Kooky is Phil and Alex. And sometimes Kooky is Alex and Phil. But always with a lot of calling in favours from our friends. In particular we would not have existed without the encouragement and support of our friend Keith Jenkins (Wurlitzer Jukebox).

We started the label in 1996 with the money Alex got in compensation for a beating he took at the Shepherds Bush Empire. A small amount of money for a big kicking, but on the up-side, it was also enough to put out a split single featuring our chum Mick Harrison from Prolapse (Ears Go FFF!). Friends were dismayed that the NME described it as "the sound of killing flies with a Black and Decker sander", but we were thrilled. We sold out on pre-sale.

True Collectors must collect

And hark; the major labels are crying out that illegal downloading is killing music. Our considered response is "Ha, ha, ha". We at Kooky have always encouraged people to share our releases with friends. Our only compilation, 'Fear of obsolescence' Kookydisc 13, was a D-I-Y tape companion to compile yourself. In truth, the release was just a free tape cover but this was our way of responding to the calls we were getting to put out a CD collection of our hard to find early releases. It all seemed too formulaic. Put out a number of singles and then whack them all out on a CD.

"Who cares?" I hear you cry. Well, people did, and people still do. "True Collectors must collect" Sean O'Hagan sings on 'Checking In and Checking Out', Alpaca Park 1995. We're still enormously proud of our 169 maroon vinyl Seafood singles with glorious sleeves hand printed (literally) by the band. Its crazy, but its true; people were writing expressly to request one of the limited few with Charles big thumb prints. The band have all subsequently exhibited at the annual RCA postcard exhibition alongside Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin et al, so I hope that you have your copy cosseted in bubble wrap.

We can't pretend that all our releases have become collectors items but we've had enormous fun over the years sticking moving eyes on the first 150 Pram singles and making 90 handmade sleeves for our limited clear vinyl Plaza (It's Jo and Danny) / Joe Whitney (Flaming Stars) split single. Who knows, perhaps our finest hour will prove to have been our gnac/L'augmentation/Topper three single set bound in steel and ribbon.

And hey, just because chart singles are now outsold by ringtones, why should it diminish the buzz we get from pressing the first 10 copies on orange vinyl?

-- Alex and Phil (Autumn 1995)