Today: 25 Years since Official Release of the first Praxis 12″

25 years ago today, on November 30, 1992 – it was a Monday – the first 12″ on Praxis was officially released. Of course there had been activities leading up to this date. I had moved to London at the end of 1991 and decided in the following months to discontinue my previous label Vision and start a new one, which was going to be called Praxis. The close collaboration with Bourbonese Qualk also meant that the Praxis HQ was soon installed in Malt Street – a short street where all the buildings were squatted and where the band had their rehearsal space (and Simon and family lived next door). This was just off the Old Kent Road in North Peckham, South London.

I was recommended a pressing plant called IPS, also located in Peckham and proceeded to have the first two releases manufactured through them. It was run by a guy who was an old punk rocker and his rockabilly secretary. I handed her a grand or so with what seemed like slightly insufficient assurance that I would receive my records in return. It looked a bit of a dodgy place, but things went ok, although not entirely smoothly. Everything was fine with the Scaremonger EP (Praxis 1) but the Bourbonese Qualk (Praxis 2) record had to be recut, because on one of the tracks the needle was jumping on some turntables.

More critically I didn’t receive the amount of Praxis label sleeves I had ordered. They had supplied the right amount for the white label pre-releases, but it turned out that there were no sleeves for the actual releases. One day I decided to go down there and demand the rest of the sleeves. The place was actually a print shop and the record pressing was outsourced to a different factory. But since the printing could be done there and the plates were on location I refused to leave without the rest of the sleeves that were long overdue.

He was a nice enough guy and told me his life story during the printing process and I eventually left with all the sleeves. A very short time after this (perhaps just a week or two) I was in that corner of Peckham again and decided to swing by, but there was no more print shop. The warehouse stood empty.

In the meantime SRD had recommended a different manufacturer, Key Productions, who I used for quite a few pressings in the following years. Praxis 1, much to my surprise, was number one in the techno charts of Echoes magazine and received a rave review by Kris Needs. I was well chuffed, things seemed to get to a good start!

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