UPSET THE RHYTHM is a record label and live music promotions company run by Christopher Tipton and based in London, UK. Since 2003, we've been interested in developing a program of eclectic, innovative and thought-provoking music events across the capital and beyond. During this time we've enjoyed working with musicians from all over the world, including memorable shows for Omar Souleyman, Asiq Nargile, OOIOO, Islam Chipsy and Group Doueh, alongside concerts for more well known acts like Sleaford Mods, Future Islands, Grouper, Ty Segall, Richard Dawson, Lankum, Deerhoof, Wolf Eyes, Moor Mother, Mount Eerie and Oneohtrix Point Never. Committed to breaking down barriers between musicians and audiences, Upset The Rhythm has worked with many exciting performers from all walks of life, from hosting the excellent, learning-disabled hiphop group The Fish Police to debuting the electrifying field recordings, jazz sax and poetry of Matana Roberts. We like working with artists of all ages, nationalities, abilities and genders who gather loosely under the umbrella of 'experimental music', as this takes us closer to what makes music most transformative and inspiring.
To date Upset The Rhythm has put on over 1500 shows, with some of the largest being three consecutive concerts for Future Islands at Brixton Academy in 2017 and two sold out dates at London's Hippodrome, headlined by Sunn O))) and Liars, as part of the live music program for the 2006 Frieze Art Fair. The following year we set up one of WIRE Magazine's 25th birthday parties, whilst 2008 saw us host a label showcase at the SXSW festival (Austin, Texas) featuring John Maus, Lucky Dragons, Death Sentence: Panda!, No Age and High Places. We've since held similar UTR label parties in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as all across the UK. Over the years Upset The Rhythm has been lucky enough to collaborate with many art galleries on events including our YES WAY festival of UK music and art (with Auto Italia South East, 2009-2011), John Maus at the Serpentine Gallery, Lucky Dragons at SPACE and most recently with Artsadmin on their London takeover of Mons' 'Capital of Culture' celebrations (2014). 2010 found us working with artist David Shrigley on his 'Worried Noodles' charity event at The Scala, headlined by Hot Chip. 'Spaghetti Tree', a weekend event at Peckham's Bussey Building coinciding with April Fools Day headlined by No Age and Dan Deacon, followed in 2012. Whilst 2013 saw us focus our attentions on 'Yard Party', a three-day music festival in a theatre in Hackney Wick encompassing an assortment of acts, from the sublime folk guitar stylings of Michael Chapman to the industrial world-techno of Cut Hands.
2015 proved to be our busiest year yet, most notably setting up a multiple site-specific residency for underground music legend Richard Youngs in Tower Hamlets, involving the Balfron Tower and Mile End Ecology Pavilion. We also spent the year curating a series of rare one-off performances from music visionaries' involving Martin Newell, Michael Hurley, Rose McDowall, Maximum Joy, Normil Hawaiians and The Space Lady. 2015, also saw UTR host Future Islands for two swiftly, sold-out shows at The Roundhouse following on from their breakthrough year. However, Upset The Rhythm is also very much dedicated to London's more intimate, DIY and experimental venues. However small or large the show is it remains meaningful that each event has a tailored quality to it, with the aesthetic being just so, delivering a high quality experience. Our ideas for curating events are only limited by our collective imagination and two good examples of notable approaches include organising an a cappella ensemble performance on the roof of a Norman tower as well as a future-facing a/v quad-sound electronics performance in a disused car show room. Turning unusual spaces into one-off music venues is another of our keen interests and sees us putting on events in buildings as diverse as tin tabernacles to community centres.
Upset The Rhythm celebrated their 15th anniversary in 2019 by touring the UK with their label showcase, treating Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds, Cardiff and London to electrifying performances from Guttersnipe, Trash Kit, Robert Sotelo, Sauna Youth, Rattle, Dog Chocolate and Vital Idles. It was the best of times and a hugely rewarding venture, allowing Upset The Rhythm to meet countless fans of their shows and releases in person alongside saluting the ingenuity and invention behind the best British DIY music.
Our record label began in the summer of 2005 as a natural extension of the friendships we make through our live shows. The label is another way for the artists we enjoy working with to exercise their creative freedom and for us to lend our support. So far we have released in excess of 120 records, with artists as different as John Maus and Pega Monstro. We've also been tirelessly keen to reflect the UK's own abundance of DIY music, working with bands like Sauna Youth, Trash Kit and The Pheromoans on multiple releases. Last year also saw us begin a reissue project with 80s outsider punks Normil Hawaiians to much fanfare. Our releases are available digitally, as well as on LP, CD, 10" and 7" and we find ourselves fortunate enough to have our records distributed throughout the world courtesy of SRD. Where we can, we work with other like-minded promoters to organise European tours for the artists on our label and for bands we are particularly passionate about.