Download: Priku WYS! Promo Mix
Please, tell us a bit about Moscow Records...
Archie Hamiltion: We started Moscow Records in 2009. I think at that time we did it because we wanted to have a platform on which to present what we were doing musically. It is very difficult to make a mark in this industry as an individual. I think it’s important to have something that people can associate your music with. I did internships at CR2 and then Defected when I moved to London after university, so I saw the workings of relatively big labels, but I had no real hands on experience. The hardest part initially was to get distributors and shops to work with us, as we were completely unknown as artists. I think the hardest part now for me is finding the time to do the work. Along with my gigs, making music and trying to have some semblance of a normal social life, it’s not easy!
What are the label’s top releases so far?
I think for me, the best releases have been Kirik’s Stay Body EP, the Better Hide EP by Dan Farserelli and I, Moscillation EP by OdD, Lorenzo Chiabotti’s Adnur EP and I am very happy with my new one, Time EP.
Is there a concept behind the label? What are the musical boundaries if any ?
We set out to simply make and release timeless house and techno. Although I think we have a sound, I wouldn’t say we have any particular boundaries. I like to always have a strong dancefloor track on every release, as well as more ethereal or ‘intelligent’ tracks.
Label artists (who is on the label?)
The regular artists are Lorenzo Chiabotti, Dan Farserelli, Antony Difrancesco, OdD, Ferro.
What makes the label different?
Everyone we work with... I like to get to know them first because I like to know what they are about as a person and where they are headed artistically. I take quality very seriously, so I am a real stickler for things like mixdowns, which can be very annoying for artists, but it’s always worth it in the longrun.
Influences, are there any other labels you are influenced by?
When we started we were massively influenced by labels like Perlon, Oslo, Cadenza, Barraca, Circus Company, Cecille and Vakant...
Vinyl versus digital... what formats are you releasing on and what are your views on vinyl versus digital?
We release on both formats. Personally I think it’s important to have a physical representation of your work, although I do not believe in releasing in releasing exclusively on vinyl. There are plenty of people in the world who cannot afford, or are unable to purchase records and they have just as much right as anyone to own music. I don’t want to open up too much of a can of worms here, but I think people can take the vinyl thing way too seriously...
How long time do you leave between releases?
We don’t have a rigid structure; I don’t like to feel pressured into releasing regularly. When the music is there, and the time is right then we will release a record. However, the current lead time (up to 18 weeks!) from delivery to release doesn’t make things easy!
What are the visual guidelines in the label? do you work with a specific visual artist or use many different ones?
When we started, we wanted to think of a way to draw people’s attention to the records in store who have never heard of this label or the artists. It’s a tired old adage, but sex sells! We have a very talented illustrator called Mel Burns who draws all of the beautiful ladies that adorn our labels now.We don’t have a rigid structure; I don’t like to feel pressured into releasing regularly. When the music is there, and the time is right then we will release a record.
Leftfield - Storm 3000
Probably my favourite Leftfield track - dubby drum and bass bliss!
Prodigy - Mindfields
I was fanatical about Prodigy from the age of 11 until about 16 . The Prodigy Experience was the first electronic music album I bought (on tape, from Woolworths…).
Portishead - Roads
Difficult to choose a favourite from Portishead really, but Beth Gibbons’ voice is painfully beautiful on this.
Deep Forest - Sweet Lullaby
Childhood favourite, still evokes strong memories.
LTJ Bukem - Horizons
One of the tracks that got me into drum and bass, still love it.
The Cinematic Orchestra - All Things To All Men (Instrumental)
So powerful and emotive; comedown classic.
Octave One - Blackwater
Serious moment in fabric's Room One to this, which I’ve never forgotten.
A Guy Called Gerald - Voodo Ray
Apart from being an obvious classic, this was the opening track on a Ministry compilation CD I bought in 1997, which I listened to on repeat for about 3 years.
Petre Inspirescu - La Creme Bonjour
The theme of my first trip to Ibiza!
Hollis P Monroe - I’m Lonely
Another teenage favourite that I still love today.
Photo: Tom Jenkins Photography