Next Saturday, UK label Needwant Recordings will be delving into their mixed bag of retro treats and disco delights, sharing the goodies with the movers n’ shakers of Room Three. With London label boss, Sean Brosnan leading the way, he’s selected two of his favourite producers, NYC’s multi-talented duo No Regular Play and Hamburgs’ deep house/techno lover Laurer for a debut live performance amped to kick up the heat and leave a dazzling dent in our dancefloor. Influenced by seminal house imprints such as Paper, Henry St and MAW, Sean’s knack for blending great house music and down-tempo disco-cuts has left them a blazing trail of memorable parties across London, whilst on the label tip attracting support from the likes of The Revenge, Soul Clap, No Regular Play and more. With a brand-new No Regular Play remix out on Needwant this month, we’re lucky enough to get our hands on an exclusive stream, available for playing straight after our label low-down interview with Sean Brosnan himself.
Hi Sean, can you give our readers a quick rundown of who you are and what you do?
I'm Sean Brosnan and I run and A & R the Needwant record label. I also compile a few compilations and DJ in dark rooms on Saturday nights mainly.
Who or what is your main influence in music? And can you tell us why?
I have so many influences, at least I feel like I do. I guess who doesn't when there is so much great music around. I'm influenced by the past and present. Some days I look back and some days I want to look forwards. But the main era of influence for me was probably from around being aged 17 to 22, going to clubs and hearing great house music and then coming home after the club and listening to a lot of down beat music to chill too. I think this has defined me as a DJ; labels like Paper, Henry St, MAW are a few that come to mind.
Starting from the beginning, what drove you to start Needwant?
I left the record label I had been working at for 4 years. In that time I had learn what worked and what didn't and lots about how a record label operates and decided to start my own to do compilations and singles. Needwant was in fact a fanzine I had created a fanzine a few years earlier. I liked the name and the philosophy was always about bringing music and art together and throwing the odd party, that’s pretty much how we still operate now.
What’s it like running a label in London? Where in the city do you go to for inspiration?
London is such a great city, I really like living and working in London, it took me a few years of living here to say that. The great thing about London is nearly every DJ in the world stops off here at some point and there's a really thriving club scene. There's always something new happening to a backdrop of all this history, I like the contrast.
Soho is my favourite place, it's where we are based now here as a label and I love working in this part of London, right in the centre.
What’s Needwants music policy and how have artists like The Revenge and Soul Clap come to be involved?
In terms of music policy I never really set out to have one but I knew I wanted to create something with an older house feel or at least a nod to the past. I knew Graeme AKA Revenge from years before, and had the idea for the Just Be Good To Me vocal. He was up for it and I got Danni from Crazy P. Soul Clap did a great job on Love Saves the Day, I can't even remember how that hook up came about. I'm yet to actually met them in person but when I do I'm expecting a serious party session!
You’re soon to drop the next in your mix compilation series, Future Balearica2, called ‘A New Wave of Chill.’ What’s the concept behind Future Disco and Future Balearica compilation series and how do you approach them?
I never thought too much about Future Disco in the first instance, only afterwards have I tried to explain the concept. I literally just picked a lot of records I had been playing for the first one. The disco theme joins the dots, but it's not straight up disco by any means, but it seems to have struck a chord with listeners and it's really nice to hear when you get feedback off people.
Future Balearica was about getting a more eclectic collection together, fusing live sounds and electronic. I actually first wanted to do the album as I had this collection of records I would play on a Monday morning when I couldn't stomach anymore house; positive, uplifting, sunbleached records – that was how Future Balearica was born. The new one is out soon and features people like Chad Valley and Beat Connection.
What do you think it takes to make a label successful these days?
I think anyone who runs a label in 2011 will agree it's quite hard work. I think the truth is you can't just be a record label. You need to be doing parties, clothing, a DJ agency or journalist. It's a shame as sometimes as it's great to be just an amazing record label and that’s all you do. At the same time that’s what is great about dance music, the DIY ethic, people survive, change the model quickly and adapt to keep it moving. You are on the forefront, formats that are changing right in front of you and the label has to move with the people want you to go.
Where do you think Needwant sits within the current disco/house scene?
I just do what I think is right and hope people will like the results. I think it's probably for others to say where it sits.
How do you plan on making the Needwant takeover at fabric next weekend a night to remember alongside No Regular Play, live & Lauer?
I think with those two artists on the bill, we are 90% there already. They really are two of my favourite producers, both creating house music with a soulful undertone, both very talented producers / musicians. I think the room will have a really nice vibe both musically and crowd. Room Three is the perfect size also for the kind of sound, we never have to take the tempos up too much if we don't feel we need to.
How do you see the label developing in the coming years, and what direction are you moving in musically?
Possibly more live acts and develop artist albums as well as compilations. Musically more house music as well as electronica. I try not to plan or sign too far ahead as it changes so fast.
What other things are you & the Needwant crew working on that we should be looking out for in 2011?
Music wise I have a really exciting house project with the Italian producer Nicholas. We are resurrected a classic labels catalogue. I won't say anymore but will be worth the wait and effort to date. I also have a record form Robert Owens, with mixes from the No Regular Play, Nicholas and my favourite producer Mario Basanov. There's parties, t-shirts and lots of other stuff too.
If you could invite three artists to a Needwant party from the late 80’s era who would they be & can you describe the scene for us?
I would say New Order, I imagine they were having a good time then and making some great music. Larry Levan, just because I would have loved to hear him DJ and Robert Smith from The Cure. Would make for a pretty interesting party, maybe they could each go back to back!