Friday, March 12, 2010
it's no secret that i'm probably one of sound pellegrino's biggest fangirls. they've had my support from the beginning and my love has only grown as they have dropped ep after ep like rapidfire. with his label turning one, a new clothing line and taking up-and-coming producers and launching them into bona fide superheros, i thought that it would be the perfect time to pick the brain of the man with the golden ear, teki latex, as well as shine the spotlight on his brainchild, sound pellegrino.
sound pellegrino just had its first birthday! joyeux anniversaire! at this point is it everything you want it to be? who/what is it missing?
everything is rolling smoothly. we're not in danger of running out of inspiration any time soon. we have put out releases and remixes by some of our house music heroes. we have recognition from dj's from all over the spectrum. and our sound and ethics are catching on everywhere in europe and beyond. what's really refreshing is that this time the goal is not to build an empire of def jam proportions, but just be able to put out stuff that we love and see where it will take us.
we are pushing new talent and we are not nervous about artists moving on and forgetting us after we put them on the map. instead of trying to carry a select group of artists on our shoulders and being frustrated by our own financial or material limits, we'd rather continue how we operate now so we can be thriving in 10 years, betting on new people and exploring new areas. sound pellegrino's mission is to be a curator and explorer of new music. we feel that instead of feeding artists a proverbial fish every day until we run out of fish, we'd rather teach them how to fish on their own so we can all fish together. rather fishy metaphor, but anyway i believe sound pellegrino is a well-oiled machine at this point and exactly where it needs to be.
how do you define success for sound pellegrino?
it's a success every time we see one of the artists we discovered becoming a bankable dj, a sought-after remixer or a respected producer. it's like planting seeds and watching them grow. once again we see our main role to be curators and artistic directors. we model sound pellegrino as some sort of digital magazine comprised of mp3's; regular releases, giving djs great musical tools, providing substantial music to the listeners all polished off with amazing and coherent artwork. ultimately, success is a reality when people will consider us a musical staple and a seal of quality for electronic artists.
describe each of the artists on your roster in a short sentance.
zombie disco squad: the dons, the ever evolving tasteful gentlemen of gangster house.
douster: the good king of lazer cumbia and sand-storm-reggeton, rider of the electrical dinosaur beats.
harvard bass: the latin prince of barrio jacking house, the hood champion with a dark leather techno side.
renaissance man: architects of the house of ancient gods, meticulously crafting sparse conceptual beats no one can fuck with.
momma's boy: wise and ultra prolific street cat, master of the drunken bird tweet melodies and stomping grooves.
gucci vump: godfathers of futuristic snake charming folk-pop, digital gypsy-thug womanizers, the mystery van.
l-vis1990: the visionary, the keeper of the oracle of the next shit, the golden child of flying london cab music.
solo: the brain, the human pro tools station, the prophetic re-unifier of underground and mainstream house.
nouveau yorican: the lady and the wizard, united keepers of jack's groove, the dutch legend and the latin panther.
bart b more: the cool dude with the sacred gift, the bumping house prodigy, the karate kid.
para one: the tormented hero with the duty to save the world, the melodic genius on a mission, the last great composer.
with all your recent success and popularity, i'm sure you're bombarded by demos full of yoruba drums and gypsy vocals. what catches your ear about someone's music that makes you interested in releasing it?
we get way too many demos for me to handle. up and coming producers are sometimes pushy to a point that makes me not want to listen at all. it's near impossible to distinguish each of them from the mass of well produced, rather anonymous tech house being released every week. we're really looking for stuff that we, as djs, would consider hits. things that stand out to me are tracks with a certain attitude and a melody that's going to be in our heads all day. usually they have something special happening with the drums, an interesting concept and something special that's going to make us think this producer/group has created their unique sound and isn't just copying so-and-so producer. maybe it has to do with our loyalty to hip hop and pop music, but we are always looking for that little special something hip hop heads used to call "flava".
although everyone hates labels, would you say that sound pellegrino releases share a specific sound/genre?
yes and no. there are multiple sounds that are kind of related to each other with a certain common denominator. essentially it is simple, sparse, sometimes conceptual, groovy house music. during the first wave of sound pellegrino singles where we consciously strayed away from that 'vague sound', we tried to choose at least one remixer that would return it to that sparse, conceptual tone.
when it comes to how the media and blogosphere see us, they like to select specific labels for us. since the beginning we have been more or less willingly associated with a certain number of genres that could be jokingly referred to as 'post banger house', 'mi(nimal) (fi)dget', 'zulu/tropical/percussive house', whatever. obviously these labels were fun for 3 weeks and now make us all want to vomit our brains out. so yes, more than ever the sound is nothing more than plain "house music".
