Join The Ritual

Join The Ritual  

Join The Ritual

Released: September 24, 2021


LP Glowing Orb

  1. Spencer Krug - Red Dress
  2. The Besnard Lakes - Good Morning, Captain
  3. They Hate Change - The Seeming and The Meaning
  4. Angel Olsen - Cold Blooded Old Times
  5. Bruce Hornsby - Feel The Pain
  6. Jamila Woods - Fast Car
  7. Nap Eyes - Car
  8. S. Carey - Weight of Water
  9. Pink Mountaintops - The Concept
  10. Cut Worms - One For The Catholic Girls
  11. Okay Kaya - Nightswimming

Midway through his long, earnest and often very, very funny essay on the role playing game Dungeons & Dragons in the September 2006 issue of The Believer, writer Paul La Farge proposes that Dungeons & Dragons is not a game at all but rather a ritual.

La Farge notes the marked difference between game and ritual. Whereas a game seeks to demonstrate how unequal or distinct players/teams are from one another, rituals seek to do the very opposite. “Ritual, on the other hand, is the exact inverse, for it brings about a union,” La Farge writes, himself paraphrasing anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss. “Or in any case an organic relation between the initially separate groups.”

And so, across the 25-year history of Jagjaguwar, an independent record label curiously named using a Dungeons & Dragons name generator, we find this idea of ritual as a conjoining practice. We see it early on when Jagjaguwar joins forces with a midwestern label called Secretly Canadian for a powerful fusion. We see it in familial relationships and collaboration among Jagjaguwar artists, and the ways those artists’ most treasured collaborators make their ways to the Jagjaguwar game board.

Join The Ritual, the third piece of Jagjaguwar’s 25th Anniversary celebration, looks to pay homage to the labels and artists that, whether they know it or not, invited Jagjaguwar to the table, to this wild, dark magic ritual of music. We’re talking about independent titans like Drag City, Too Pure, K Records and Touch & Go. We’re talking about heroes like R.E.M., Slint, Stereolab and Tracy Chapman. These songs captured the imaginations of our founders Darius Van Arman and Chris Swanson – and ultimately, opened up worlds to them. Thinking of Whitman here:

The question, O me! so sad, recurring – What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here – that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

These Jagjaguwar artists and alumni -and one very close friend- help us pay tribute to the verses that invited us to join the ritual a quarter century ago.