Bubblewrap Collective is this year celebrating 10 years of making great things happen in the Welsh music scene. The Cardiff-based independent record label has spent the last decade growing its roster of talented musicians, producing award-winning records and supporting homegrown talent. Rich Chitty founded Bubblewrap in 2009 and since then it has gone from strength to strength, developing into one of the largest and most well-respected labels in Wales.

From The Gentle Good’s ‘Ruins / Adfeilion’ which won the Welsh Music Prize in 2017 to Boy Azooga’s first ever vinyl release, Bubblewrap is no stranger to critical acclaim.

We chatted with founder and owner, Rich Chitty, to say congratulations and ask him about Bubblewrap’s 10 biggest milestones in the past 10 years.

1. Various Artists - 12 Days of Christmas

This felt like the first 'proper' release on the label. Myself and Harri (Little My / The School) got contributions from all the artists we'd been playing or touring with and put together a Christmas concept album based on the 12 days of Christmas. Featuring the likes of Sweet Baboo, Allo Darlin' and The School it captured the excitement of those first forays into being a label.

2. Little Arrow - Wild Wishes

Little Arrow are one of my personal favourites on the label. So much so, I went on to play drums on future albums with them. Wild Wishes was the first of the Bubblewrap releases to be nominated for the Welsh Music Prize and is considered Little Arrow's finest work. It will hold a special place in my heart as we lost lead singer William Hughes to cancer last December. An exceptional talent and a wonderful human being.

3. Quiet Marauder - Men

111 tracks. Four Volumes. Five Hours. Officially the longest studio album ever. Gimmick or genius? You decide. The accompanying spoof 'making of documentary’, though, is really something to behold. Frontman Dr. Simon Read (a real doctor) also became instrumental in the running of Bubblewrap as a label. The majority of the past 10 years wouldn’t have been possible without his help.

4. My Name is Ian - In the Best Case Scenario We'd Die at The Time

The was the first album by the band to be released on Bubblewrap, alongside their 'best of' compilation from their previous 10 DIY releases. Still on the label to this day, the title track has since racked up half a million plays on Spotify; a Bubblewrap record. Their latest release is a ‘pay what you want’ album to fund their 2020 Canada/America tour.

5. Mandy - Universe

‘Universe’ was written and recorded in the lead up to Mel Fung’s passing from cancer in October 2014, it marks her final profound and beautiful musical statement. The album also holds a special place in the Bubblewrap back catalogue for me as it features artwork by the amazing Pete Fowler, who is my main inspiration for getting into graphic design, my main line of work.

6. The Gentle Good - Ruins / Adfeilion

The Gentle Good was nominated for the Welsh Music Prize for his first release on Bubblewrap, ‘Y Bardd Anfarwol’, however, it was his second album on the label that brought the prize home. And what a well deserved winner. Gareth is a true troubadour of Welsh music and one of the nicest and most talented people you can have the pleasure of working with.

7. Boy Azooga / Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard

First ever physical release for both bands who have gone on to do amazing things. Boy Azooga are playing across the world and Buzzard are not far behind. Absolute pleasure to have had the privilege to be their first time on wax. Buzzard’s Tom Rees has also gone on to record a lot of Bubblewrap’s releases, including Perfect Body, My Name is Ian and some upcoming Quiet Marauder material.

8. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Polygondwanaland

Aussie psych-rockers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard gave their fourth album of 2017 away for free for anyone to press. We did a 'Wales' copy with fellow Cardiff label Phwoar & Peace, with profits going towards pressing vinyl of Cardiff rising artists such as Sock, Perfect Body and Zac White. It’s nice to think that The Gizz are inadvertently supporting the scene in Cardiff. 

9. Sweet Baboo - The Vending Machine Project

Sweet Baboo has to be one of my favourite artists to come out of Wales and I luckily got to work with Steve to release this limited-edition record. ‘The Vending Machine Project’ was a collaboration between Bubblewrap Collective, Charcutier Ltd and Awesome Tapes From Canton. It features one of my favourite of Baboo’s tracks - the disco hit, ‘Lost Out on the Floor’.

10. Right Hand Left Hand - Zone Rouge

Finally - looking forward to this new release from the Cardiff post-rock duo. Again, one of my favourites from Cardiff over the years and a pleasure to be able to release it. It’s also the first time we’ve done a double vinyl and marks the 50th release on the label. Out 14 November. Check out the track ‘Chacabuco’, which features the most incredible vocals performance from Estrons former front-woman, Taliesyn Kallstrom.

Bubblewrap Collective have organised a gig at Clwb Ifor Bach on 14 December to celebrate their 10 years. Have a look at the line-up. 

 

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