Congrats to George Chen, whose Zum celebrates a dozen years of record labeldom this Saturday night at 21 Grand (7pm, $10, All Ages) with a concert showcasing the label’s diverse offerings. On the new releases front, Core of the Coalman is using the shows to celebrate ex-Oaklander Jorge Boehringer’s new Zum CD, Box of the Last Help, while KIT, of which Chen’s a member, have a new album called Invocation out on Upset The Rhythm later this year. Also performing on Saturday is Philadelphia’s Mincemeat Or Tenspeed, who has received strong reviews for the feedback-looping works on Strange Gods late last year.
A bit more about Zum’s history:
ZUM began life as a record label in 1998. Prior to that, Bay Area siblings George and Yvonne Chen ran a fanzine under the same name and released a combination zine and CD compilation in 1997 with some of their favorite acts at the time. “Zum Audio Vol 2” was the first stand alone release and featured key West Coast players of the era (Modest Mouse, P.E.E., Bunkbed, I Am Spoonbender, Duster, etc). The next few years saw a flurry of activity working with Nuzzle, Australia’s Sea Scouts, !!!, OutHud, Italian post rock combo Giardini Di Miro, The Intima, Vancouver B.C.’s Beans, Total Shutdown, Boxleitner, The Lowdown, P:ano, KIT, Wives (members of NO AGE), Growing, Mark Evan Burden aka Silentist. At the same time, Yvonne played in an early incarnation of Xiu Xiu and started vegan boutique/publishing empire Little Otsu. George kept playing in musical projects while promoting shows (co-founding Club Sandwich Bay Area in 2006) and working as a freelance writer. In 2007 Yvonne moved to Portland and handed over the reins of the label to George. Since 2008 the label has gotten increasingly active with releases by Abe Vigoda, Mikaela’s Fiend, Child Abuse, Zs, Scary Mansion, Weird Weeds, High Castle, Mincemeat Or Tenspeed, and Chen Santa Maria.