Robin Mortensen introducing his label Apollon Records in Norway Special

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»In the end we are just after good music we like ourselves!«

It all started with some emails going back and forth with Ketil who recommended the work of the Apollon Records Label. Soon afterwards Robin made a few other releases available to Betreutes Proggen which all were of high quality, so it was obvious to go back to him and ask for more detailed information on his work with this great label.

Zur deutschen Übersetzung des Interviews

Would you please provide some key information on the label?
Discography, (national/international) distribution so far.

Apollon Records Prog is a new label and was set up as a sublabel to Apollon Records in 2016. We are based in Bergen, Norway. Up to now we have released ten albums. Our releases so far are:

We have also released two brilliant albums together with Tik Records:

  • Knekklectric- „For Mange Melodia“ (2017) and Trojka-„I Speilvendthet“ (2017).

Also Kabaret Makaber – „S/T“  (2017) on Apollon Records needs to be mentioned here.
We are distributed by Border Music (The Nordic Countries) and Plastic Head, UK (rest of the world).

What inspired you to start the label?

I’m the founder of Karisma Records / Dark Essence Records (back in 2003, with artists such as Airbag, Taake, Helheim, Magic Pie, Bjørn Riis and many more on our roster) and needed to do something else and by myself after Karisma became a little too heavy for my taste (most of the other brilliant people who are involved there are mainly metal headz, I’m not anymore to be honest). I needed to do something, what didn’t fit the Karisma profile. So I started Apollon Records with a few mates focusing on alternative/ indie pop (artist such as Pogo Pops, William Hut, Wunderkammer, Wholy Martin, Savoy (Pål Waaktaar from A-Ha’s other band and a bunch of others, many of them previously on bigger labels and some even on Majors). But I also found a place for a lot of interesting so called prog bands who didn’t fit into Karisma, and that’s why I started Apollon Records Prog. But I’m very much involved in Karisma as well and have signed Wobbler, Tusmørke and Major Parkinson to the label this year.

How would you describe the label’s profile?

Apollon Records Prog is maybe a slightly different prog label, because we don’t do metal prog bands and are more into bands who blend their music with pop and alternative music. But in the end we are just after good music we like ourselves!

Do you still have a „daytime job“ or does the label pay the bill?
Are there employees and partners?
How many and how do they assist you?

Yes I do. I run a records shop. But hopefully I can do this fulltime in the future! No employees yet but we are working on it!

What about distribution of your albums in Germany?

I think we are distributed in Germany by Soul Food. But they are currently not very interested in what we do, but we will work to improve that.

There are so many excellent bands in the current Norwegian prog scene – what do you think are the reasons for this? Any Norwegian-specific aspects that might lead to this?

One of the reasons is maybe because many of our bands are quite young. Mainly in their 20s to 30s and open to all kinds of music. Also we have a pretty rough climate up here in the north, so we like to focus on our music!

Where do you see the label in let’s say 5 years? Do you think you will still release music on CD or will CD disappear and all your releases will be published only via downloads or platforms like Spotify/iTunes? Where do you position vinyl?

Apollon Records is first & foremost a physical label, and all our releases will be available on both LP and CD. Now and in the future! In a 5 year time I hope we will be doing fine, because we have plenty of excellent releases to show the world!

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