829 Records is the record label formed by Skafish, (Jim Skafish).  The label is named after Skafish’s birthday, August 29th and currently has the mission of releasing Skafish’s punk, new wave, alternative, indie, underground, and the experimental portions of his catalogue. 829 Records may also consider signing other artists in the future.

The seed for the eventual birth of the label was first planted in November 1982 when Skafish turned in his second LP (tentatively titled I Might Move in Next Door) to IRS Records, the label he was signed to at the time.  Considered to be one of the most cutting edge record companies of all time, IRS Records was so shocked and offended by the music and lyrics that they refused to release it.  After the label forced Skafish to issue a toned down version of his second album in September 1983, titled Conversation, the momentum of his work was dramatically halted, followed shortly afterwards by IRS Records dropping him from its artist roster.

Skafish, refusing to quit, began releasing independent projects on his own without record company support: first in June 1988 with Limited Series Cassette, followed in May 1992 with Best Kept Secrets.  In 2005, Skafish formed La Befana Records, created for the purpose of releasing jazz, classical, new age and world music projects, as well as serve as the parent company for future Skafish owned subsidiaries.  Its first release was Tidings of Comfort & Joy: Jazz Piano Trio Christmas by Skafish, issued in May 2006.

Following the birth of La Befana Records, Skafish launched 829 Records in late 2006. The labels first project,  What’s This? 1976 – 1979 was released on April 1, 2008.  What’s This? 1976 – 1979 chronicles the birth of the Chicago punk, new wave, alternative, indie and underground rock scene with what are believed to be the first recordings of these genres by a Chicago artist dating back to August 1976.  All of the three original master tapes to the 11 recordings included in this project, (9 of which were previously unreleased), were thought to be lost. However, the tapes were found between April 1997 and October 2006. To put the record in its correct historical perspective, Skafish recorded 5 new commentary tracks which are included in this release.

829 Records’ second project was Bootleg 21-35, the live concert of Skafish’s 21st birthday party at Ratso’s in Chicago on August 29, 1977. The project was digitally released 35 years later to the day on August 29, 2012. This bootleg recording showcases musical concepts which Skafish had been crystallizing since 1972-73. Bootleg 21-35 features 27 songs (mostly composed in 1976), 15 of which were previously unreleased, as well as 8 new commentary tracks by Skafish. The album accurately captures the genre defining and genre defying Skafish band at its most intense, and displays a ferociously disciplined classical virtuosity rarely seen at any level of rock oriented performance.

At this time, 829 Records is not accepting submissions from other artists.

Skafish® and La Befana Records®  are registered trademarks of James G. Skafish.

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