cellar door is the french music label playing with anonymity

Artists swap their names for an alias and fictive personality, and every EP comes with its own zine that invents a story.

by i-D France
18 May 2017, 7:30am

French fashion designer Léa Peckre and Dj Sene -- both offspring of the Paris underground scene -- have teamed up to create new label Cellar Door, and a new approach to making music. Deviating from the usual egos and names, Cellar Door instead operates on a principle of anonymity. In terms of musical horizons, the label has no restrictions. "We want to have the largest perspective possible, to not answer to a specific style. It is actually quite hard for us to fit the music we like to listen to into traditional genres. The label focuses on different fields, on spontaneous compositions, from dance to experimental music," Sene explains. 

Three times a year the label will publish the work of an artist with one condition: the musician will have to swap their name for an alias, and there will be no way for the audience to know who is behind the alias. It's a way to question and play around with fame and notoriety, as well as authorship and memory -- proposing a different way to think of the vision of the artist. In doing so, the sound takes on a new kind of focus. "I think this anonymity condition will allow the artists to get any personal stake out of the way and propose unprecedented work," Sene continues. In order to embody a pseudonym, each artist will choose a character with a distinct personality, depicted by a random person. "We're creating a series of fictive characters and a collection of stories and profiles," says Sene.

Every EP will come with a zine shot by a renowned photographer, featuring the artist's avatar in different imagined situations. Cellar Door want to bring back a strong sense of tangibility of sound through photography, publishing and vinyl. "The object is central. While creating a physical link between music and photography, it's also a way for us to break the abstraction of the internet. We want to think of our publications as collections and archives."

The first ever EP, titled 660 Problems is signed by the alias Persona Service and contains five precisely built tracks. The zine is playful and super quirky -- shot by French photographer Charles Nègre and Sene in Senegal. Take a listen above, see a few of the pictures below, and keep your eyes peeled for what they drop next. 



Cellar Door
music label
music interviews
persona service