Feed Your Stereo: Matt Tolfrey's 5 Years Of Leftroom
Rounding off our Leftroom Records blog fiesta is a contribution from label head Matt Tolfrey. As he enjoys the fruits of 5 years of hard work releasing ground shaking vinyl from revered and respected artists - and more recently a digital venture to promote and nurture emerging talent - 2011 sees a year of extensive celebration to mark this important landmark. We’re more than ecstatic to be hosting one of these parties in our disco this Saturday with Spectral Sound’s Ryan Elliott headlining Room Two. Here, in this post, Tolfrey outlines some of his most memorable releases just for us.
Audiojack – Robot – Leftroom Limited
This was the track that really kicked started the Limited label, even though some thought it sounded a little bit like Paul Woolford’s Erotic Discourse. I was told early on by a few other label owners that people would really start to take notice of your label when you get your first ‘crossover’ hit, and this was definitely ours. Played by everyone from Luciano at DC10, to Pete Tong on Radio 1, to Richie Hawtin all over the world, this track really put us on the map and started the career of Audiojack.
Ito and Star – Sudoko Kid – Leftroom Limited
I remember hearing Jamie Jones play this at the old T Bar one Sunday and I was immediately hooked. With an infectious, in some ways annoyingly hooky breakdown I knew it would reach out to a lot of dj’s and get the attention it needed, so I was very fast to snap it up. The digital rights to the track I ended up licensing out to CR2 as I thought they would reach a wider market with it, and they sure did. This track holds even more of a place in my heart as one of the producers, Ophir Star passed away before it was released. You will never be forgotten mate.
MarcAshken – Roots Dyed Dark (Skream Remix) – Leftroom
Mark’s Roots Dyed Dark was a stable in my sets for a long time and was deifnatrly one of those tracks that people would always say, “what the hell is that?” Seeing as it was turning some many heads on the dancefloor, I wanted to make sure the remixes turned some heads also.
I started hearing a lot about Dub Step from friends up north in Leeds, and at the time the one producer who was doing it for me was Skream. It merely took one phone call for Ollie (Skream) to accept the remix, and ended up providing two for us. We were the first house/techno label from the UK to put out any sort of dub-step and seeing it’s rise through the ranks that is something I am very proud of.
Rocha and Lewinger – Down Seq – Leftroom Limited
This track showed how far Leftroom had come as a label, because Rocha and Lewinger had already released it on their own label. It had not been out digitally very long, so I got out the cheque book, and licensed it immediately and put it out through Leftroom Limited. It was another DC10 smasher being played all summer by the likes of Matt Dear and co, and once again we ended up licensing out the digital rights to Great Stuff. It was one of those tracks that worked so well on the dancefloor, and once again appealed to a much larger market.
Glimpse – For Fleur (Johnny D Remix) – Leftroom
I had been a fan of Chris Glimpse’s work for some time, and finally got round to his studio to listen to some demos. After one listen I signed up a full ep and I knew one name that I would be asking for a remix. Johnny has this knack of drawing you into his work by not throwing all his eggs in one basket immediately, and the result was another huge summer bomb for us.
J-Mode AKA Jamie Jones – The Trouble (Lee Curtiss Remix) – Leftroom
Once again, I heard this track for the first time down at the old TBar and immediately started asking questions about it. Jamie had been making some more techno orientated tracks which were different from his house sound, so he came up with an alias and passed this onto us. Not a single one of Jamie’s tracks had ever been remixed up till that point, but he said the one person he wuld be interested in doing it was Lee Curtiss. Lucky for me I knew Lee very well, and he had some studio time available. His twisted disco re-interpretation of the track was a huge success, and still to this day set the tone for the future sound of Leftroom, that had slowly moved away from techno, to a more UK house sound.
Laura Jones – Love In Me - Leftroom
Step forward to 2011 and we surely have one of the tracks of the summer, and one of the producers to watch out for over the next few years. Laura has been quickly compared to Maya Jane Coles, even though all of her recent tracks were made well before she had even heard anything from Maya, so she has definitely taken more influence from the classic MK sound of the past. She is a lead member in the new Leftroom family we are building, and she has full ep’s coming from us and also from our very good friends over at Visionquest. I don’t say it all that often, but watch this space…