One of the most important and formative labels of all time, Shimmy-Disc was established in 1987 by musician and producer Kramer. Between 1987 and 1999, Shimmy-Disc released music from a vast array of artists such as Ween, Daniel Johnston, John Zorn’s Naked City, Jad Fair, King Missile, Kramer’s own bands B.A.L.L. and Bongwater (along with his numerous collaborations with ex-Soft Machine members Daevid Allen, Hugh Hopper and Robert Wyatt), Japanese noise heroes BOREDOMS and RUINS, the inimitable Reverend Fred Lane, and even some barely-musical exercises in “fringe” theatrical absurdities like GWAR. The label knew no bounds.
In 2020, Kramer was the Artist In Residence at Joyful Noise Recordings, releasing a 5-LP box set which was intended not only to shine a light on Kramer as an artist, but also to revive and re-establish Shimmy-Disc after a twenty year long hiatus.
Truly an artist-run label, Shimmy-Disc is now back with a loving vengeance, releasing music (on Vinyl!) from 'new' artists such as NUMüN and Brooklyn's CURTIS GODINO and LUMBEROB, as well as music by heroic veterans like PAUL LEARY, JAD FAIR and masters of 'slowcore' like Josh Haden's SPAIN, spanning the entire lengths of their careers. Now add some new solo works by Kramer himself (plus his forthcoming collaborations with LARAAJI, BRITTA PHILLIPS, PENN JILLETTE and others), along with archival spoken-word-with-music treasures from Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso and the godfather of 'gonzo journalism' Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, and the results are nothing less than the reimagining and rebirth of one of the 20th century's most vital American Indie labels.
There is much more to come in the 21st century, so stay tuned!
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KRAMER's 20 years on JOHN ZORN's TZADIK label (1998-2017)
...an exploration into the eternal mysteries of Time, and the fleeting, fractured nature of Memory
When Shimmy-Disc was consumed by vengeance and greed in 1998, Kramer felt that it might be time to take a few steps back from music, and explore his lifelong interests in cinema and the theater arts. He was invited by Arthur Penn to join him at The Actors Studio in NYC, becoming the great director's sole student, assistant director, and theater music composer. It wasn't too long, however, before one of Kramer's oldest friends, John Zorn, called him up and scolded him over his abandonment of music. Zorn then proceeded to commission four projects over the span of nearly twenty years for his Tzadik Records label...