But ultimately, his debut LP for the label, Beach Fossils, would become one of their most successful. Because of the combined success of that LP and Wild Nothing's Gemini, the label has been able to take on bigger projects, like their string of re-issues and the '80s shoegaze archive project.

"They're bands from the '80s and '90s who kind of have a similar place in history to many of the artists who Captured is releasing now," says Schreiber, the Pitchfork founder, of the reissues. "Bands like Medicine and Cleaners from Venus, they're niche artists in the same way that a lot of Captured bands are. . . . The records he puts out now are really almost like contemporary versions of those records."

The most notable has been a string of re-issued singles by the Wake, an influential band founded in Glasgow in 1981, who released pop-punk and indie-pop albums with Factory and Sarah Records. (The band also shared a member with Primal Scream and the Jesus and Mary Chain.)

"I think Captured Tracks retains the essential spirit of the best independents from the past and yet seems able to compete and stand out in the present day," wrote the Wake's frontman, Caesar McInulty, in an email. "It certainly shows respect for the aims of the people involved in the groups. That personal aspect is so important. The actual process of dealing with the rapid changes of these Internet times can dehumanize everything."

The label also eventually released two 7-inch singles featuring covers of the Wake by Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Craft Spells, and Blouse. "We detect the same impulsive and intuitive approach to ideas as we experienced at Factory," wrote McInulty. "I've said before: Factory just went with a creative proposition if they were excited enough by it, no need for demos and explanations. The motivation to do something to the highest possible level is similar too. I feel both Factory and Sarah were hampered by the British obsession with compartmentalizing everything, though. They were perceived in definite ways and to an extent played up to that too much. You can't identify one all-encompassing Captured Tracks style, really, although I'm sure many will try."

Homegrown

Even with more expansive aspirations these days — you're just as likely to find their bands playing the Bowery Ballroom as a basement show — Captured Tracks still maintains an affinity for its homegrown bands.

"The intent was to do good by our bands," says Sniper on that Wednesday afternoon at his office. "As a result, we've developed this community. Because of all of these bands coming up at the same time, they all tour together, they all play together. . . . There's that sense of community like there was for Factory, 4AD. "

"Yeah, right, fuck you," interjects Zach Cole Smith from DIIV as he bursts in through the door, with a laugh, stopping by for a visit, since he's home from tour for a day.

"Gimme my fucking royalty money!" mocks Sniper. They share a laugh and a hug.

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  Topics: Music Features , Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Ryan Schreiber,  More more >
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