Absolutely Kosher Announces Label Relaunch Celebrating 25th Anniversary

Independent record label Absolutely Kosher is returning after a 12-year absence to relaunch the label with a full slate of releases and initiatives for the 25th anniversary of its inception. The announcement is made in tandem with news from Charles Bissell, singer-writer-producer of the Wrens, that he will be releasing new music under the name Car Colors via Absolutely Kosher. This will be the first new music from Bissell in 20 years, since the release of The Wrens’ classic album The Meadowlands via Absolutely Kosher, in 2003. 

As discussions around an anniversary reissue of The Meadowlands broke down in late 2022 and the decision was made not to repress the record at this time, Bissell asked Absolutely Kosher founder Cory Brown to reopen the label and release his long-awaited new record. Brown, who shuttered the label in 2011 to pay his mounting debts in the wake of a disruption that saw the music industry lose more than $7.5B in a 5-year period [CNN], had spent the last twelve years doing exactly that and was finally reaching the end of this humbling slog. Following a week of trying to convince Bissell that there were many capable labels still in business who’d be excited to work with him, Bissell was able to convey that, at age 60, after all the rigmarole around the dissolution of his former band and the decade of actively working on his album, he simply wanted to work with someone he knew and trusted. 

Realizing the record would fall on the label’s 25th anniversary and armed with the validation of the artist most closely linked to the label, Brown soon stumbled into all sorts of serendipity, starting in the form of one Matt Reznick, a fan of both band and label who Brown met randomly in the hallway of their apartment building in 2021. Hearing of Bissell’s offer and Brown’s desire to not just come back for a single record but to engineer a full bells-and-whistles relaunch, Reznick, whose family had been victims of Bernie Madoff but whose inheritance still afforded him some modest privilege, offered to underwrite the effort.