it's fun to follow certain patterns, exploit certain clichés and contradict ourselves while putting out great music simultaneously. house music and its countless subgenres are all very volatile and unstable styles of music. things age and grow weary faster and faster in this day and age. i'd like to think we put out music that firmly believes in its own timelessness at the time when it's being put out. like our buddy feadz once said, the music we're interested in is futuristic music, whether it be the future of now, or the future of the past. i think our next single release from para one is symbolic of the transition to the second wave of sound pellegrino releases. it is definitely going to venture into a different kind of sonic area. it definitely has a more techno influence while still maintaining an organic groove with a lot of focus on melody. at the end of the day it's still a part of the big musical family that is labeled house music.
you also have to keep in mind sound pellegrino is only one year old and rules are meant to be broken. so don't be mad at us if we end up dropping a single by a weird all female, neo-hippy choir in the near future.
having seen the ebb and flow of music trends (as a founding member of ttc and then living in paris for the institubes/ed banger electro massacre), where do you forsee things evolving now that electro seems to be fading?
i don't think electro is fading. my big thing nowadays is making a difference between pure "electro" and "electro-short-for-electronic-music". i think the distorted stuff that has been over-saturating (in all senses of the term) our ears for more than half a decade is kind of fading away, even though there will always be a minority of people that will find interesting ways to keep that sound alive. but i think electro of the "the cybotron/planet rock/egypt egypt" heritage is definitely very present as a more or less conscious influence in the sound of labels like turbo or countless other producers of house and techno music like harvard bass.
what i foresee now is less jumping from one trend to the other and more co-opting. i think brodinski is a great example of that. he brings something new to the table by not defining himself as "the new thing that is going to erase everything that happened before", but on the contrary takes great pride in putting old school house back on the map while playing both minimal and hard banging stuff in the same set. he didn't stop listening to or liking hard stuff when the "new" house scene appeared. he didn't start dissing the old stuff when the new trend happened, either. on the contrary, he embraced it all and added uk funky and rap on top of it. that's what makes him a great dj.
people who are only into deep stuff and take pride in listening to only tasteful, elegant, "credible" music have got it all wrong in the same way crazy a.d.d kids who only listen to violent, distorted sounds have got it wrong. their perspectives are too narrow. i think the next step is to take the best of both worlds and invent something different with it. hopefully sound pellegrino reflects that state of mind. even i have a tendency to define myself as the opposite of something prevalent, but i see it as a flaw. this is why i admire people like brodi who have the ability to stay excited about stuff from all ends of the spectrum all the time.
with the internet enabling music sharing and pirating, what has been the most effective marketing strategy to promote your releases/artists and increase your revenue?
it's difficult to tell. hiring a company to send out promos to djs, collect feedback, push the releases on radio and press has definitely proven itself effective because it makes you stand out a little bit from the never ending barrage of releases dropping every week. but then again internet word of mouth, materialized by blogs and forums have also been of great help. it's hard to define in what way free downloads affect digital sales because some of our best selling tracks are also some of our most blogged tracks. you can also have a super popular, mega-buzzed track on the interwebz that's gonna sell way less than expected simply because it caters more to a blog crowd that's used to getting music for free and less to a dj-type crowd that's used to buying 320kbps mp3s on beatport. basically it depends on the quality of the music itself and on the image the artists have built.
give me a rundown of whats in the near future for sound pellegrino....
bart b more - romane just came out with amazing remixes by french fries + bambounou, rubix, para one and gucci vump.
para one ep - it's still undecided if it's going to be under the name 'para one' or 'jean baptiste de laubier'. there is one uber melodic track that sounds like if border community met boards of canada and made a trance track for sound pellegrino, quite close to some of the most melodic tracks on para's album "epiphanie". the other track is super percussive and unexpected in a groovy/glitchy way with vocal stabs jumping here and there. it's definitely something that sounds like nothing else we've heard recently. and if all goes according to our plans we will have 3 amazing remixes by people we strongly admire.
then there will be a teki latex ep that's raw, spoken house music in the vein of that united groove sound pellegrino thermal team remix that i did with orgasmic. there will be some known sound pellegrino affiliates on production and remix duties. it's all written already i'm just waiting for the last beat to be delivered and i'm getting in the studio to work that magic.
other secret goodies?
a three part compilation is in the works. 1st part is digital, 2nd part is physical (with a regular edition and a very special limited edition) and 3rd part is a mix cd specially done for the japanese market. we will give more details soon!
Posted by Miss Toats at 3:24 PM