Never Records is a combination recording studio and record shop, setting up in locales throughout the world. The sole proprietor, interior decorator, and engineer is New York-based artist Ted Riederer. Inspired by his own redemptive education at a young age inside the walls of a local record store in Rockville, Maryland as well as the field recording projects of Alan Lomax, Riederer devised his unique community art installation in the early part of this century and has been replicating it with regional variations throughout the world since 2010.
Performers from a locale sign up for recording sessions ahead of time, with no auditions necessary. Riederer usually offers three hour sessions, during which he mixes on the fly and cuts vinyl right in front of the artist’s eyes once both are satisfied with a particular take. The recordings are free to the artist, the sessions are open to the public, and you can’t buy anything you see. Ted hasn’t lowered prices by cutting out the middleman. He is the middleman. He is not a vertical operation; he is an elliptical one, a constant feedback loop supplying its own demand. Still, everyone takes something home, even if it’s the barest speck of record shop camaraderie inadvertently inhaled.
-Ryan Sparks, New Orleans