SALT LAKE CITY — Gathering and organizing the electronic music scene of the Salt Lake area is the goal of locally-grown record label, Hel Audio. Led by electronic musician, Karl Jørgensen, the label has seen unceasing growth since its inception two years ago.
Jørgensen has been interested in music since he was a little kid. He said he endlessly asked his mom and dad for an instrument until in 5th grade they bought him his first keyboard. From that time on he played many types of music, but at age 18 he heard music from the Canadian electronic label, Suction Records, and it changed his musical outlook forever.
“I stumbled upon that label, and it really broadened my horizon. It started me on the path which led me to where I am now,” Jørgensen said.
He released his first work in 2002, and in 2004 he began performing and recording under the name, OK Ikumi. He recorded constantly over the years, and came to know many electronic artists around the area, and even around the world.
With so many gifted electronic musicians in the area, Jørgensen saw a need for something to help these artists come together and unify.
“The goal of it is to organize and motivate the local scene. There are a lot of talented electronic people, and I wanted to catalog and organize it a little better, and give people a unified brand,” Jørgensen said.
Hel Audio is that brand, and it has become a home for many of the electronic musicians not only in this area, but also worldwide. While most of the artists under the label are from the greater Salt Lake area, there are also people from Texas, England, and Norway. While all artists on the label bring a unique sound, each has something in particular Jørgensen is looking for.
“I’m looking for the intersection between cool and weird. It needs to be challenging in the right ways, but also generally pleasant to listen to. Music for enthusiasts of the genre as well as music for newcomers to the genre,” Jørgensen said in describing his label’s sound.
A testament to its constant growth, Hel Audio has been reaching people all across the United States. With the help of public radio stations, and the show 99% Invisible out of San Francisco in particular, it has been gaining more traction. Jørgensen is very happy with the organic growth.
In the next couple of months, the label hopes to start a monthly showcase concert, where it can feature different artists from their label, with the end-goal of being able to fly in artists from out-of-state and out-of-country.
The next show will be at Diabolical Records on Nov. 8, and it will be the release of the long-awaited album Soda, by Hel Audio’s Mooninite.