Mike Sniper has some opinions when it comes to running a record label: “If a label is to maintain any esteem or credibility, it should maintain a 50% homegrown talent base. If you can’t maintain that meager ratio you’re probably not a record label, you’re a manufacturing plant with a cool logo.”
As owner and founder of the Brooklyn label Captured Tracks, Sniper’s been on the pulse of Brooklyn’s independent scene, releasing a finely-tuned catalogue of bands including Beach Fossils, Soft Metals, Thieves Like Us and his own shoegaze project Blank Dogs. Unlike other indie labels that cloak their commercial aims with DIY posturing, Captured Tracks has remained committed to nurturing its homespun network of young artists, following a philosophy not unlike those decades-since deceased indie greats that have their mark.
If his label gives any hint to what he’s all about, then his record store, Co-Op 87, is him putting his ideas into practice. On Guernsey Street, his shop has added some serious crate-digging culture to Greenpoint’s ever increasing popularity, and if you’re lucky enough to see the don behind the counter, he might give you some tips to what’s cool around the block. If not, then listen up, here’s how to live Greenpoint like a local.