Charnel was started in 1988 by Mason Jones as a label that released works by his band Trance. The group's cassette Fatal Blow was the first release. More cassettes from Trance as well as other local San Francisco groups followed. It was not until the label compiled the Arrhythmia CD, though, that it became focused on other projects.It included music from up-and-comers as well as bands that already possessed a cult following (such as the Pain Teens). For the next eight years, the label came out with talent such as Gravitar (band), Crash Worship, and Jones's own SubArachnoid Space. In addition to this, Jones collected talent from Japan such as Melt Banana and Fushitsusha. Many of these groups were compiled onto the three-part Land of the Rising Noise series. The label gained these Japanese acts cult followings in the U.S. as well exposing the native music to Japan. The sub-label of Circular Reasoning put out albums such as Tel Basta's Lickerish and the groundbreaking Bohemain Special by The Gay Barbarians and/or the Jaurwars. However, the label is now in a hiatus period which is probably permanent.