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Merge Records

Above all else, Merge is about releasing music by artists its staff respects and admires. The first couple of releases on Merge were cassettes: MRG 001 was Bricks' Winterspring. The cassette-only idea quickly ran its course, and soon the fledgling label was releasing a slew of seven-inches by local Chapel Hill bands (Superchunk, Angels Of Epistemology, Finger, Erectus Monotone), and nationally known bands (Seam, Coral, Breadwinner). The first full-length on Merge was Superchunk's Tossing Seeds, in April 1992. It was soon followed by Polvo's Cor-Crane Secret LP.

Since then, Merge has released hundreds of recordings by bands from across the U.S. and around the world. What began in 1989 as a preposterous idea concocted by Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan on a cross-country trip has expanded and flourished: operations have grown from boxes strewn about Ballance's bedroom to boxes strewn around a small house. McCaughan and Ballance still run the label, but they actually have a few employees these days, and the label continues to be centered around bringing together bands and creative-minded people.