Label Watch: Patience/Impatience

One label is dedicated to long-form compositions, the other to (relatively) conventional albums. What ties Glen Goetze’s two imprints together is that they serve as platforms for adventurous, genre-agnostic music from all over the planet.

Patience is a virtue, even more so in a culture that continuously moves at break-neck speed and shows no sign of slowing down. Glen Goetze knows a thing or two about the music industry and is well-attuned to its pace, however the New York City-based Australian is (sort of) taking it more slowly than most other people with his two labels Patience and Impatience. The former is dedicated to long-form compositions by synth wizards, pianists, or adventurous house and techno producers, the latter showcases the work of musicians who dedicate themselves to a (relatively) more conventional approach both stylistically and in terms of track length.

Goetze grew up in a different time, learning about music from print magazines and alternative radio while going to local shows. He fell in love with Beck and the Beastie Boys as well as »anything Australian that was in a similar world,« as he says today. This included The Avalanches, whose »El Producto« EP proved to be a veritable epiphany for him and his classmates when it came out in 1997. »They sounded like an Australian Beastie Boys, and we were totally obsessed!« The sampledelic sound of the Melbourne group, especially 2000’s iconic »Since I Left You« album as well as their DJ sets left a lasting impression on Goetze, who went on to write his own music reviews and worked at a community radio station while at university.

It was during this time that Goetze started to notice that the group’s releases as well as records by Cut Copy and New Buffalo all had the same logo on their backs: Modular, it said in angular, futuristic-looking letters. »I think that was the first time I really recognised the idea of a record label.« Goetze interned at the Australian institution, after which he worked there occasionally whenever his studies would allow him to, and was eventually hired as an A&R, collecting credits on records such as Tama Impala’s »Currents« or The Presets’ »Apocalypso.« Modular closed shop in 2015 and Goetze went on work for the biggest music company in the world, Universal, but the lessons he had learned during his time at Modular proved to be essential for the project he started in 2019, Patience.

Make long, own stuff

»I really learnt everything I know about releasing records working for Modular,« Goetze says today. »One of the key lessons was to only release records you’re genuinely into.« He loves his artists, he stresses, but doesn’t find the major label system »particularly inspiring,« which is why he set out to found his own imprint. »At that time in particular I was leaning more towards longer, deeper, more meditative pieces of music,« he remembers. »Music I could put on and just set and forget, get really lost in.« Albums such as Manuel Göttsching’s groundbreaking »E2-E4,« Steve Reich’s composition »Music for 18 Musicians« and »any recording by The Necks« served as »talismans,« defining the benchmark for the kind of musical approach for which Patience was supposed to serve as a platform.

I don’t find the work of major labels particularly inspiring.

Glen Goetze (Patience Label)

If you scour through the label’s slim but idiosyncratic back catalogue—easily recognisable thanks to Luca Schenardi’s striking artworks—you’ll likely find it hard to make sense this wild mix at first listen. There’s Johanna Knutsson, primarily known as a techno and house producer, paying homage to the Berlin School, while composer Misha Sultan uses gamelan instrumentation for drawn-out jams with funky basslines. John Carroll Kirby paints vivid images of North-Western Italy, while CV Vision’s Dennis Schulze offers some very Franconian vibes with his decidedly psychedelic and lo-fi take on the Kosmische Musik tradition. »The idea for Patience was never about genre or style, more about bringing different examples of those into a common format,« shrugs Goetze. If it fills a whole record with one or at most two different pieces, it’s fit for release.

Patience as a self-fulfilling prophecy

However, in 2022 Goetze launched a sibling label with the tongue-in-cheek name Impatience. Through it, he has released a slew of albums by artists that address an audience with a shorter attention span. These are records that follow a more conventional formula, which of course doesn’t mean that Goetze’s initial idea behind it was in any way conventional. »I was imagining really short pieces of music, 30 second tracks, but that felt gimmicky,« he says. But when A.R. Wilson, better known as Andras, sent him a draft of the album »Old Gold,« he had found just the right record to inaugurate this second label. »Like everything Andy does, it was high-concept but transcended that and was just a really unique, beautiful, explorative record.« 

The release of »Old Gold« was followed by others such as »Hisyochi« by Hoshina Anniversary—the only, but according Goetze hopefully not the last artist who has released on both labels after sending over »several albums worth« of demos—or Tryphème’s »Odd Balade,« a grippingly sparse take on goth-inspired dream pop. Slowly, more and more albums came out on the newly launched offshoot than through the label that had started it all. »The Patience releases tend to be more like commissions, with me approaching people and asking if they have or would be interested in creating something in this specific format,« explains Goetze. »Impatience releases come together a little more easily

»I feel like I cursed myself with the name and I just need to suck it up and abide by the philosophy«.

Glen Goetze (Patience Label)

Whether in his work with Patience or Impatience, as a seasoned A&R Goetze maintains a friendly and respectful rapport with his artists. »I’m just trying to help facilitate creating the best, most authentic work,« he says. Both are passion projects, after all. Goetze’s day job supports his label work, which isn’t exactly economically viable—long-form pieces don’t really rake in much streaming cash even if they become successful, and rising prices in vinyl production are an additional problem. While Impatience is still going strong, Goetze also hopes to get the ball rolling again with Patience; the label’s last release came out in the Fall of 2022. »I feel like I cursed myself with the name and I just need to suck it up and abide by the philosophy,« he says. Every virtue can become a vice eventually—which of course doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be indulged in.