Ecstatic Peace! is an independent record label founded ca. 1982 by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore, primarly to put out documents he thought worthy of being archived. That premise seems to guide the label's operation to this day, making it, in a way, akin to the old boutique-y super-obscure labels like ESP-Disk, operations that released interesting stuff in small batches to guarantee its existence, however small that might be.

In the early days, the label was all Moore's baby, and its first release was the cassette-only "Sonic Death," a pastiche of live Sonic Youth performance and fucked-up tape manipulation. Originally, Moore dumped the stuff off at local NYC record shops on a consignment-only basis, heightening the collectablity and rare-document nature of the releases, and a few others were put out in conjunction with New Alliance records, the Minutemen/SST partnership label that put out Husker Du's first LP.

These days, the label is more like an actual small label, distributed as it is by Forced Exposure and Sonic drummer Steve Shelley's Smells Like Records. You can only get the most recent half-dozen or so released on the Web, but FE carries damn near everything EP! has ever put out.

The label's name (this comes straight from the horse's mouth) is that "ecstatic peace" was one of the old 60s hippie ideals, describing a kind of utopian idyll. Not a bad thing to seek, methinks. (One of Thurston's first bands, after all, was a group called the Arcadians, a race of ancient people who were thought to be peaceful, untainted primitives.)

Forced Exposure -
Ecstatic Peace! -
Sonic Youth -

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