The Mundi Jungle Hut

Founded by Crystal Fighters guitarist Graham Dickson in 2014, Axis Mundi Records provides a haven for developing artists. Entirely independent, their Brooklyn, NY studio, The Mundi Jungle Hut, maintains an open door policy.

Organic Origins
After touring for a few years with Crystal Fighters, people started asking me to produce their music. People were looking to me for creative advice and how to navigate life in the music world.

After one summer of doing festivals, a band named Psymon Spine, who’s now on the label, reached out to me. I was on tour with Crystal Fighters (we were supposed to play a show in Albany, NY) and they were going to college [about] an hour away. They sent me a song, said they liked my band and were friends with other friends of ours, a band called Is Tropical. They’d remixed one of our songs, so they kind of made the connection and asked if we could hang out if they came to the show. I listened to the song and thought it was amazing. I invited them and they came; we really connected and partied all night. That night, they asked me to produce their album. I asked them if I started a record label would they want to put it out with me. And they were like, totally, we’d love that.

On the same tour, another friend’s band, DrugzNDreams, also asked if I’d produce their record and I threw out the idea of a label. In the fall of 2014, I moved back to New York and overnight signed three bands, including Is Tropical.

A Mission of Unity
Our mission is to work with likeminded musicians. So if you’re in line with our ethos, we will happily work with you. Axis Mundi is a place where music and fun come first and everything else comes second. My label partner, Bill [Toce], and I consistently ask ourselves, “What do we wish our favorite labels would do?”

What sets us apart is that we really focus on unity, having the bands work as a collective. A lot of our bands produce each other’s music, engineer it or are involved in it one way or another. We like that.

Copacetic Contracts
I was inspired to break the mold a bit with contracts. With Crystal Fighters, I’d never signed a deal that was just one album or project. Signing a multi-record deal can have its benefits and its downfalls. We’re uninterested in keeping a band with us if they don’t want to be, so everything is very short-term. We’re not trying to fool anyone with the language in our contract.

A Nurturing Environment
Once you get to a certain point, you need a major label to get to the next level, but not all bands are aspiring to reach that level of fame. We’re focused on the birth of music and long-term development of projects. We’re aware of the peaks and troughs of anyone’s journey in music.
We don’t love just one album from a band; usually, we love years and years of their output, rather than just one moment. It seems the majors aren’t taking as many risks and are less interested in artist development or giving bands time to evolve. We like to watch bands grow and do what we can to help.

Stay True
You’ve got to have a voice, stay true to it and try not to worry too much about what other people are doing. Make sure to develop your sound so it’s exactly what you want it to be before you start pushing it out to the world.

Inside and Outside the Industry
We’re not trying to be a totally punk, D.I.Y. label and reject everything that is the music industry. We don’t throw money at something and hope it sticks. We only spend money when it’s necessary. Sometimes, that’s paying for a PR company that’s known. Other times, it makes more sense for us to use our own resources. We have enough of a following that we can introduce a new project just to the Axis Mundi fan base and have that create a bit of a wave.