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BRCast #86 - Stripped Music

Updated: Aug 28, 2023

What made you create this label? Why? What is the idea and inspiration behind it?

Prior to setting up Stripped Recordings & Stripped Digital (est. September 2005).

I ran a label called Coldtap Recordings (2000-2005) from the record shop I worked in (Vinyl Rhythm Records) alongside it’s owner Adam Carter. It was my obsession with Progressive House from it’s first incarnation in 1992 going to clubs such as Love Ranch, Drum Club and seeing both Sasha and John Digweed perform for the first time at Renaissance, Hastings Pier in 1993 which led to a few like minded friends following them up and down the country, being a regular at Bedrock which launched October 8, 1998 traveling further afield to Space, Ibiza and the legendary Twilo, New York on January 1, 2000 and March 31, 2001, fast forward to late 2004 the seed had been well and truly sown to start the Stripped labels.

How long had the idea of a label been on your minds before its official launch? What were the challenges running up to its launch?

The idea started to form in my mind from around 2004 as already mentioned. I had been running some small Stripped parties in my hometown Southend-On-Sea, Essex, UK which I occasionally took out on the road notably to London at Ministry of Sound (in the Baby Box), Turnmills (Room 2), and Medicine Bar. The parties began September 29, 1999.

What is the inspiration behind the log and artwork?

I just wanted the logo to be clean and not too fussy, stripped back if you like. I have been contemplating a redesign of the logo every year for the last five but always stuck with what I have.

What genre of music the label hosts and what do you look for specifically in a track that gives you that sense of belonging in a track to release it on your platform?

I’d like to think especially now whilst still having that progressive influence I now look for quality across the board electronica, melodic house and techno, organic and deep house, indie dance the list goes on but you get the drift when you check out the labels catalogue.

In terms of demos, how do you accept, review and reject from all the thousands you receive?

I do all A&R myself I have since day one. It is an absolute minefield trawling through demos, I don’t really have any set days or times when I listen. Sadly there is no way i can respond to everyone but I try.

How many VA and compilations do you release in a year and what kind of tracks you choose? What kind of artists do you select for the VA? Basically what purpose does a VA serve to a label

There have been two (mixed/unmixed compilations) released the first MMXI mixed and compiled by myself in 2011. The second in We Have To Go Back (mixed and compiled by Dibby Dougherty) released in 2013 I put together a compilation series (unmixed) called Snapshot which picks favourites from the catalogue of both labels. This drops in May and November every year.

Which one has been a highlight release and why?

That’s a difficult one to be honest but right now i’d have to say Marcan Liav - Sanctuary: Remixed: Deluxe Edition - Stripped Recordings which was released in December 2022 and was the culmination of a mammoth project recruiting a stellar line up of production talent to remix tracks from Marcan’s critically acclaimed debut album “Sanctuary” The line up read as follows. Circulation, Darkersound, Emi Galvan, Erdi Irmak, Eric Volta, Framewerk, Habischman, Jamie Stevens, Kamilo Sanclemente x Dabeat, Luis Leon, Nandu, Nick Warren x Nicolas Rada, RIGOONI, Sasha Carassi, Savage & SHe, Sobek, Swann Decamme, Vhyce and Weird Sounding Dude.

What do you expect from new talent when you sign them? What makes you reject them from releasing on your label?

Even now when we live in a time when social media presence seems at times to be more important than the music itself, I will always put the music first. If the artist has a strong following/social media game that would be an added bonus. If the music doesn’t fit the bill then I won’t consider it, simple as that really.

From your country, which other label is pushing the same music as you are and how do you think everyone is helping push the local producers?

Being from the UK we have plenty of high quality labels pushing similar sounds one that springs to mind is Selador run by Dave Seaman and Steve Parry who have just celebrated a decade on the scene. As far as supporting local talent it has become harder as a lot aren’t willing to put in the time to grow their brand and need almost instant success which can in the most part come from attracting name producers but there are a lot of young and older producers out their trying to get in the door it always good to try and listen to as much new stuff as possible and maybe that hidden gem will emerge.

What kind of support do you look for from artists and other parties in promoting your music worldwide? What are the challenges in promoting music to corners of the world where you may not be as popular as in your home country.

Both labels over the years have had strong support from some of the worlds biggest players including Sasha, John Digweed, Solomun, Laurent Garnier, Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, Richie Hawtin, Carl Cox, Dubfire, Deep Dish, Guy J the list goes on. The challenges are pretty evident as it becomes more apparent that strong online content, and consistent regular releases will keep the Stripped labels names constantly visible.

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