R.I.P. Blocks Recording Club

BY Alex HudsonPublished Mar 13, 2015

Toronto's artist-owned music co-op Blocks Recording Club has been around for more than a decade, but its tenure is now coming to an end, as it is officially ceasing operations.

This news comes via Owen Pallett, a close associate of Blocks who has released material through the organization's label (including his 2006 Final Fantasy album He Poos Clouds, which won the first-ever Polaris Music Prize that year). He sent out the following tweet earlier this week:
Blocks, which was sometimes known simply as □□□□□□, was founded as a label for mini-CDs in 2003 by Steve Kado and Mark McLean. McLean left soon after, but Kado continued to run it with Liisa K. Graham until 2005, when it incorporated as worker's co-op. Since then it has been run by an elected board.

Artists who have released music though Blocks include Fucked Up, Bob Wiseman (of Blue Rodeo), Katie Stelmanis (of Austra), Nadja, One Hundred Dollars, Picastro and more.

Blocks' website reads, "The Blocks Recording Club is a Artist-Owned Worker's Co-operative based in Toronto. Our goal is to work together as a musical community to help each other to record and release music that we as a community generate. We believe that working together we can accomplish far more than we ever could working apart and further, that by moving closer to a co-operative economy we're helping in whatever small way we can, to minimize the harmful effects of capital in the world."

Tonight (March 13), the latest edition of the Toronto concert series Long Winter will include a retrospective installation from Blocks. The event takes place at the Great Hall.

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