BRCast #91 - Unri’li:s Records
What made you create this label? Why? What is the idea and inspiration behind it?
Unrilis was created by me and Rino Cerrone back in the days when Rino was still involved in the music business. Since the Unri’li:s project was limited to Rino’s releases only when the project was stopped we thought of something where we could release music from other artists and music that could not fit the Unri’li:s project for a matter of genre.
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?
Being beginners and pioneers at the same time, our biggest challenge has been to gain industry acceptance. In particular we focused on the final result which was being able to listen to our songs played in clubs and raves.
To achieve our goal, the production had to stand out above all for the quality of the sound, the simplicity in mixing but also from a practical point of view, the records had to be easily recognizable in the dark in a vinyl case that could contain up to 100 records.
What is the inspiration behind the log and artwork?
We worked on a simple logo that could be easily recognizable and decomposable to create decorative elements. In the end, the six bars of the logo remind me of a keyboard.
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?
We currently publish two different genres: the RILIS series, which is more linked to the past and is dedicated to the grooviest, hardest and therefore also most underground techno. On the UNRILIS series I publish more mainstream stuff, some call it peak time techno.
We have 2 different DJs who take care of the selection, essentially we choose music that they would play, we look for artists who produce music that unequivocally identifies them. We don't like trends, we always tend not to follow them to maintain our identity.
In terms of demos, how do you accept, review and reject from all the thousands you receive? What are the challenges in sifting through the boatload of demos you receive for releases and the communication you maintain with aspirants?
Generally speaking we listen to everything sent to us, unfortunately we don't have the time to respond to everyone so we only get in touch with the artists we want to publish. The process involves a quick listen via Sound***** If we find interesting music we download it and listen to it again in the studio to check the quality of the work regardless of the idea. Once we find something we want to publish we get in touch with the artist to understand his motivations and why he wants to publish with us. What we ultimately want is to create lasting relationships with good people who are also passionate and talented artists.
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?
At the moment we are not publishing VA, when we did we chose tracks that we considered valid especially in terms of quality rather than looking at the artistic profile. With our VA we wanted to give a chance to those artists who could express something but who perhaps weren't yet ready to release a solo EP. Our intent was to start a relationship that would then strengthen over time. The last VA was a celebratory one published in December 2022, it was release number 100 of the Unrilis catalogue, in that case the artists were all veterans who represented our identity.
Which one has been a highlight release and why?
Speaking of numbers, in 2016 when it was the tenth year since the launch of Unrilis and therefore in full digital boom, we released Enrico Sangiuliano 'X-Pollination' with Remix by Mark Reeve, this album was in the high places of the techno charts for a long time time and earned us the title of top 10 best techno tracks on beatport. Unrilis has its roots in the analogue world and even in the days of vinyl we had many successful reissue releases. I still remember our vinyl records played in duplicate by artists of the caliber of Mills and Hawtin.
What do you expect from new talent when you sign them? What makes you reject them from releasing on your label?
I think I've already answered this question when speaking about the demo selection process, I told you what we're looking for, here I'm asked what we're not looking for.
Essentially, empathy also plays its role and this is also why we look for talents who have shareable positive values and avoid working with opposites.
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?
There are many labels currently active in my country that push techno, listing just a few would be reductive. I think they all try to push local producers, for us it's a mission.
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.
We simply try to receive content from artists that we can share together on social media. Having a video where a famous artist plays your music is a great victory, we also like to see the confidence that the artist has in the studio. Unfortunately, our country has implemented techno after others, so we have always been recognized more abroad than in Italy. In the vinyl days when I toured with my partner I saw our records in the best stores from Japan to Europe and the United States. Excellent distribution and the quality of the music have always been essential to promotion.
Mixed by Lerio Corrado and the interview is done by Mario Manganelli, Boss of the label