After discovering Solace Records a couple of weeks ago, I decided to follow up my interest in conducting an interview with the exciting new record label co-founder Jamie Stowell. Take a read:
From someone who doesn’t know much about the founders of Solace Records, can you tell me a bit about your background in the industry?
OK, well, myself – Jamie Stowell, I’ve been running my other label Silk Recordings since the end of 2008. I also produce under the name Forge for d&b and Stole for my downtempo/dubstep tunes. I’m also one half of ‘The Hybridz’ with my production partner from Brazil – ‘Integration Now’. We make all genres but mainly dubstep/garage and d&b. We have our second set of releases coming out, one 12” on Peer Pressure from the states, a E.P on Silk which is a digital release and a E.P on Solace which will be digital as well. We are just confirming some remixes for the Silk E.P now and you should see a really big artist announced for this in the future. We are still waiting to lock the track list for Soalce, just gotta get some time to mix all the tunes down. I’ve also started a house collab with one of my friends who is a local producer here in Melbourne. We’ve been getting a fair bit of radio play and we are only 8 tunes deep so it’s going well so far. This project is growing organically, we don’t even have a name for ourselves yet but we will start sending some tunes in the near future. So who knows what will happen.
What was your main reasons for starting the label? Were there any particularly strong influences?
I was particularly influenced by Tom’s mixes on Soundcloud. But also I think for me it’s going against the grain, if you look at Silk for instance we don’t release the normal d&b tunes, I always try and make sure each release has an experimental vibe to it, so you could say it’s following on from this concept as well.
In terms of music artists like Burial, Kingdom, Instra:mental, pretty much most of the artists on Hyperdub and anyone that’s doing something different.
One of the motivating factors for me was the fact that the market seems to be deeply saturated with a lot of throw away, see how big and loud you can get the bass type of tracks. Which is all good and well but there has to be that contrast in my opinion for the deeper more experimental side of things as well. Another important factor is the amount of mind blowing music that is around at the moment and the majority of it is unsigned. Sites like soundcloud have really made the unsigned artists get heard and I think this new movement in cloud based apps has given artists the ability to feed off each other and allow for new sounds to develop.
You have previously said that you want your label to be in-keeping with your diverse musical tastes and roots. Can you expand on this a bit please?
I listen to a lot of different music and as explained in the first question I make all sorts of genres in the studio. If I was stuck with one form of music I would go crazy! Growing up NZ, I was exposed to lots of dub, reggae, organic types of music and this is something that I try to represent not only in my tracks but translate this into the music we release for Soalce as well. Moving into the future, you will see Solace bring thru all types of sounds as we develop new artists and bring new flavors to the table :)
In a time where vinyl sales struggle, what made you choose to release through vinyl in this digital age?
For us it’s just a format to listen to the music on. Some people prefer to carry a MP3 with them everywhere, while others prefer to smell the vinyl and touch the physical product itself. At the end of the day, the music does the talking so we just want to give people who buy it the choice. Obviously the digital side of things has taken off greatly in the last few years and our vinyl releases will be strictly limited to 500 copies worldwide. Once they are gone that’s it, no more re-presses down the track. With all our vinyl, you get the mp3 for free from our store, so why not by the physical product you get more for your money ;)
Before you started, was there a strong vision in terms of the sound you guys will be pushing?
Yes, Tom had already created a sound himself with his mixes. When we discussed this side of things it became apparent quite quickly we both had the same tastes in music and both had the same ideology.
From the initial start up we had a very clear vision of where we wanted to take our sound and I’m sure this will evolve and develop in the future as the label progresses.
Some people will already by familiar with artists such as Clubroot and The Hybrids, but which upcoming artists are you really excited about?
For me, I’m really feeling – Bulb, Roqqert, Integration Now, Ghostek, Faib, eleven8, Hiatus, Delete. There are loads more but just a few straight of the top of my head.
We know what your first release will be, Clubroot’s ‘Scars/Hellion’. Any news on the second or third?
Yes, we have them already sorted. Not sure if Tom will let me tell tho ;)
A big thanks for Jamie for taking his time out to do this. No update on the next releases but I’m sure we’ll be hearing news quite soon.
Jamie also recorded a mix full of unheard and unreleased dubs from Solace and Silk that will be on here in the next few days.
Hopefully be hearing a lot more from these guys in the future.