As he launches his own Rogue Society imprint, we asked the London house head to pick his all-time favourite labels.
The first label I fell in love with
You can’t call yourself a house DJ if you don’t own at least one Strictly Rhythm record. During the 90s this label’s output was incredible – so many classics that have stood the test of time. I started DJing in 1999/2000 when I was 13 and my dad had lots of mix CDs and a few 12″s. Although he wasn’t a DJ himself he loved dance music and when he drove me and my brother to school that’s all that would be on in his car. Back then I never really knew too much about labels – I guess you don’t really when you first start out – but I liked the look of the record sleeve in my dad’s collection as I was really into hip hop (I still am) as well as house and the Strictly logo looks like graffiti on a brick wall so the artwork really appealed to me before I fell in love with the sound.
The most consistent Label
This question could also double as “who’s the most consistent producer” seeing as the only releases on this label from its start back in ’08 are by the owner himself, Mr Levon Vincent (Novel is Levon spelt backwards, fact fans). It’s hard to come up with words of praise that haven’t already been used when explaining the sonic excellence of the now-Berlin-based artist’s work. Tracks like ‘Early Reflections’ and ‘Double Jointed Sex Freak (part 1)’ are dark and mysterious, and yet he is equally adept at creating work as playful as ‘Speck’s Jam’ or as mesmerisingly divine as ‘Rainstorm II’. If you’re unlucky enough to have missed the window on buying his records when they’re first released then you’ll find yourself having to spend a small fortune on collecting them from second hand dealers, such is his well-deserved popularity among vinyl enthusiasts.
The label I buy on sight
There’s lots of labels where I find that I don’t even need to listen to the release before knowing that I will like it. Labels such as Dance Mania, Horizontal Ground/Frozen Border, Clone Jack For Daze, Mote Evolver, Emotive, Transmat, Non Series, Apollonia, 430 West, Peacefrog and New Kanada to name just a few! But this has to go to Bass Culture, the house and techno label run by D’Julz. To date I own every single release on vinyl that Bass Culture have put out and I’m super excited to have signed an EP to them.