Maybe Pile is an independent record label based in Toronto, Ontario.
Maybe Pile originated with Reza Kendal's MEAT MACHINE
label, which actively produced local house and trance records in the GTA
as recently as 2006. However, following a string of copyright lawsuits
leveled by several of the label's former artists, Kendal disbanded the
enterprise and set off for South Africa to embark on "an exciting new
project, a radical reassessment of village afrobeat." With Kendal out of
the picture, MEAT MACHINE intern Emily Casbah appropriated the label's
equipment, office space and much of its staff, founding Maybe Pile
Records in February, 2007. Simultaneous to the birth of Maybe Pile,
manifestos appeared in several of Toronto's underground music zines
purporting to outline the new label's goals and ideology. These
manifestos varied widely in their claims. To compare:
- "Bringing you feather-light ambi-rock from Ontario and Quebec: our
mission is to fuse our Two Solitudes into one vibrant, throbbing whole
by sponsoring open-source performances simulcast to venues in
Montreal and Toronto." — LOUDHAUS, #34
- "Online microlabel specializing in Internet releases of CDs by contemporary
spoken word composers. Pristine FLAC packages, & a free roll of
scratch-n-sniff stickers shipped to you with every download." — Screamzine, #7
- "A collective of highly politized emotronica groups from across the
country, seeking to repopularize the 8-track cassette (the
People's format) and make it once again music's modern medium. We are
completely non-profit and our surplus funds are donated directly to
Trotskyites for Change, a charity devoted to applying
left-of-center solutions to third-world problems." — PitStop, #11
In actuality, none of the above really epitomizes who Maybe Pile represents and what it does. They're known for highly-coveted limited vinyl releases of their major acts, typically Toronto-based groups that tend towards experimental, ambient or drone stylings. Some purists have criticised their reliance on "stunt packaging" to increase demand for their products. This tactic has gained several of their releases significant local notoriety and press coverage. Most recently, their 2010 release of Volemic Null's Regecide LP, an exclusive cut featuring liner notes written in the artists' own blood, attracted the attention of Eye Weekly Magazine.
Their methods of distribution vary between bands, based on each group's economic and creative vision. Volemic Null's albums can be purchased in independently-owned record stores across Ontario, while some groups, like shoegazer fivesome Tr4pper Keeper5, confine themselves to online releases. The Cathedrals of Ice, a doomgrind act, only sells at live appearances.
In addition to handling Maybe Pile, Emily Casbah also hosts free workshops for Toronto's inner-city youths on the ethos and operation of pirate radio stations, as a means of proactively addressing the structures of state power.