Preview: Animal Farm Records Launch Party W/ Bleak
PREVIEW: Animal Farm Records Launch Party W/ Bleak
Any club night which takes the giant step to form a label must be congratulated. Signing, promoting and releasing your favourite records under a name which started out as nothing more than a simple way for you and your mates to play-out is an indication that things have become serious, confirming that your once fledgling party has now become something so much more. For Animal Farm that achievement is even more impressive, exemplified by the fact that Glasgow’s House and Techno scene is notoriously competitive. Having launched some eight years ago with a desire to host some of their favourite artists from around the world, while also giving themselves the necessary platform to progress, Quail, Lamb, Turtle and Ronin have done alright.
In fact, they’ve done better than alright, as not only do they now run one of the city’s most popular Techno nights, but this Friday they launch Animal Farm Records, an imprint which is sure to further their reach far beyond the limits of Glasgow. With all four residents being producers in their own right, the incentive to start a label was no doubt obvious, providing themselves with an outlet which can so often be denied to the ambitious but unconnected bedroom producer.
But of course it’s not just about releasing their own music, it’s a desire to share the sound which has shaped them, something which is represented unquestionably with their first release. Playing live at this Friday’s launch party, Sweden’s Bleak crafts deep, atmospheric Techno which borrows from the past, but steps boldly into the future. Delivering the Distant Voices EP, complete with remixes from Deepbass and the Animal Farm residents, he has promised something slightly different to his previous efforts, using depth, energy and direction to drive the dancefloor – a motive which AFR no doubt encourage wholeheartedly.
Check out some of Bleak's previous releases below as well as an exclusive mix for Animal Farm ahead of this Friday's launch:
We also caught up with Animal Farm resident and promoter Darren Quail about the launch of the label, as well as their first signing, Bleak:
Synth: So I guess the obvious start to this interview is what inspired you to take that leap from club night to label? Obviously Animal Farm has been running for some time now, do you feel it’s the natural progression for you guys?
Darren: We’ve all been producing tracks for a while, either together or individually, so we thought it was time to get some of our stuff out there, but we also wanted to showcase our sound and passion for Techno which is why we’ll have other prominent producers feature on the label. I suppose it is a natural progression in some way, but it’s not something that will be rushed. I think there is far too much music out there that needs to stand out, especially with Techno. Records will be released when we think they are going to make an impact musically. The first few releases will be from producers and friends.
Synth: Lets talk a little about the label then. You’re launching the imprint on the 7th September with a party at the Sub Club, what can we expect musically and how much influence would you say Glasgow has had on its orientation?
Darren: Of course we will focus mainly on Techno with AFR but there are 4 of us, each with their individual tastes but with a common focus, so I guess we would look at being quite across the board. The 1st EP is straight up Techno. Bleak has delivered two monster tracks that we are very pleased with and we couldn’t have asked for a better opener for AFR. Deepbass has stepped up for a fantastic remix too and we should see some Animal Farm remixes on there as well. As ever Glasgow has had a massive influence on us. We’ve been clubbing for over 10 years in the city, so we feel a part of the scene not just as promoters but as punters also! I’ve always felt Glasgow has been a Techno city, when I started going out around 2001 nights like TEST, Pressure, My Machines and Monox were my kind of thing. It seems now though that bass music and Ibiza-esq tech house seem to rule a bit here, but it’s great that there is something for everyone. Hopefully we will bring more of an edge back to Glasgow.
Synth: You have Swedish-based producer Bleak providing your first release (who we’ll hear from in a moment), what in particular attracted you to him and how does his sound represent Animal Farm Records?
Darren: I first heard Bleak back in 2011 with his Bold/Isolated release on London’s Sudden Drop label, you could clearly see a producer who had great depth in his tracks and well defined influences. His style fits perfectly in with how we want to represent the label - a modern take on things but with clear nods to the past.
Synth: Clearly the club night is going to run in tangent with the label, what else can we look forward to from you guys over the rest of 2012?
Darren: We are currently finalising the 2nd EP which will probably be released early next year and the main artist and remixer will be making an appearance at Animal Farm around then. Our next Sub Club date will be our 8th Birthday in December, but I’ll hold onto the details for that for now but it’s going to be a big one! Between the launch and then however we have some gigs here and there around Glasgow with Wax Works, No Sleep and a massive Warehouse party in the form of the latest Electric Frog at SWG3 with Adam Beyer, Surgeon & Slam.
Synth: So firstly, can you tell us a little bit about how you got into electronic music and Techno in particular? Looking back, were there any main influences which shaped your path?
Bleak: Since an early age I grew up with the electronic music scene in Spain and was surrounded by different kinds of music that I found mostly interesting, but also disturbing. I had a hard time to actually decide what I really liked or didn’t like.
I experimented and started to listen to one style to another. While getting more interested in dubbier, ethnic and drum-like sounds, I started to focus on the more electronic aspects like UK garage, funk, house and techno. From that time until today, I’ve realized that enormous changes have happened in these electronic styles over the years.
Synth: You’re based in Sweden which of course has become known for the big-room sound over the last few years, what is the scene like for Techno over there and where do you find your inspiration?
Bleak: Yes! Swedish Techno is pretty well known around the world, but the scene was still particularly small during this time. In the last years it has evolved pretty strongly in the Stockholm area, even if there are not so many places to go. The former clubs are Bern’s 2351 and The office, but there are a lot of underground parties going on, you just need to know where to find them. My biggest influences over the past years were artists like Jeff Mills, G-Man (a.k.a Gez Varley), Dj Rolando, Newworldaquarium, Ben Klock, Kenny Larkin, Carl Craig, Juan Atkins, Robert Hood, Blake Baxter, errik May, Tom Middleton, Thomas P. Heckmann, Octave One, Photek and Skudge to name a few. My inspiration comes on experimenting on the original styles of 90′s house and techno and to reproduce it with my own ideas. I add and create sounds with heavily layered rhythmic soundscapes from other common musical styles that surround us.
Synth: You’ll be playing live for the launch of Animal Farm Records in September, how do you introduce the live element into your sets and what should we be expecting from you over the course of a night?
Bleak: I’ll introduce the live element with classic hardware sounds, made by the legendary drum machines and analogue synthesizers from original House & Techno. They’ll be mixed up with futuristic ideas without breaking the original concept, and by using specific hardware that will recreate the function and idea of Bleak performing as a DJ. I’ll also be breaking the original live rule and mixing it up with records.
Synth: Finally, you can you tell us a little about the ‘Distant Voices EP’ and the first release on Animal Farm Records? Where does it fit in with the rest of your work and how did the tracks come about?
Synth: The Distant Voices EP will have a quite different sound than the other published Bleak tracks. They are pretty innovative and still classic and melodic in their structures, while also introducing more acid baselines. Techno that is between the DJ tool formation and song aspect I would say, but still delivers the trademark Bleak drive in a special way.
Bleak 'Distant Voices EP' is forthcoming on Animal Farm Records
WHAT: Animal Fram Records Launch Party
WHO: Bleak (Live), Animal Farm Residents
WHERE: Sub Club, 22 Jamaica Street, G1 4QD, Glasgow
WHEN: Fri 7th Sep // 11-3am
TAX: £7 OTD
FACEBOOK EVENT: http://www.facebook.com/events/389390651127824/
Bleak on Soundcloud
Bleak on Facebook
Animal Farm on Facebook
Animal Farm on Soundcloud