The End of the World Records (EWR) was a record label and production company formed by Brian Aysanabee and John Benson in late 2005. Originally based out of The Bruce House, EWR was brought into existence for the purpose of cataloguing the musical work of Aysanabee under his many pseudonyms.
Early History (2005-2006)
Acquaintances since highschool, Aysanabee and Benson became close friends during the summer of 2004, spending the evenings cycling around Port Arthur, and eventually ended up becoming roommates at The Bruce House with Aysanabee occupying the basement and Benson residing in one of the 3 upstairs rooms. It was during this time that Benson became aware of Aysanabee's capacity for churning out quality music at unprecedented speeds. Hand-in-hand with this knowledge came the realization that there was no system in place for cataloguing the artistic output. Aysanabee began recording the Vov Abraxas as Ace Trigonometry album WHATEVER FOREVER! in the living room of The Bruce House while Benson sat quietly and witnessed the project come together. During downtime the two would engage in conversation, which led to Benson discovering the sheer volume of lost material Aysanabee had recorded in the past. Evidence of up to 2000 songs and templates was confirmed years earlier when Benson was shown several cardboard boxes full of cassette tapes containing untracklisted music that even Aysanabee himself could not recall creating.
Benson had spent nearly a decade as the sole discographer for the rock band Live. This responsibility fostered a strong sense of appreciation for organization, detail, and correctness in him. Seeing an opportunity to manage a prolific artist and spearhead a marketing campaign for his friend and housemate, Benson approached Aysanabee with the idea of a record label partnership. Aysanabee saw the value in such a venture and came up with the name The End of the World Records. Once the record company was born, motivation to build it happened swiftly and with great enthusiasm. Aysanabee began taking his music more seriously while Benson developed a cataloguing system and worked on bringing EWR to the web.
Bruce House resident Steve Remple moved out shortly before Christmas in 2005. His room was taken up by Ian Monteith and Kaylee Wick. Interested in what Aysanabee and Benson were up to, Monteith began sitting in on recording sessions and soon became involved with the label. Monteith had a history of touring Canada with a band named Vaya and also possessed a knowledge of mastering music.
By the time 2006 rolled around Vov Abraxas as Ace Trigonometry released his debut album "WHATEVER FOREVER!" (EWR-01001-2). The album was originally released in a DVD case. The album artwork was hand-drawn entirely by Aysanabee himself and was photocopied for distribution at The UPS Store. At this early stage, the label had not yet clearly defined their distribution and marketing model. Hence, the majority of the sales of WHATEVER FOREVER! were made in one night by Aysanabee at a local pub. Sales of the album were ultimately insufficient to cover production costs, so the sophomore album from Vov came at the expense of the label.
Although intending to branch out and include independent local musicians, EWR struggled financially and its managers felt ill-equipped to sign new artists. Therefore, the label remained loyal to the three incarnations of Aysanabee (Ace Trigonometry, Dine Peril, and Vov Abraxas). In early 2006 Aysanabee's creativity peaked and before long EWR had released 9 albums under the various project names. Despite the volume of material being created and released, EWR was still in its infancy and required a more structured plan in order to turn a profit and succeed. Compared with WHATEVER FOREVER!, sales of all subsequent albums saw a significant drop due to an overall lack of a game plan.
A series of social and personal conflicts eventually led to the dissolution of The Bruce House. Aysanabee was removed from the residence by the owner following a misunderstanding regarding the whereabouts of psilocybin mushrooms before a house party. Though Aysanabee continued to create music after moving out, it became increasingly difficult to coordinate time to spend concentrating on the label.
Final Year and Dissolution (2007)
Within months of Aysanabee's departure from The Bruce House, Monteith moved out to 1513 Gore Street with his girlfriend, leaving Benson in an increasingly isolated environment. As fate would have it, Benson moved into 1513 several months later, seeking a new beginning from the changed atmosphere of The Bruce House. With Monteith and Benson now under the same roof again, and with Monteith working on his project Man Garden it was a natural move to reinvent EWR. However, without Aysanabee living at 1513, this proved more complicated than initially expected.
Many of Aysanabee's initial 9 records under EWR had been released in DVD cases. This had been a matter of convenience since the owner of The Bruce House had aquired boxes of empty cases from local adult video shops. However, since many of these initial pressings had either been lost, destroyed, or given away, Benson saw an opportunity to reissue these albums. Aysanabee had noticed a sale at Wal-Mart for Kool Krates (bundles of 25 empty 5.2mm slim jewel cases. He had purchased approximately 10 of these Kool Krates, and work quickly began on reissuing the record label's entire catalogue.