I don’t have the analytics to prove it, but my gut tells me that not a whole lot of folks outside of gnarly hardcore punks fuck with British label La Vida Es Un Mus. Which is somewhat understandable, seeing as how the scene is something of a subcultural island, one perfectly comfortable with not trying to amass converts. But still, more weird-ears should be tuning to the London-based label, founded back in 1999, as they’ve been unleashing some of the year’s toughest and most engaging records not just in hardcore but across the DIY spectrum. Via a steady stream of releases, the label’s founder, Paco Mus (who it should be noted cares nothing for press attention), has expanded the parameters of hardcore punk to include all manner of underground hybrids. From repressing Aussie post-punks Constant Mongrel’s Living in Excellence—an album packed with suffocating riff-smudge, political unrest, and mutant sax screech—to releasing Spanish band Rata Negra’s Justicia Cósmica, buzzing melodic punk flaked with new wave synth-action.
LVEUM are decidedly globally-minded. Of the roughly 20 full-lengths, cassettes, and singles dropped in 2018 (frantic pace, right?) they managed to chronicle thriving underground scenes in Singapore (Sial’s throttling Binasa EP), Australia (Priors’ flailing eponymously titled full-length), and the good, old United Kingdom (Snob’s irrepressibly eccentric self-titled slab). At a time when nationalism and xenophobia rip across the West, LVEUM’s championing of anti-establishment music and grassroots community from around the world doesn’t just feel refreshing but downright necessary. When digging into our playlist you’ll encounter tons of tracks from La Vida Es Un Mus’s 2018 releases, but you’ll also hear a smattering of older stuff (vital reissue-work included) from the imprint’s most beloved bands, like Es, Nailbiter, and the mighty Limp Wrist, who have been pivotal figures in the modern queercore movement. Press play and be prepared to trash shit Paris-style.