PhoenixHeart Records & Media was officially founded in 2002. Originally specializing in DIY punk rock and indie music in Central Illinois, PhoenixHeart has morphed into a company producing various types of Entertainment and Education media in line with libertarian and paleoconservative principles.

From the ruins of short-lived punk band The Racket Club’s 2001 break-up came Lucid Fire Volition, whose ‘Tolerance for Integrity’ EP would be PhoenixHeart Records’ first release. These first LFV recordings were strictly guitar & voice, a mix of minimalist punk approach and the sounds of the local folk-influenced open mic scene where Lucid Fire Volition was a standard. At the time of its founding as a DIY label, PhoenixHeart Records had a relationship with the popular 4-piece pub-punk band THE FAILURES, but that band would soon disband after the departure of their rhythm guitarist and a brief attempt as a 3-piece.

In early 2003, an instrumental techno-industrial side project called RAINCLOUD ZERO and the temporarily re-grouped DITR (DEVILS IN THE ROUGH), an old two-piece punk/hardcore band featuring a member of LFV, also served to broaden the sounds of PhoenixHeart.

Summer 2003 began a new era for PhoenixHeart Records, not only due to the release of LFV’s melancholy acoustic-meets-new-wave second album ‘Until One Thorough Rain, For You’, but also from the addition of a new group to the PhoenixHeart line-up: BEST OF WINTER . BEST OF WINTER was soon to be the leading emo-pop (BOW preferred “pop-core”) band of the West-Central Illinois area.

Best of Winter would move from lo-fi to very produced in the span of a popular demo album and studio album, and their popularity combined with growing booking experience to build on the efforts of more genuinely punk bands developing a local scene for punk-influenced West-Central Illinois bands. BOW joined the PhoenixHeart roster at a very formative time for both parties, as well as for the local/regional/national scene. The relationship had a short duration, as both PhoenixHeart and Best of Winter soon outgrew its purpose when circumstances changed.

Late 2003 also saw the first submissions for PhoenixHeart’s ILLINOIS INDEPENDENTS COMPILATION, which was released in 2004 and featured independent Illinois bands of various genres. Lucid Fire Volition’s 3rd album (and final release before its leave of absence for a return to hardcore roots), ‘Not Another Lie’ was also released the same year.

Both the independent music scene and PhoenixHeart have changed dramatically since PhoenixHeart’s 2002 founding. A punk/thrash side project called The Yellow Day Brigade had its first incarnation in 2004, but the bassist and drummer soon moved away to leave the guitarist/vocalist alone with the songs he had been writing. After making a joke-noise-acoustic demo (PhoenixHeart has a long history of mocking traditional acoustic guitar styles in favor of hardcore/thrash influences), The YDB began messing around with a drum machine and recorded the first tracks of the ‘Stop Kidding Yourself’ album in late 2004. The music video for the single, “It”, was completed in January, and the rest of the record was finished in February 2005.

2005 would see the beginning of PhoenixHeart’s transitional phase. ‘Stop Kidding Yourself’ was the first official RATIONALHARDCORE album, reclaiming punk/hardcore as consistent with the libertarian Non-Aggression Axiom in a time when culture and politics had moved punk/hardcore far from anything that could be considered a clear understanding of what punk really is or should be. The beginning of rationalhardcore coincided with the growing influence of Conservative Punk in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election.

The “It” video also had a profound effect on the direction of PhoenixHeart Records. With the new Liberty/Justice-conscious rationalhardcore movement and a new media form at its disposal, PhoenixHeart Records began to focus on FILM and PRINT as well as AUDIO. Libertarian and paleoconservative issues began to move to center stage, with entertainment reinforcing libertarian principles.

In May 2005, PhoenixHeart Records gave PhoenixHeartRecords.com a facelift and became PhoenixHeart Records & Media. The imprints YDB Records and Non-Aggression records were launched, and THE RATIONALHARDCORE AND LIBERTARIAN MUSIC ARCHIVE was created. Various original and outside articles were promoted, film ideas multiplied, and libertarian songwriting proliferated.

Early 2006 brought several Yellow Day Brigade side projects, most notably CCMD (also the moniker of Yellow Day Brigade frontman) and ABORT SCENE. Abort Scene is industrialized (formerly acoustic) old-school rationalhardcore, and CCMD could be described as multi-genre libertarian musical freedom. These projects allow songs that do not fit the confines of The YDB’s musical identity to be heard and appreciated. The Yellow Day Brigade released a 23-track rationalhardcore album titled “Taxation is Theft” in September 2006.

Fall 2006 saw the re-launch of PhoenixHeartRecords.com and a more organized and clearly-communicated business identity. The experimental jam punk band Yish was active until summer 2007, and ABORT SCENE released 38 tracks of heavily concentrated industrialized rationalhardcore. These tracks would be released on itunes, amazon mp3, and cd baby as 'Seeds of the Real Alternative' in 2008, as would the 39-track double-album of all released material from The Yellow Day Brigade as 'Taxation is Theft + Stop Kidding Yourself'.

PhoenixHeart is stepping further into film, print, and publishing with several new projects on the horizon, and its rationalhardcore/libertarian music movement looks to have a strong future.

Offering resources and media for people of all ages in a time of severe societal disrepair, PhoenixHeart Records & Media has become not only a media label, but the guidelines for a better way of life.


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THE YELLOW DAY BRIGADE: Taxation is Theft / Stop Kidding Yourself
Raincloud Zero: Orchid Nights