Los Angeles, CA – May 1, 2018 – Though short-lived, FAST Product and Postcard Records were significant for paving the world’s music scene to independent rock.
Director Grant McPhee’s feature-length music documentary, ‘BIG GOLD DREAM: SCOTTISH POST PUNK AND INFILTRATING THE MAINSTREAM’ captures two, short-lived Scottish labels, FAST Product and Postcard Records, who revolutionized the face of Britain’s music scene and blazed the trail for future celebrated indie artists. “Indie music as we know it didn’t exist at that time […] It wasn’t a genre. It was a means of releasing a record,” pointed out McPhee, noted The Quietus’ Neil Cooper.
The Scottish labels’ ground-breaking roles in Edinburgh’s world-changing post-punk scene laid down the soundtrack of an alternative culture, consisting of innovative and experimental fierce guitar shreds coming from hole-in-the-wall venues and alternative record stores. Narrated by Robert Forster (The Go-Betweens),‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ preserves Scotland’s music gems and their legacies while showcasing how two small, independent record labels built, sustained and transformed the indie-artist culture.
Established in a flat near Edinburgh Art College by Bob Last, alongside Hilary Morrison, FAST Product was crucial in music history, despite its short-term two-year existence. Aiming to acquire artists who were extremely forward thinking and wanting to create their own unique sound, FAST Product discovered and brought into the spotlight “cult-legend, post-punk acts such as The Scars, The Mekons, Gang Of Four and The Dead Kennedys, […] launched the career of synth pop favourites Human League [and…] released early material by Joy Division on the label’s Earcom Two sampler,” wrote Daily Record’s John Dingwall, adding FAST Product’s decision not to sign Joy Division, though remaining close with Peter Hook (Joy Division and New Order bassist). With several emerging post-punk artists their belts, Last and Morrison launched Pop Aural and The Fire Engines’ debut album, Lubricate Your Living Room.
“A lot of the stuff [Last] was doing with logos and marketing was a different approach at the time,” remarked McPhee, adding that Last “paved the way for independent labels as we know them.”
Simultaneously, across the M8, Alan Horne (who is not pictured in the film) launched Postcard Records out of his flat in Glasgow. Unlike Last and Morrison from FAST Product, who concentrated “on incendiary and radical art-punk acts, Horne wanted to make commercial pop music on a shoestring,” continued Dingwall. Postcard Records signed and released about a dozen records, creating a launch pad for small, indie artists like Josef K, Orange Juice, Aztec Camera and The Go-Betweens. Despite the label’s brief role in the ‘70s punk movement, Postcard Records “inspired a new raft of jangly pop acts such as Del Amitri, The Bluebells and The Smiths,” noted Dingwall.
Written by Angela Slaven, ‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ tracks the two, temporary but significant, indie labels that profoundly shaped the course of indie music, creating and inspiring next generation labels. Laying the groundwork for Post-Punk (‘New Musick’), inspired by the DIY and independent ethics, allowing for diverse music experimentation with genres like electronic, disco and funk. This allowed for the Post-Punk movement to break away from the stereotypical “rock band” cliché and to re-focus their musical energy on the incorporation of ideas from films, literature, art and politics.
Photo: The Scars.
‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ provides “vital documents of Scotland’s musical history in a way that previous films on the subject have not. Where previously history has been rewritten by lumping glossy chart acts in with Postcard and Fast Product progeny, Big Gold Dream reclaims a sprawling history to finally give its unsung heroes a voice,” remarked Cooper.
As a labor of love, McPhee’s emphasis on the two short-lived, yet significantly important record labels exemplifies how they shaped the course of indie music with inspiring next-generation artists, which would eventually spread worldwide.
‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ credits producer Wendy Griffin alongside co-producers, Innes Reekie, Erik Sandberg and Angela Slaven, who uniquely re-created the era with behind-the-scene features like the tenement flats, which the labels grew out of. ‘BIG GOLD DREAM’ features archived footage, interviews from reputable artists, and even hand-written notes from their main players – Fire Engines’ front-man Davy Henderson, Josef K guitarist, Malcolm Ross, Joy Division’s Peter Hook (who confirms his band’s fondness for Fast Product during his appearance), The Scars vocalist, Robert King, and FAST Product’s Last.
‘Big Gold Dream: Scottish Post-Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream’ is now available on Amazon and additional VOD platforms. Watch it here today: https://amzn.to/2rbSFle.
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BIG GOLD DREAM (2015, 94 min.) Directed by Grant McPhee. Produced by: Grant McPhee, Wendy Griffin. Co Produced – Innes Reekie, Erik Sanberg, Angela Slaven. Editor: Angela Slaven. Cinematography by: Grant McPhee, Martin Parry, Garry Torrance. UK, English. TriCoast Worldwide.
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Year Zero Filmmaking / Tartan Features
Producers: Grant McPhee and Wendy Griffin. Co-producers: Innes Reekie, Erik Sandberg, Angela Slaven.
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