visit the store in ghent
Founded in 2003 as an archival record label by Tom Lunt, Rob Sevier, and Ken Shipley, Numero has evolved into a multi-format media company, devoted to dragging brilliant recordings, films, and photography out of unwarranted obscurity. We’re on a dirty, labor-intensive mission... and it’s urgent as all hell. Time kills off precious bits of passed-over sound, story, and ephemera every day, just as fast as we can haul this sprawling archive of under-heard recordings—along with the musicians, writers, and entrepreneurs who created them—out of exile.
Every Numero production–more than 60 titles in our diverse catalog ofLPs, CDs, cassettes, 45s, 12"s, and DVDs—is a modest miracle of localized sound creation, shedding fresh light on the efforts of men and women who sang, played, recorded, and peddled—to shallow rewards, if any. Each track lives and breathes at the nexus of story and song, preserving human work and hope gone lost into freshly etched grooves. Every recording we unearth is painstakingly re-mastered and carefully researched, with obsessive attention to narrative and factual detail unmatched in the so-called reissue field. By self-imposed law, everything numbered by Numero is a stunning new artifact of image and word, tailored to the sounds it safeguards.
Eccentric Soul, our flagship series, has documented lovingly mishandled soul labels from Columbus, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, Phoenix, Atlanta, and Miami. Our Wayfaring Strangers compilations collect the privately issued song-fruits of wandering folkies. Each Cult Cargo release visits the sonic shores of some tiny, isolated nation, while Good God! titles seek the spiritual, as enshrined on reels of audio tape neglected until now. And with Local Customs we investigate isolated, mom-and-pop recording outfits, each operated by a homespun Alan Lomax who gave neighbors and friends studio time, a microphone, and a shot at being heard a generation later. We’ve even crossed the street from time to time to deliver hidden worlds of unsung power pop, kitchen-sink New York disco and rap, kid-group soul, fiery rockabilly gospel, Franco-Belgian electro-samba, phantom blaxploitation funk, psychedelic heartland pop, orchestral UK chanteuse folk, decaying art-soul and Southside funk-blues club life captured in glorious black & white.
Our world-class vinyl sets the pace: Lavishly packaged 180-gram LPs from every Numero series have been joined by a 12” run and several limited-pressing singles. Our Asterisk imprint genre-hops to present undiscovered LPs in their entirety, while Numerophon, a vinyl-only imprint, has been tasked with the sort of sonic excavations formerly carried out by aging academicians with Greek fisherman's caps and a jones for pipe tobacco.
Why do we labor so? Somebody has to be the best archival record label in the world.