17 March 2011

Scottish DIY Labels #16 - Phuturelabs

Would you care to introduce yourself?

We are Phuturelabs – a collective based in Glasgow. Over at phuturelabs.com we like to talk about electronic music, give away free tunes, record a monthly show for Radio Magnetic and partake of rum. Also, we recently launched our own free label through the site to showcase new electronic music talent. We ran Nerve Recordings for nearly 10 years so had a bit of experience of running a label.

What inspired you to start your own label?

We decided to launch the label as an outlet for exciting new artists in all genres of electronic music. Using the experience and contacts that we’d built up over the years, we thought it would be good to give some new artists a wee shove.

Who do you have signed to your label?

Our first release was from Wira, which is an alter-ego of Edinburgh producer Hostage. He’s known fairly well around the world for big main room type tunes and the Wira alias sees him express the more moody side of his production talent. The second release was from a Canadian producer called Hissy Fit and landed perfectly in what Sinden refers to as the “grey area” between genres – with hints of house, dubstep, garage and electronica all thrown into the mix.

Number three saw S-Type join the fold for a three track EP. He’s an absolutely brilliant young producer currently living in Glasgow. While his productions defy easy pigeonholing, there are elements of hip hop, dubstep, grime and Belinda Carlisle in there.

The fourth release which lands at the end of March is a five tracker from brilliant Edinburgh MC – Profisee. There are four different producers behind the beats – from the aforementioned S-Type to Ninja Tune’s Poirer to Process Rebel from Amsterdam and finishing up with a mysterious Glasgow producer called Scharkz.

Future releases will see Kev Sim from FOUND bring his “River of Slime” onboard the Labs and we’ve a various artists EP planned for later in the year featuring Production Unit amongst others.

There are other things in the pipeline but we’re still ironing them all out.

01 - Profisee - Logans Run [No Guts No Glory] (prod by S-Type) by Phuturelabs

Being based in Scotland do you only sign Scottish artists?

Not at all – while most of the artists mentioned above are locally based friends of ours, we’re open to tunes from producers anywhere in the world.

Is this something you do as a hobby or can you make a living from it?

The word hobby has certain connotations but at the end of the day we’re not making money from it so it’s more of a hobby than a job. We’re just trying to help out some musicians that we really like and release some great music in the process.

S-Type - Mr Lizard (WAV) by Phuturelabs

Do you have a certain type of sound that you look for in an artist?

Not really – although we’re based primarily on electronic music so we won’t be looking to release any indie or folk in the near future.

How do you go about deciding which artists you want to work with? How do you go about approaching them?

A lot of the time it’s word of mouth or just meeting through friends of friends. We also get a lot of demos through our Soundcloud dropbox and at the info@phuturelabs.com address too and we’re happy to listen to everything.

What has been you personal highlight from running the label so far? What has been your biggest success?

That’s a toughie! I can’t pick a favourite from the releases but a highlight was definitely the launch night where we had S-Type and Kev Sim play live sets. It was at the Ivy and the whole evening had a nice atmosphere with people being up for everything, even some of Kev’s more extreme audio outings!

Wira - Vloeitjes (WAV) - free download by Phuturelabs

If you could give one piece of advice to someone wanting to start up their own label, what would it be and why?

Do it because you love music. Not because you think it’ll help you get into clubs for free or get you a gig somewhere or make any cash. At the end of the day it’s hard work even if you’re just offering free downloads and it takes a certain level of dedication.

Also keep your quality control high and don’t feel rushed into releasing anything just because you should. The minute the quality of the tracks drop, people start losing interest.

Don’t always try and do everything yourself – just because you know how to use Photoshop doesn’t mean you can design a nice logo/piece of artwork and just because you once had a muck around with Waves Maxximiser in Soundforge, don’t think you can automatically master all your own stuff. Ask advice from people who know.

Oh hold on - that's more than one!


photo by Nikola Milcic

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