Terabyte Records have been moving from strength to strength since their inception two years ago, with support coming from some big names in the scene and some excellent tunes gracing their catalogue. The latest release is no different, and sees the label revisiting their previous tunes for some new remixes from a host of artists old and new. We caught up with Terabyte co-founder Auzi for his thoughts on the release and the label’s ethos.
DNB Dojo: TB013 sees the label releasing remixes from the back catalogue for the first time. How did you choose which tracks to rework?
Auzi: Decision-making was very organic to be honest. We got to a stage where we wanted to get more established artists involved in the label in whatever capacity we could. It hopefully makes sense that finances are a very big issue for a small business, and therefore remixes made the most financial sense – we could incorporate artists we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, without paying unaffordable advances. From that point onward we decided that the releases we liked the most would be put forward to be remixed.
The Rain has been waiting in the wings since we very first started the label, and it made sense to us to have it remixed. By the time we got round to thinking about remixing Tense, we were actually targeting artists and asking them which release they most wanted to remix. After all, you can’t impose a remix on someone if they aren’t feeling the original track.
DD: The release also sees two new artists, Philth and Memro, joining the label on remix duties. How did the label’s relationship with these two develop? Will we be seeing more from them on Terabyte in the future?
A: We began contact with Phil and Will (Philth and Memro respectively) in largely the same way. We had shortlisted a number of artists that we felt were most appropriate to bring on board, and also people that we thought would want to work with us; it’s easy to talk up a situation to an artist but getting them on board is a different kettle of fish.
Fortunately, both were very keen to buy into our plans, and the fruits of the relationships we hold with them can be seen in the quality of their output. As far as future releases are concerned, obviously we’d love to have them both on board again! Memro is rustling us up something as we speak (no pressure Will!) so ask again in six months and we may have a proper answer for you…
DD: There’s a huge contrast in tone between the deeper vibes on the remixes of The Rain and the much techier edge on the reworks of Tense. Was this contrast envisioned deliberately? What prompted the decision to release the tracks together, as opposed to on two separate remix releases?
A: It’s funny because even though this contrast was never envisaged for this EP, the very fact they are put side by side is an accidental reflection of our own ethos. As you may already know we run a Liquid Technology series alongside our normal catalogue, focusing on the liquid elements of drum and bass rather than the more deep and dark aspects that our main catalogue shows off, and that is reflected in the marriage of the two niches on one EP.
We always knew that we wanted the remixes to be commissioned, and the natural progression was just to put them together as an EP. The only EPs we’ve had so far are in our Liquid Technology line, everything else has been a 2-track single. We thought we’d just mix it up!
DD: Terabyte has evolved quite a bit from the early days with a recent re-branding and a huge swell of support from big names in the scene. If you could tell yourself two years back one thing you now know, what would it be?
A: So much! We had our priorities all wrong to begin with, tried to run before we could walk. The main thing that I’ve learnt is to plan ahead. I used to deal with things as and when I thought it was appropriate to do things. Nowadays, I try and say at least 6 weeks ahead of the game with everything I’m doing, and it makes managing everything so much easier. We’ve basically got things stacked up now for the next 4 months; 2 years ago you would have been lucky to see us thinking a week ahead!
I suppose one other thing I wish I’d known earlier is that unfortunately music doesn’t sell itself any more, even ‘good’ music! Nowadays we pay far more attention to proper business strategies in marketing, PR, administration, A&R; we even try to stay on top of our accounts in a professional way. If you start to think of it like a business, it doesn’t mean you lose any musical integrity along the way. I wish I’d known that sooner!
DD: The label has already succeeded in carving out a fairly specific niche in terms of the deep, dark, sound present on most of the releases. Is it tricky maintaining the label’s sound while still allowing artists to express themselves? Have you had to turn down good releases because they just don’t fit?
A: Funnily enough no. Most of our artists will tell you that we’re hard to please. Just because someone has put out a track with us before doesn’t mean that they are in anyway guaranteed a release in the future. We take each piece of music on its own merit, rather than our relationship with or perceived status of the artist that has made it. That attitude is what has made the music industry so ill – major record labels have turned people into cash-cows, and in doing so have completely overlooked the output their artists are putting out. I know we are in no way comparable to a major, but we run things entirely differently.
Even Altered Perception – you would have thought his releases were a shoe-in because he has the authority to get his work scheduled with us: wrong. Sam probably has to hear me say no more times than I’ve said yes about his tracks. Once you compromise on your integrity as an independent label you’re done for. That said, we do like to give our artists scope. M:Pathy is currently putting together a more experimental concept EP which we’re very much looking forward to; if we got too concerned with ‘our sound’ we’d stifle creativity. After all, it is their creativity that is pushing us as a label forward, so we welcome it.
DD: Terabyte co-founder Altered Perception has already graced a few of the label’s releases. Can we expect to hear some Auzi productions in the future?
A: I would love to be putting out music on Terabyte as often as I can, but time restraints are a huge factor for me. I have another job and that has to be paramount for me right now, so that eats a lot of my time. Because of that, when the weekend comes around its hard to be disciplined enough to sit down and write music all weekend rather than seeing your mates, going for a drink, watching the football and so on. For that reason, my main way into the catalogue whilst I am so busy will be remix work.
Without giving too much away, I’ve got something in the pipeline which I hope will make the final cut on one of our remix packages later down the line (even I can’t do myself a favour and release it if it’s not good enough!). Apart from anything else, I’m still learning to produce. I’ve picked up a lot in the last few years, its just hard to put my learning into practice!
DD: Last but not least, any big plans or shout outs you’d like to mention?
A: As usual, shout to all the people that are buying our tracks and supporting us – without you we wouldn’t be able to operate, it’s that simple. So thanks!
Secondly, shouts to all the artists involved with us so far, whether you’ve already released with us or if your work is in the pipeline, it means a lot that you want to work with us, and again without YOU we couldn’t carry on. So big ups to you lot.
Big ups to our new booking agent/manager Jack, hopefully he is going to be able to help us push on with bringing our sound to an event near you!
And finally big ups to everyone that either works for us or with us to release great music. From our great friend looking after our accounts, to our intern doing all the things we don’t have time for, you make the wheels go round a lot smoother than if you weren’t about. Also props to everyone at Cygnus Music who deal with our distribution amongst other things, we’ve got a great working relationship and long may it continue!
You can hear clips of Terabyte’s remix release below; watch out for it dropping at all good digital outlets from August 18th.