Africantape History 2008 – 2014
Julien Fernandez is a force to be reckoned with.
After graduating art school in Nantes in 2001, he turned his back on the art world and dived deep into music. He formed the infamous abstract gestural math rock outfit Chevreuil with Tony C. The duo extensively toured both the USA and Europe and recorded a great deal of records published in Europe, Japan and the USA.
Fernandez then started a second group, the avant deconstructionist classic rock band Passe Montagne.
In 2006, Fernandez took a break from performing and created the Europewide PR agency 5ive Roses Press. 5rp was wildly successful. So much so that Fernandez was able to start his own label.
So in 2008 Africantape was born.
The first release was Long Distance by the Italian angular rock trio Three Second Kiss. The noise hard hitting sound wouldn’t solely define the label though.
Fernandez has collected a truly varied roster with groups from all over the world as divergent as the post-electronic Aucan, the art punk Peter Kernel, the punk noise trio Marvin, the avant-jazz Micah Gaugh Trio and the beautiful neo-baroque Extra Life.
Fernandez also collaborated with other labels such as Ruminance, Sick Room Records, Murailles Music, Herzfeld and Kythibong to release records of The Shipping News, Papier Tigre, Powerdove, Papaye and Electric Electric.
Although Fernandez left the art world, he carried with him a very potent aesthetic sense that has informed all his subsequent endeavors.It was this aesthetic curatorial sense that would ensure that even though the roster was so eclectic, it was completely unified and cohesive.
Fernandez‘s tie to high art can be seen by Africantape‘s releases of the visionary Video Artist and Composer Alexis Gideon‘s Video Musics series. These releases are multi-disciplinary animated video operas that are completely unique. Fernandez decided to add Gideon to the roster in 2009 after the two spent a day together in Roma seeing the sights, eating and joking around.
In 2011, Fernandez organized the first ever Africantape festival in Lyon, France. It was a huge success. A three day non stop music festival that spanned a huge variety of genres.
Bands such as Big’n, Oxes, The Conformists, Ventura, and The Cesarians wowed the international crowds while Fernandez himself could be found pulling beers behind the bar with Alexis Gideon.
Fernandez said his love for travel, new encounters and belief in coincidences affects principally how the label grows. He also said that Africantape is more a research and development laboratory than a simple music Label.
In 2013, Africantape is distributed worldwide and is about to release its 45th record, still maintaining its political beliefs: being fully independent.
Now, in 2014, Fernandez is taking a break : He said he is working on new projects and prepares is moving to another continent.
He said Africantape is not dead though.
In november 2014, the first ever Africantape exhibit will take place in Nantes, France.
Africantape would have been impossible without Frédéric d’Herouville, Mitch Cheney, Ryan Duncan and Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim.