The label was set up to release limited edition split singles/EPs and focussed on featuring an artist who had released music on other labels on one side and then an unknown often quite similar sounding artist on the other. The very first release featured the influential German electronic artist Arovane, at the time when he was just breaking through with the album 'Atol Scrap' with the worldwide debut release by the then unknown Christian Kleine (now signed to Morr Music / City Centre Offices and half of Herrmann & Kleine) on the other side.
This continued throughout the catalogue, most notably with Papa M's (David Pajo) split single with UK underground post-rock band Unhome, long before the Slint reunions, and more recently with melodic electronic act ISAN releasing an EP with the excellent Tomcats In Tokyo from France.
Awkward Silence has always been run as a hobby-label with releases appearing as and when the time felt right, often with long gaps between discs and then with two or more new singles appearing in shops on the same day! The label was also a firm favourite with John Peel, who played tracks regularly on his BBC Radio 1 shows.
The artwork on all releases has always followed the same pattern with the main image usually being submitted by one of the musical artists on the release with everything printed in monochrome colours. All releases up to number 18 were on 7" vinyl and then the switch was made to 3" CDs housed in cute mini m-lock CD cases in 2005. Short run vinyl pressing prices were proving restrictive and the new digital format meant that more music could be included on each release, now up to 21 minutes.
The label now has a back catalogue of over 30 split releases featuring over 60 artists from all over the world, many of whom are well-respected and have gone on to have successes elsewhere.
Two missing catalogue numbers belongs to non-musical items:
cat. no. awkward 09 - Awkward Silence Recordings mouse mat. A Christmas present to the label from within the Awkward Silence family in 2001. Limited edition of 1 only.
cat. no. awkward 13 - Limited edition Awkward Silence Recordings T-shirt. It includes the computer logo on the front breast with the label name and website address on the back, and each one is finished off with 'is t-shirt' on the lower front left-hand side. Each shirt also comes with its own catalogue number ID tag. Edition of 100 in total.
All of the early split 7" releases on Awkward Silence have recently been reissued on the 3" CD format.
They all feature their original artwork images and sleeve notes, and match the current split 3" CDs in the cute clear cases, meaning that all releases are back in print once again although each is a limited edition.
The label is now also offering all releases via digital download and remaining of the physical stock from its own Bandcamp page.