Hear Other Sounds - Interview
Hear Other Sounds - Interview
A while ago when I was a young, handsome and naïve child, I believed that what was on sale in my local branch of Woolworths, was all of the music that existed, ever. I hadn’t reached the age of which the depths of HMV‘s sectioned out areas appealed to me, and I wasn’t a big enough lover of music to be digging the crates of record shops for big bits of plastic. In all honesty, I probably would have rather been (and part of me still wants to be) playing Beyblade, Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon or whatever was in at the time.
It wasn’t until I got my hands on my first computer for ‘school work’ that I began to plunge into the depths of WWE videos and badly edited ‘AMVs’ (Anime Music Videos) on YouTube. I suddenly found myself having an existential crisis, I’d just realized the fact that pop-punk extends beyond the realms of The Offspring and more Drum and Bass existed Puretone’s still strangely appealing ‘Addicted to Bass.’
Where exactly am I going with this ramble of irritating proportions? I hear you shout into your screen. I’m here to discuss labels. Labels to a naïve me used to be the thing of gods, where the best (and worst) in music went to get famous and play Glastonbury festival – nowadays, I am aware that there is a slew of underground, independent net-labels and distributors putting out of the finest in bass-heavy music and experimental compositions.
I spoke to label owner, DJ and genuinely nice guy Terry (HOS) from ‘Hear Other Sounds’ to get his take on running a label, the bass music ‘scene’ and to have a general chat about what’s happening with them.
XXY: Right now there’s a lot of labels doing the digital thing, and it seems the market is a little saturated if anything, not to sound negative of course.
HOS: Yeah, I think that’s not a bad point at all actually, especially in the digital realm, I guess everybody has to start somewhere unless you have a massive amount of money behind you. I think you can get past that by really focusing on a sound and being very very select with what you release.
There’s a difference between just putting stuff out on a label and moving forwards and growing from just a few releases – building a fan base to the point where you can actually press records is the goal for us really and a lot of people that I have spoken to have said not to bother as they end up with a load of records that they just can’t get rid of. It’s definitely something we want to do as a label though, we love records and we love collecting them.
XXY: You tend to treat the label as more of a collective and a family, you guys DJing and running takeovers under the Hear Other Sounds name is something you seem to be keen on – do you think that’s a better approach than the behind the scenes paperwork idea?
HOS: I definitely think it works better as a collective because if you bring everybody together then everybody can benefit from everybody else, it’s like a melting pot for all of our different styles. As a crew we DJ together for nights and then split up and do our own sets for others, on top of this we also have had remixes in the past within the label – we have a remix from Atlas for J-One that’s a little under wraps at the moment but will probably get a release at some point. It’s great to be able to do that and have a real face to face contact and work flow between everybody without getting lost behind usernames in the digital realm.
XXY: You did a label takeover of room 2 at Brixton Jamm not too long ago, how did that come about?
HOS: Well, the About To Blow guys got in touch with us through Premz (Matt) – we’d be kicking around the idea for a while and it finally happened, we had LKD and J-One down from Margate, Clones (formerly Thief) and the rest of our label. That was really great and we’re definitely looking to do some more stuff like that in the future, but we want to make sure that we’re going into it with the right planning and mind state as well as really making sure we like who we’re working with. Out anniversary planning is in the works at the moment towards the new years but we really need to get into gear for that (laughs) – we really want to do something big for that.
XXY: Any plans to work with other labels or promoters for future nights?
HOS: It would be great to link up with other people, yeah, the District Sound guys are on a similar wavelength to us and of course About to Blow were great in the past.
XXY: You seem to be pretty up on getting your artists opportunities for their music, whether its playing a showcase or as you mentioned earlier working on remixes across the label itself, do you think it’s a bit of a lost art amongst labels?
HOS: It’s a tough one because the people I’ve looked at are doing a similar thing, if you keep a group together people are going to build a mutual respect for each other and it’s going to create a really nice environment for everybody to work in, if everybody is pulling in the same direction it makes things easier for everybody. I think to some extent it can be a lost art when labels forget they’ve got all of these great artists and people to work with to just go and do other things. For example, I don’t just play records, I don’t just run this, I also do graphics design and a few other bits so getting work for everybody and enjoying who you work with can be excellent.
XXY: Do you find that the community and steady growth aspect is more important to you than a big sudden boom?
HOS: Definitely, making hard decisions and not doing too many things is important and making sure that everything is good to go – at the same time it’s important not to close yourself off and turn into an elitist group, being open is really important – going back to the collective idea it’s much better to work with each other and not get ‘clique-y’ – because that’s not cool (laughs.) We want to be friends with people and talk to people to get them involved.
Q’s – Dean Case
A’s – Hear Other Sounds
Photos – Bonnie Adams