Delerium Records

Delerium Records

Delerium Records was a UK record label, that specialised in psychedelic music which ran from 1991 to 2003, and was notable in promoting the careers of bands including Porcupine Tree, Ozric Tentacles, Kava Kava, Mandragora, Sons of Selina and Moom and for starting the Freak Emporium and Molten Records.



Founded in 1991 by Richard Allen and Ivor Trueman in Buckinghamshire, England, Delerium Records was originally set up to provide the free 7" records that were given away with Freakbeat magazine before it evolved into a label to promote new psychedelic music. The development of the label had been encouraged by Greg Shaw who Allen had come to know through the international independent record scene and a mutual interest in psychedelic culture. Allen had previously written a music column for UK Counter-culture magazine Encyclopaedia Psychedelica, briefly managed Irish American rock band The Steppes and in 1987 had joined up with Trueman to help co-edit Freakbeat, a 3D garage and psychedelia magazine that Trueman had founded in 1985. Trueman had previously founded the Pink Floyd fan magazine, The Amazing Pudding.

Delerium became widely known due to the huge success of British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree - whom Allen discovered and then managed up until 2004 - but Delerium also released numerous recordings by many other artists, including Ozric Tentacles, Kava Kava, Mandragora, Sons of Selina, Moom, Sadaar Bazaar, and Omnia Opera. The double CD label Sampler Pick and Mix was one of the first budget CD samplers and sold over 15,000 copies. Other compilations included the non psychedelic CD No Compromize released in aid of the Campaign for Free Education featuring artists including Dreadzone, Zion Train, Kava Kava, Utah Saints, Eat Static, Suede, Chumbawamba and The Wedding Present.

Trueman left the music industry in 2000 and Allen carried on managing Porcupine Tree and running the Delerium label. By 2002 Delerium had become inactive as the market for new psychedelic and progressive rock bands faded, but a couple of releases were re-issued including Psychomuzak's album 'The Extasie' in 2004 - which was produced by Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson - and Porcupine Tree's Moonloop which was previously a fan club only album that was reissued in limited quantities on both CD and vinyl.

Later labels

Allen started Molten Records in 2002 which signed up bands with a heavy psychedelic rock sound including Danish band On Trial, and UK power trio Josiah - who Allen not only christened but also managed - and related project The Beginning. Alongside Molten Allen ran a reissue label called Lightning Tree which rediscovered '60s and '70s recordings by Marianne Segal, Jade, Edwards Hand, The Picadilly Line and Stallion. The Lightning Tree label's most popular release was a highly acclaimed collection of the original 78 rpm recordings that were covered by and inspired the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. The album "Songs The Bonzos Taught Us" was put together over a three year period during which Allen tracked down all the original 78s that had influenced the band as well as researching and notating the CD with the help of Legs Larry Smith of The Bonzo Dog Band. The album was referenced by Neil Innes in the sleeve notes to the 2007 EMI reissues of the Bonzo Dog Band's catalogue.

The Freak Emporium

Allen and Trueman also ran The Freak Emporium, which had grown out of Freakbeat Magazine as a source of hard to find new psychedelic music. Starting out as a photocopied insert in the magazine it went on to become one of the earliest UK music mail order operations on the internet. The success of The Freak Emporium funded the development of Delerium Records, particularly the early tours and recordings of Porcupine Tree, and by the late 1990s The Freak Emporium website and printed mail order catalogue were not just a platform for Delerium Records direct mail order, but were primarily an outlet for 30,000 specialist and hard to find items. The website featured a search engine covering over 120 genres of music as specialist as "Apocalyptic", "Experimental/Outsider Music" and "Sludge", along with many others that broke down pop and rock music from all over the world into genres named by decade and geographical location, as well as style.[1] The Freak Emporium was and reviewed and featured on BBC Radio 6 (The Freakzone), and in magazines and newspapers including The Guardian, Bizarre and Record Collector.[2]

The Freak Emporium ceased trading in late November 2007, citing the problem of VAT free imports from the Channel Islands as the principal reason[3]. Although no longer trading, the site remains online today as an archive and information resource for collectable and underground music. After giving evidence to the All Parliamentary Shops Committee in 2005 Allen has become a campaigner against retailers that are using the Channel Island VAT free import fulfilment industry which he claims has devastated UK music retail and other UK retail sectors. In 2010, along with a number of retailers from various industries, Allen formed Retailers Against Vat Avoidance Schemes (RAVAS) who run the website In 2004, Allen sold the Porcupine Tree catalogue to Snapper Records, and recently Cherry Red acquired the remainder of the Delerium and Molten catalogues, which will be reissued with the assistance of Allen. The first release in March 2011, was a three CD boxed set retrospective featuring for the first time the full history of the label entitled "Last Daze of The Underground" (ECLEC32245).

See also


External links

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