featured an assortment of Austin’s brightest…and Hell…also, darkest psychedelic artists including Count Vaseline, Peyote Coyote, Christian Bland & The Revelators and Hollow Trees.
Record label founder and possibly the world’s fastest booking agent, Michele Mas Martin, always wanted to own a record label. When she found herself in Austin, a town with endless musical talent and very few labels, she saw the perfect opportunity. Inspired by a Facebook article about Portland’s Little Cloud Records, Martin reached out to Houston’s Wallflower Records founder Corey Savage who basically walked her through the process of setting up a record label in the Lone Star State.
From that point, Martin put her dream into action. “One night I asked Bob Mustachio of Hollow Trees, ‘If I start a record label will you let me put out some vinyl for you?’” recalls Martin. “Hell yeah!” he replied. “So then I knew I had the golden egg and the goose. It took me a while to figure out a name, but once my amazing friend Billie Buck came back with the logo… I knew I had made the right choice.”
By chance, Martin ran into Irish psychedelic-pop artist Stefan Murphy (Count Vaseline) at Desert Daze. “I lived in Belfast for a few years, and we had so many close friends in common that it was an immediate upgrade to “pal for life,” admits Martin. “We just clicked immediately and when we reconnected in Austin we decided to join forces and start throwing cool showcases.”The pair both have strong ties to Europe and Ireland and bring a different sort of vibe to the Texas music scene.
With Mas Music Records now fully up and rolling Martin is learning the hardest part of owning a record label is getting the art finished and then making sure it sounds as good as possible for vinyl production. The label is currently working to have three 7” vinyl albums (Hollow Trees, Peyote Coyote and The Sun Machine) out before Levitation in April.
“I think Stef and I have some cool ideas and we definitely have a lot of passion and energy,” admits Martin. “It feels like everything is coming together without much effort. I’m feeling very lucky.”
The pair will be throwing a two-day HOUSE of MAGICK party with two other labels (Yippie Kay Yay & Wallflower) during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. There will be an assortment of fantastic artists, visuals and band merchandise all showcasing a lot of great local and visiting talent.
Martin may be extremely busy right about now. But, she remains grateful to where it all began. “In the end, none of this would have ever happened without The Electric Church. They’ve created a special place where everyone can be themselves and have a great time.”
Keep your eyes peeled for Martin and Mas Music Records over the next few months. Something tells me they’re going to be making some serious psychedelic noise. In the meantime, enjoy the visuals below from the Mas Music Record Launch at The Electric Church.
Photos by: Demetrius Judkins @wolfspiritofthesun and Valerie Riels @photo.atx