Established in 2007, Esoteric Recordings is a UK independent record label specialising in 1970s progressive rock, folk, psychedelic and jazz-rock reissues as part of the Cherry Red Records umbrella of imprints. Its releases include both catalogue reissues and new works from artists who share a similar musical heritage.
The label’s founder is Mark Powell, who has been a freelance music consultant for major labels such as Universal, Sony and EMI since 2000, working with artists including Soft Machine, Caravan, Camel, Man and Hawkwind, as well as producing label retrospectives covering Deram, Decca, Vertigo, Harvest and United Artists. His consultancy work led to the formation of an independent reissue label, originally titled Eclectic Discs, to license overlooked releases he considered worthwhile, but weren't of sufficient commercial stature to interest major labels. Other releases are sourced from the artists themselves, while the label has also been involved in the release of DVD material from artists including Barclay James Harvest.
Speaking in 2008, Powell said:
Among the label's releases have been box sets including the six-CD Jack Bruce Can You Follow? and the four-CD Bill Nelson Trial By Intimacy (The Book Of Splendours) as well as standalone releases by artists including: Man, Claire Hamill, The Keef Hartley Band, Egg, Michael Moorcock, Gary Farr, Daevid Allen and Rare Bird.
More recently in 2012, Esoteric Recordings started a new front line record label, Esoteric Antenna, which recently put out the debut album by Squackett (Steve Hackett and Chris Squire) called "A Life Within a Day". It has also signed several new artists including the Oxford-based band, Sanguine Hum and guitarist Matt Stevens.