Q&A – PRTCL [Notion Audio]

Those of you with your fingers on the pulse of dark D&B should already know Joe London aka PRTCL. With releases out and forthcoming on the likes of Flexout, AutomAte and Terabyte Joe’s productions have a formidable edge and plenty of atmosphere. We discovered recently that he’s starting up his own label for vinyl releases, so we tracked him down to find out more.

DNB Dojo: Hi Joe! How are you today mate?

PRTCL: Hello mate, all is well today thanks.

DD: So you’re starting up a new label, Notion Audio, centred around vinyl releases. Can you tell us a bit more about the label, and why you decided to go down this route?

P: Of course! I’ve been a huge vinyl fiend ever since I picked up a set of turntables in 2006. Releasing a vinyl of my own is something that I’ve wanted to do for years. It’s really tough for labels to release tracks on vinyl because it costs so much upfront to produce them. So Notion Audio is an opportunity for me to release my tracks onto my favourite format, but it also gives me the chance to release the music with focus on the record, setting the vinyl release date ahead of the full digital one.

It’s also quite nice to have a say in the design as I’ve always considered the design of a vinyl to be quite important. I like the idea that my tracks could be traded between people 20 years from now, rather then deleted off someone’s hard drive when they run out of space.

DD: Can we expect to hear music from other artists on Notion Audio, or will it be exclusively your own work as with the likes of Signature?

P: Releasing music from other artists is definitely something I want to do. I’d like to give other artists the opportunity to get their tracks cut to wax at some point in their production careers. I know a lot of other producers who have a vinyl release on their bucket list, so Notion Audio will be a platform for other artists without previous vinyl releases.

I guess I want the label to be more along the lines of Break’s label Symmetry. For years it was an imprint just for Break’s releases, but recently other artists have started to be featured on it.

DD: You’re clearly a big fan of the vinyl format. What in particular keeps you buying (and now making) records, when so much music has moved to digital platforms?

P: Vinyl is bulky, expensive and has its imperfections – there’s no doubt about it. But because it takes up all that space in your house, I think that you notice it more. I feel like the problem with so many people using streaming services like Spotify is that it’s rare that anyone holds a piece of music and it disconnects people from it a bit, which can make the music a bit too disposable.

I’m not downplaying the value of digital formats, digital has its advantages too, and without digital so much good music would have never seen the light of day. Despite low music sales as a whole, I still think that we are in a very good place in musical time. People have a selection of different formats they can buy and mix music with. I really don’t see vinyl records dying out, I think they would’ve disappeared a long time ago, and there are some die-hard vinyl fans out there who are keeping the format going.

DD: What are your five favourite vinyl records from your personal collection, D&B or otherwise?

P: In no particular order:

Dark Sky – Black Rainbow EP

I’ve got a collection of Dubstep and 140 bass tunes and this EP features one of my favourite 140 bpm bass tracks, Zoom. A kind of future garage style riddim. It’s a hard tune to mix but has so much character. It’s also just a beautifully produced record with great artwork.

Ivy Lab – 20 Questions EP

This EP is a great example of how diverse Ivy Labs tunes are, every track is unique but has that distinctive Ivy Lab style.

Dub Phizix – I’m A Creator

I love that the cover just says ‘I’m I’m I’m I’m’. That vocal bit is so distinctive that it’s all you need to know about what’s on the record. Also it’s just such a big tune and works well in any set.

Thelem – Grainform/Petrichor

Thelem is a seriously sick producer and both of these tunes are just really strong and have a nice texture to them.

Any of the recent Invisible Various Artist EPs

Almost every tune released on the Invisible EPs has blown my mind, the series just never disappoints.

DD: And what’s on your wishlist? I can think of a few that I can’t find, or can’t afford!

P: There are a few things that I can’t afford or just aren’t out there on sale at the moment, but one that stands out the most is Thelem’s Haunted Harmonics EP.

DD: Finally, one track you thought really deserved a vinyl press and didn’t get one?

P: Klax – Blackball. One of my favourite releases on Critical over the last year and I was gutted that it never made it onto wax. Also, I know you only said one track… but Fields – Reel Funk, out on Symmetry last year, was only on digital too.

You can check out Notion Audio’s first release from PRTCL below – it’s out June 8th on vinyl with digital dropping June 15th. Hit up Redeye, Bandcamp or Triple Vision for the vinyl and keep an eye on the usual digital stores on the 15th.

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