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Etxe Records Champions the Off-Kilter Side of D.C.’s Music Scene

Etxe

Ten years later, would we name ourselves a tricky word that gets misspelled often with a weird foreign phonetic blend? Who knows,” Chris Goett, co-founder of D.C. record label Etxe (pronounced et-CHAY), says with a chuckle. “But we’ve stuck with it for ten years, so we’ll keep going for another ten.”

Goett started Etxe with friend and fellow bandmate Jenn Fox-Thomas, who both came from the community service world and formed the group Girl Loves Distortion. True to their roots, they slowly grew the label as they met other musicians that shared a self-described ‘left-of-center’ point of view.

“Our mindset [when adding artists is] how everyone will support each other and what assets can they bring in terms of a bartering system?,” said Goett. “Does someone have a good design background? We look at how someone could contribute to the overall whole.”

He credits that collaborative emphasis for the survival of Etxe in times when he and Fox-Thomas have been sidelined by parenthood, work and life in general. “It’s a testament to our cooperative model from the beginning where we leaned into [our artists].”

The eight bands that currently comprise Etxe cover a wide swathe of experimental folk and rock, from Near Northeast’s “folk, but not folk” to The Red Fetish’s “anti-folk-to-chamber-industrial” music. Over all else, the label has always favored artists with strong visions that can find their own ground amid D.C.’s diverse music landscape.

“Where some labels are like, ‘We don’t know how to market you,’ we say, ‘We don’t care about that’,” says Goett.

Etxe has released two records in anticipation of its 10th anniversary showcase on Saturday, Jan. 20 at Capital Fringe. The first is Silo Halo’self-titled third album and the second is a 14-song compilation album of rarities and newly-recorded material–listen to both records below.

Etxe Records’s 10th anniversary show will take place at Capital Fringe on Saturday, Jan. 20. Show 8 p.m./$10 suggested donation

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