Founded in 1984, Fundamental has been a part of almost every musical genre from pop to metal to post-punk to Americana to bluegrass. The vision of Fundamental has always been to identify great bands that are committed to writing, performing and touring. Fundamental’s amazing roster over the years blossomed because of our commitment to international marketing and promotion. With releases in Europe and the United States, the label has continued to give the masses what they want while building a brand that signifies innovation and creativity. With additional imprints like Nate Starkman & Son, Fundamental has long provided markets with imports, full lengths and EPs for over 30 years. We’re committed to building the label on a new group of artists, both veterans and newcomers that will again feed music lovers with wonderful indie releases.[personnel]
Founder of the Wildwood Agency in the United States, a full service artist management company, Tim has worked with many national artists and labels. His knowledge of internet and grassroots marketing is invaluable for indie artists, and he is highly skilled at networking in the industry. Tim is head of Fundamental USA and is located in Chicago.
Original founder and advisor to the company, Richard has continued to maintain his worldwide contacts and gives us invaluable advice regarding our direction. He resides in Long Beach, MS.
The heart of Fundamental has always been getting great American music over to Europe. One of our longtime partners, Tony K (founder of Red Rhino records – Gun Club, Soft Cell, Pulp, Sisters of Mercy) passed away on May 1st, 2008.
His experience as a PR and Marketing Consultant, Distributor, and GM of The Cartel has played key parts in the success of The Smiths, New Order, and Depeche Mode. He’s managed and promoted hundreds of releases worldwide. Tony was head of Fundamental Europe and was located in Leeds. Godspeed, Tony K
FEATURED IN PASTE MAGAZINE Feb. 2003
Fundamental Goes Back to Its Roots
Richard Jordan of Fundamental Records is the kind of guy who can start a conversation in a thick, Georgia-peach drawl, then morph unconsciously into a Philly accent when waxing nostalgic about his days chasing down bands in the City of Brotherly Love. He might talk about the Butthole Surfers one minute, a group he popularized in Europe, then muse about why he’s pursuing a British history doctorate at LSU. “My concentration is in Northern Ireland history,””he says, “mainly because I like to drink Irish whiskey.””
Fans of cult acts from post-punks Shockabilly to Grant Lee Phillips to CamperVan Chadbourne (a collaboration pairing Camper Van Beethoven members with avant-garde musician Eugene Chadbourne) might think of Fundamental merely as a provocative musical memory. But after roughly five years off, Fundamental is back, energized and focusing on roots music in line with the label’s maverick past.
“We’re going to really concentrate on Americana, and we feel like we’ve got a good foundation to work on,” said Tim White, a Chicago music manager who runs the Wildwood Agency and who serves as a prime catalyst in Fundamental’s revival. “It’s definitely not Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? stuff, but it’s a new generation of [music]. We’re very excited about the future.” ”
Jordan founded Fundamental in 1984, soon after he moved from Philadelphia to Georgia. The label took a hiatus in the mid-’90s because it became very difficult to sell good Americana music,” says Jordan, 46. “Kids were into techno and it was very hard to sell some of these bands.”
But the ball got rolling again last summer, when White called Jordan out of the blue to ask about using the Fundamental name on future releases of his own (White works with artists including Ticklepenny Corner, Bill Mallonee and Yep Roc’s Claire Holley). He was familiar with the label’s history and works with one band, Minneapolis Urban Hillbilly Quartet, which continued to put out releases under the Fundamental moniker.
“I was intrigued by Fundamental and the history,” says White, 39. “I had wanted to get in touch with Richard earlier, but waited until the timing seemed right.” Jordan and White convened a meeting in Chicago at the beginning of the year. When we all got together, we found out that Ryan Kuper had lived in Philly too, and we just started talking up a storm,” White says.“”It was divine intervention.””
The trio is now considering reuniting old Fundamental artists on a label anniversary compilation. And the European distribution contacts Jordan built up through the ’80s and ’90s are still strong. “We still have those connections with guys over there,” White says, “and that’s going to be one of the good things about this label.” ”
Lou Carlozo, Chicago Tribune
As featured in Paste Music Magazine #4 2003
© 2004 Used with Permission.