Where to start
If you haven’t heard any of the records yet, then ECC 100’s label manager, Mira Manga, recommends giving Instant Replay a spin, as it is ‘a collection of covers from the ‘70s featuring a ridiculous number of talented singers and musicians... You’re bound to find a few tracks you love on there!’
Simon Emmerson, who both performs on some of the releases and produces them, finds it hard to pick just one. ‘I think the Hard Day’s Night Treatment album is fantastic – especially if you’re a Beatles fan. It is a tricky one when you are having to interpret such iconic songs but I’m very proud of what we did. If you’re into folk music, then definitely try From Source To Sea because that’s got a great interpretation of classic sea shanties. But, with the compilations, you get the whole breadth of vision there in the label.’
Reasons to indulge
Whether you are new to vinyl or a longstanding record collector, Lush compilations have something for everyone – big hits and obscure songs sit perfectly together across a triple vinyl set, some songs performed by artists you may have heard of (Lush skincare fans may recognise the name Jackie Oates, for instance, as she inspired the original colour supplement) and others that might be new to you.
For those of you who like to listen to your music digitally, ECC records come with a USB of hi-resolution audio files, so you can listen to the music on the go. Some even contain fantastic bonus tracks. And for anyone who might be curious about why we have chosen to release on vinyl, it is much like having a Lush bath – sometimes you just want to fully switch off, indulge, and treat yourself.
For Mira, it’s about people ‘remembering, (or experiencing for the first time!) the thrill of the album as a complete experience. One where you enjoy poring over the artwork and the sleeve notes as you open it up, drop the needle on the record and settle down to listen and enjoy. It’s about bringing back that relationship between the listener and music and the pleasure of indulging in a whole album.’
For Simon Emmerson, the most exciting thing ECC offers its listeners is authenticity and quality. ‘It is Mark coming along’, he says, ‘and saying he wants a vinyl label that puts the power, majesty, and dignity back into music and music production. That itself is honourable and music to all of our ears!’.
A family affair
When you discover a song or artist you love on one of the records, you’ll be pleased to know that they can be heard on many other ECC 100 releases. As Mira points out, ‘the label has a family feel, with our musicians collaborating across different projects and working together regularly. Musicians who helped develop our spa soundtracks appear at Lush events and perform on albums we put out. And they guest star on each other’s albums too!’
Many of the musicians who appear on the compilations perform alongside Simon in The Imagined Village, and as he notes, they are “an eclectic collective of musicians exploring English roots music and trying to find a way of expressing it in multicultural Britain. The diversity of the collective means that everything doesn’t sound the same, but there’s still an identifiable sound and aesthetic to what we do.’ There’s a beautiful familiarity across the releases in hearing voices you’ve heard before and love, but the incredible dexterity of the musicians is breathtaking – whether they’re performing much loved classic songs, or freshly commissioned spa music, everything is brilliantly performed and produced.
As Simon sums it up perfectly, ‘the amazing thing about ECC and ECC 100 is that Mark has a quest for excellence which is extremely refreshing at this point it time, especially when a lot of music is becoming blander and losing its edge and shine.’
The same creativity, joyousness and love that you find in our cosmetics goes into our record label – from dreaming up ideas of what to record, to the musicians that perform it, to the design and packaging that you can find nestled on shelves in stores or on our website. But don’t take our word for it, give it a listen for yourself. Like your go-to Lush products, we’re sure you’ll find your firm favourites on ECC Records.
Words by Hannah Vettese