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All-Town Sound: music for homo sapiens

“The music is really for everyone.”

Seiji Komo
Seiji Komo

There are a ton of San Diego musicians who have found themselves involuntarily unemployed since mid-March of 2020, when live gigs virtually dried up all over the country. What to do during all the downtime incurred by the lockdown? For three local players, the answer was to start their own record label, officially christened All-Town Sound.

The new label is the brainchild of organist Tim Felten (Sure Fire Soul Ensemble) multi-instrumentalist Mitchum Yacoub (Boostive), and multi-instrumentalist Seiji Komo (Boostive). Why start a record label now?

Tim Felten

“It was to replace all the live gigs that evaporated last year,” says Felten. “I needed to stay busy, and I felt like between Mitchum, Seiji and I, we share many of the same musical influences. We were all inspired by golden era hip-hop and 60s/70s funky music from around the world. That seemed like a great place to start. Mitchum is a prolific songwriter who plays like 20 instruments, and Seiji is an engineer and producer. I know my way around writing, recording, producing and wanted to explore the business end of the equation. It just seemed like a good time to start a business, and the partnership made sense.”

Is there a specific genre the label is looking to produce?

Mitchum Yaoub

“Between our own projects and influences, we’ve got a blend of funk, soul, afrobeat, hip-hop, reggae, cumbia and more,” said Yacoub. “I’d say the consistency is in our styles of producing and our love for analog/vintage tone. All-Town is meant to represent the multitude of world sounds in an original and heavy way. We all write and produce music that will be released through the label. Tim and Seiji do a lot of the mixing/dubs and between organizing orders for the vinyl plant, packing and shipping and social media stuff, we really just delegate as we go.”

All-Town has secured a distribution and licensing deal through Colemine Records and Secretly Distribution. Their new releases will be available in record stores worldwide.

How does San Diego factor into all of this? Where will the music be recorded?

“San Diego is home for us,” says Komo. “I grew up in Ocean Beach but I met Mitchum in Santa Cruz during a gig up at the UCSC trailer park. We asked him to join us on congas after seeing him killing it with the band before us. Mitch and I didn’t meet Tim until down the road when we all ended up in San Diego. I saw Tim’s band at Winstons and I knew I needed to open for them. We eventually did that. Most of the recordings take place at the Kitchen 2 [Felten’s home studio in Lemon Grove] and Casa Tortuga, an old hoarder house that Mitch and I have been remodeling in Ocean Beach. Both studios were built with a desire for warm analog tones.”

Was the pandemic a help or a hinderance?

“It definitely gave us a space to feel like taking on such a big project was possible,” said Yacoub. “I was really busy running my band, performing with other groups and teaching. It’s more or less the same story for all of us—I don’t think we could have managed with everything that was going on. For me and Seiji, it also gave us time to build out our studio in OB and take some bigger strides in our approach to recording/engineering. Tim was already dialed in on that end for years and was a big help to us.”

So who is the target audience?

“Homosapiens, animals, plants and extraterrestrials who enjoy farm-to-table, craft music,” joked Felten. “The music is really for everyone. We will specialize in vinyl, but the music will be available at all the usual locations for those who consume music digitally as well.”

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Seiji Komo
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There are a ton of San Diego musicians who have found themselves involuntarily unemployed since mid-March of 2020, when live gigs virtually dried up all over the country. What to do during all the downtime incurred by the lockdown? For three local players, the answer was to start their own record label, officially christened All-Town Sound.

The new label is the brainchild of organist Tim Felten (Sure Fire Soul Ensemble) multi-instrumentalist Mitchum Yacoub (Boostive), and multi-instrumentalist Seiji Komo (Boostive). Why start a record label now?

Tim Felten

“It was to replace all the live gigs that evaporated last year,” says Felten. “I needed to stay busy, and I felt like between Mitchum, Seiji and I, we share many of the same musical influences. We were all inspired by golden era hip-hop and 60s/70s funky music from around the world. That seemed like a great place to start. Mitchum is a prolific songwriter who plays like 20 instruments, and Seiji is an engineer and producer. I know my way around writing, recording, producing and wanted to explore the business end of the equation. It just seemed like a good time to start a business, and the partnership made sense.”

Is there a specific genre the label is looking to produce?

Mitchum Yaoub

“Between our own projects and influences, we’ve got a blend of funk, soul, afrobeat, hip-hop, reggae, cumbia and more,” said Yacoub. “I’d say the consistency is in our styles of producing and our love for analog/vintage tone. All-Town is meant to represent the multitude of world sounds in an original and heavy way. We all write and produce music that will be released through the label. Tim and Seiji do a lot of the mixing/dubs and between organizing orders for the vinyl plant, packing and shipping and social media stuff, we really just delegate as we go.”

All-Town has secured a distribution and licensing deal through Colemine Records and Secretly Distribution. Their new releases will be available in record stores worldwide.

How does San Diego factor into all of this? Where will the music be recorded?

“San Diego is home for us,” says Komo. “I grew up in Ocean Beach but I met Mitchum in Santa Cruz during a gig up at the UCSC trailer park. We asked him to join us on congas after seeing him killing it with the band before us. Mitch and I didn’t meet Tim until down the road when we all ended up in San Diego. I saw Tim’s band at Winstons and I knew I needed to open for them. We eventually did that. Most of the recordings take place at the Kitchen 2 [Felten’s home studio in Lemon Grove] and Casa Tortuga, an old hoarder house that Mitch and I have been remodeling in Ocean Beach. Both studios were built with a desire for warm analog tones.”

Was the pandemic a help or a hinderance?

“It definitely gave us a space to feel like taking on such a big project was possible,” said Yacoub. “I was really busy running my band, performing with other groups and teaching. It’s more or less the same story for all of us—I don’t think we could have managed with everything that was going on. For me and Seiji, it also gave us time to build out our studio in OB and take some bigger strides in our approach to recording/engineering. Tim was already dialed in on that end for years and was a big help to us.”

So who is the target audience?

“Homosapiens, animals, plants and extraterrestrials who enjoy farm-to-table, craft music,” joked Felten. “The music is really for everyone. We will specialize in vinyl, but the music will be available at all the usual locations for those who consume music digitally as well.”

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