Czech label Authentic Music have been a bit on the quiet side this year, which usually means they’re plotting something big! We caught up with label founder Panorama to find out what they’ve got in the pipeline for 2015.
DNB Dojo: Hi Andrej! For those who might not know you, can you introduce yourself and your label Authentic Music?
Panorama: I go by the nickname Panorama and I co-produced the very first Authentic release. I’ve been running the label for three years now, and I am constantly on the lookout for new, exciting names to release. I had a production break for the last two years but I’ve been producing again in the last few weeks. So fingers crossed that life doesn’t get in the way again. You can also check the podcast I mixed for Authentic last summer.
DD: Authentic has been quite quiet since the release of the Enforcement EP Part Two in January. Have you got any new projects in the pipeline?
P: That’s true. We’ve been completely focused on putting together a new album celebrating three years of Authentic Music. There are going to be a lot of remixes, some VIP versions, and new tracks too. I’d say it’s a more coherent sounding compilation than Gates of Dawn was but fans will be the true judge of that.
I’ve been putting it together for the last nine months but I only accept stuff of absolute quality so I am still missing two or three tunes. I can also say that Sunchase and A-Cray are going to be on it. A couple of other cool names are on the cards but these haven’t been locked down yet. I am also always interested in hearing more stuff, so if any of your readers want to get in touch, drop us a message.
DD: Sounds like you’re setting high standards for the LP. Has it been difficult to find good enough tracks to sign? What do you look for in particular when signing tracks?
P: Yes, it’s very difficult. I want this LP to raise the quality bar to the next level which doesn’t really make the process any easier. After listening to Drum & Bass for fourteen years I have a pretty concrete idea of what makes a good tune. I’ve kind of heard it all so it’s hard to be impressed anymore. That being said, I definitely listen to anything that people send and try to respond as much as possible. I also actively look for new people to sign, but finding hidden talent is quite a challenge.
I definitely look for a certain sound/timbre. If you listen to Authentic Music Podcast 5 you get a pretty good idea of what that sound is. Kind of raw, slightly dirty, and with a lot of subtle stuff going on. Tracks that only have a beat and bass often bore me to tears.
DD: Do you think the proliferation of sample packs is hurting the D&B scene? I’ve seen opinion pieces arguing both for and against them, though it seems like they’re here to stay either way.
P: I bet that they are good business so they are sure to stay. I personally hate them though. It’s creating a generation of pseudo-producers who only assemble tunes from D&B sample packs, and have no actual clue what it means to produce.
I think that the sample pack culture creates a lazy approach to production where people don’t bother with details or a unique second half of a track anymore. Unique sounding tracks are almost non-existent these days. Everyone sounds like everyone else, and it’s tiring.
DD: Is it getting harder for artists to innovate within the D&B template? Hasn’t it all been done before, to some extent?
P: There are always people who say that it has all been done, and there will always be people like this. But history has proven time and time again, that there’s still room for innovation. I also believe that you often have to be very open minded, and listen to truly alternative music. That’s where the real innovation comes from.
I remember around the time when the whole Autonomic thing exploded, for the next few years I heard a lot of 170-ish variation of this stuff which was hailed as something ground breaking. But it was only new within the Drum & Bass tempo. Being truly innovative is hard, but you can be smart about it and borrow from outside of the genre.
DD: With regard to that innovation, which artists do you feel are pushing the sound forward right now?
P: You know, I don’t think that innovation is always the answer. Sometimes it’s enough to go back in time, and do stuff in a way that’s been forgotten. That’s how people like Icicle or Ulterior Motive launched their careers. It wasn’t innovative but it was great music, and that’s what matters in the end. I also like what Metalheadz did with going back to their classical sound.
When it comes to new acts, I am certainly excited about Ivy Lab but there’s a serious question whether that counts as new. I also feel Definate whom we’ve released material from last year but that’s a case of polishing what has been already done. So in terms of truly new sound, I don’t think there has been any major new movement since Autonomic…but maybe that’s because I am not into this whole trap/half-step/juke/what-have-you thing!
DD: Switching things back to Authentic, you recently shot a video for Bone’s Empty Place. Can you tell us a little about how that came about, and your approach to the video? Can we expect more videos from Authentic in future?
P: Well it’s been a year but it’s still a properly filmed music video that I am quite happy with. We did everything ourselves with the help of a couple of friends who lent us a decent camera, and professional lights. We still made some mistakes, however these are obvious only in retrospect. Such as too many ‘plot lines’ that actually make it hard to follow everything that’s going on. The whole thing was post-processed to give it that comic-book movie kind of feeling, and remove things here and there, such as an ugly power socket as we filmed it in a friend’s living room. You can check out before and after photos here.
As for more videos…honestly I don’t know. We’ve had a lot of fun making it but this and the animated video for the Hybris Remix of Five Black Forms didn’t do much for us, so I’d say that the costs weren’t justified. The situation is completely different when you’re a big label, and you can cooperate with major channels such as UKF, but for us it’s a passion project with very little real impact. We might do another but the tune has to be right, and we will do it simply because we enjoy the process.
DD: Can the Dojo readers expect to see Authentic at any events or festivals over the summer?
P: I honestly don’t know. We had a small stage at Let it Roll last year but that’s not happening in 2015. I do think that people from the label will be heard but I am not sure where or when!
DD: Thanks for taking the time Andrej!
Watch out for Authentic’s new LP dropping later this year. Meantime, check out their last release below; fresh music from Trilo, Nitri, Lockjaw and Entita, out now at all good stores.