Arnau Sala and Ivy Barkakati, the two Barcelona-based individuals behind the intriguing Anòmia imprint, speak with Matthew Kent about their multi-disciplined approach to running a label.
We head over to Amsterdam as Richard Brophy checks in with Aroy Dee, whose M>O>S Recordings label is on the cusp of its tenth anniversary.
Brendan Arnott heads to NYC to meet Eamon Harkin and Justin Carter, the men behind Brooklyn’s Mister Saturday Night parties and label to chat about about their curatorial approach, the community spirit that permeates their parties, and the changing face of the city.
James Manning speaks with DJ Flush; head man at Berlin club night turned multi-faceted label Killekill, who also turns in a mix of the label’s highlights to date.
We dispatch Oli Warwick to chat to the two Glaswegians making some noise as the heads of Dixon Avenue Basement Jams – they also provide us with a 75 minute mix of all DABJ material, much of it unreleased.
Brendan Arnott speaks to Justin Gibbon, the man behind Great Circles, a label from Philadelphia whose ‘shifty’ take on improvisational electronics is beginning to seep through into the wider consciousness.
Since 2009 Weimar-based label Giegling has constructed a micro-assembly of orchestral kinetics and thunderhead techno that’s forging new pathways through a forgotten wasteland of minimal decay and lost dub. James Manning tracked down label co-founder Konstantin to discuss Giegling’s distinctly rustic charms – we also procured a mix from Konstantin that adds some flavour to what the label are doing.
2013 sees Eglo celebrate four years of releasing music with their first label compilation Eglo Records Vol 1, a year in which label head Alexander Nut ponders the next step for his close-knit stable of artists. Tom Banham speaks to Nut along with Fatima and FunkinEven.
Scott Wilson meets Alex Wilson and Lionel Skerratt, the pair behind one of the UK’s emerging labels in the increasingly crowded field of reissues and contemporary avant-garde electronics.
Across its twelve year history Crème Organization has remained steadfastly singular in their approach. Here Richard Brophy speaks to DJ TLR about the label’s genesis and distinct aesthetic, strong links to the historic Bunker label and Crème’s place in the modern online-centric world. A selection of DJ TLR’s personal favourite Godspill art is scattered throughout and we also have an unreleased gem from the Crème archives.
Behind every great label there is a strong curatorial hand, an individual or group whose singular or collective vision helps guide their labour of love onwards with memorable and compelling results. Andrew ‘Lovefingers’ Hogge has done just this with ESP Institute, a label whose impressive output from an international cast of friends and like minded individuals transcends simple categorisation but feels perfectly at home. Emboldened by a strong visual aesthetic that’s been the work of one person throughout, ESP Institute has casually attained the kind of revered status that makes it easy to forget Hogge only founded the label roughly three years ago.
Emerging from the murk of the cassette resurgence resplendent in non-household names and unconventional approaches, Opal Tapes can be counted as a shining example of the rewards to be reaped from an acute combination of curatorial dexterity and aesthetic pride. Surfacing midway through last year, Stephen Bishop’s labour of love has already acquired a respectable stature for a relatively new label, and is already fourteen instalments deep that run the gamut from decaying techno to dissociative noise. As the label’s Facebook mantra would have it, “tapes & records – electronics & scuzz”.
“I’m surprised I’m a functioning member of society”: In discussion with Death Waltz’s Spencer Hickmanby Juno Plus on 29.10.2012 at 11:11am
The Death Waltz Recording Company has been one of the standout imprints in a year that has seen a glut of new labels with a sole or prominent focus on releasing vinyl. It began by reissuing seminal cinema scores; the first two releases were Escape From New York – one of John Carpenter’s finest moments – and Fabio Frizzi’s Zombie Flesh Eaters, which were followed by a flurry of OSTs including Donnie Darko, Let The Right One In, The Living Dead At Manchester Morgue, and three more Carpenter/Howarth masterpieces: Prince Of Darkness and, most recently, Halloween II and III.
There is no rule book to consult when it comes to the art of successfully establishing a record label; the variables and circumstances that ensure one imprint’s success will invariably mean another flounders.
The RVNG INTL back catalogue, like the mind of the label’s founder Matt Werth, is swollen with concepts, from the defunct RVNG Of The NRDS edits to the ongoing FRKWYS collaborations and album projects with Pink Skull and Blondes.
Semantica is one of the few truly underground techno labels.
At a time when the idea of imprints acting as filters for great music becomes increasingly redundant thanks to the immeasurable number of labels spewing out digital releases, it has bucked the trend. Synonymous with a DiY culture that is rare nowadays, its owner’s A&R skills means that it has achieved buy on sight status. From ERP’s widescreen electro to Developer’s big room techno via Orphx’s abrasive industrial and Andy Stott’s deep, dreamy dub, the Madrid label’s approach is the direct opposite of 99 per cent of labels that slavishly follow a pre-ordained micro-genre.
It also differs from most operations in that it places particular value on its vinyl releases, with limited editions for sale directly via its website. Last year Semantica celebrated its fifth birthday with a five-vinyl release series that included tracks from long-term label collaborators like ERP, Oscar Mulero, Plant43 and Vladislav Delay, as well as contributions from Silent Servant and Karl O’Connor, while 2012 has seen Semantica champion newcomers like Developer, Aiken, NX1 and Architectural. Where did Semantica come from and how in a few short years does its catalogue boast so many great electronic music producers? To find out these answers, Richard Brophy spoke to label owner Svreca.
At the turn of 2012 a new label appeared with little prior fanfare in the form of Príncipe, sporting two incendiary twelve inches from Photonz and DJ Marfox, whose magical yet diverse sounds were matched by striking sleeve design. Compelled to find out more about the people behind the label and their motivations for founding Príncipe, it became immediately apparent the two releases so far are the culmination of a community project that’s been long brewing and promises much more.
As one of the two men behind Glasgow institution Optimo, JD Twitch has seen more as a DJ than most could ever hope to. Thanks to its open musical policy and loyal following, the Optimo club night, which started at Glasgow’s Sub Club in 1997, saw the rise and fall of various dance music fads and scenes, before Twitch and his DJ partner JG Wilkes eventually called time on the party in 2010. Their skills and selection talents remain in high demand, and they have relented to their own desire for a hometown party, recently announcing the bi-monthly return of the night to the Sub Club. Of course Optimo is more than just a club night and name for a DJ duo; it’s a name that conjures up images of a whole musical ethos, which is why it came as no surprise when Optimo Music was born in 2009, a label which would allow Twitch (working independently from Wilkes) to indulge in his own musical taste to release records that reflect that ethos. But meeting Twitch in a café close to his Glasgow home to talk about the label, it soon became apparent that Optimo Music was just the latest incarnation of a project Twitch has been experimenting with for almost 20 years.