The steady decline of music as a physical product paired with the entailing ease with which anyone can set up a label has led to a new wave of labels that have no overarching vision beyond getting their music out there quickly and cost-effectively. As well as diluting an already over-saturated label market, this has diminished label loyalty amongst music buyers. When a lot of these labels are dealing only in digital, art direction, packaging and other aspects that are inextricably intertwined with the music get neglected. So it is always exciting to find a new label that respects their artists’ creative vision and has the desire to go beyond the immediate and the necessary, understanding the power a well directed label can hold.
The new Raised By Records label are intent on doing things properly. Only one release deep, they have emerged a fully formed entity - one that immediately conveys their love for the music they are releasing. With a refreshingly open approach to the label and forward-thinking attitude to the music, they are providing a platform for the growth of artists and the full articulation of their vision. Their debut release from Memotone is an impressive three track EP exploring the boundaries between electronica and more dancefloor focused constructs. Memotone's dense arrangements bring out delicate nuances and glimmers of emotion that unfurl delicately over repeated listens. This is showcased brilliantly by live jam 'Small Good Things', the lead track on the EP. Taking a step way from the clinical precision and efficiency of contemporary electronic music, this is indicative of the approach they take as a label. This is about creativity, passion and lasting effect.
They have also taken the time to craft a brilliant and comprehensive mix for us. Featuring a choice selection of cuts that they have been drawing inspiration from recently as well as some of the artists on the label, the mix guides the listener through a wealth of different sounds without a second thought, picking up on a myriad of the different musical avenues that go some way to making up their outlook.
I give you Raised By Records...
First up, can you please introduce yourselves…
We're a new label dedicated to offering an in depth and personalised look at music, giving artists a chance to extend their creations across different forms of media, including sample packs, art prints, 12”'s and interviews.
Did you come from a position of knowledge and experience when starting the label? Or has it been a case of learning how to realize a vision?
Releasing music is a new experience for both of us. We've both done promo; putting on festivals and club nights. Our musical ambitions came together in a way where putting a label together made a lot of sense. It's a big learning curve but we've got to constantly innovate and find new ways of doing things.
Did you set out with any particular manifesto? What would you say is the label’s raison d’être?
We've got to breathe some new life into the consumer standard of music. People say it's becoming more disposable, maybe that's because it's not being represented in a way which demands respect.
We want to offer something back to the music supporters, the true fans. The kind that scour back streets for tucked away vinyl stores, or buy something on white months before the release just so they have it in their bag first. We also want to put out stuff that the artist and customer can feel proud to own.
A lot of care is taken in the full representation of the music, artists and label which goes beyond simply putting the music out there. Do you feel that part of music has been lost in the increasingly digital climate?
This is something that we discus a lot. Digital mediums are unquestionably more disposable, but that isn't to say that the music itself is. The problem is that nowadays anyone can release music online; However it seems that its a little bit too easy to set up a digital net label, the ease of this creates an influx of labels which blurs the standard. We don't have any qualms with net labels as a whole, but there's a definite lack of quality control and originality out there due to the massive lack of risk in setting one up.
Do you see as the audio and visual as inherently feeding into and informing one another?
Put on a video, turn the volume off, then put some audio on. Your mind searches for links between what you see and what you hear- the link between moving image and audio is very natural. It's even more fascinating how still images are used to represent audio, and vice versa. The record sleeve can be the starting point of building the listeners palette for the music it contains even before you've heard it, so it's important for them to represent each other well.
Of course the name of the label gives a bit away about how you like your music presented, but what does music as a tangible object mean to you? How do you feel the experience differs?
Ultimately, it doesn't matter, music doesn't need to be held in any way and visuals are not necessary to make the music the best it can be. But there is an importance in its tangibility; if you want to highlight this by making it a product then there its good to explore it in depth. The physicality of music should homage the sound, otherwise it's not worth getting hung up and more skint over. Music is physical: movement and pressure, we have to remember that there are reasons as to why it is made tangible. These days, making it so for the sake of it will kill it faster.
Are there any particular labels that were an inspiration to you in this way?
Aesthetically, there are many labels which continue inspired our physical products, labels such as Non Plus and Box Clever, although simple, are very effective in their design. Net labels like DFRNT's 'Cut Music' offer brilliantly produced tracks with a 'pay what you like' mentality and artwork, the whole thing really comes together and makes you feel like your getting taken seriously as a customer. Any label that will donate the digital release to the purchaser upon purchasing the vinyl gets a thumbs up from us. It's absolutely essential.
The first release comes in the form of an EP by Memotone. How did that come about and can you tell those that don’t know a little bit about it?
It's a statement for what's to come from us, we worked closely with Memotone to decide every inch of the release, including artwork, sample pack, music selection, everything. Memotone is an artist which represents our vision well, he's an incredibly creative person. Giving someone an opportunity to release their music how they wish to and realising that vision together is amazing; the more you can bring to the table, the more you stand up as an artist.
I thought that it was very interesting that the first track on the EP is a live recording. What was the thought process behind that?
Memotone's has a comprehensive live show with a great ethos in that the sounds you can hear, you can also see him perform. No laptops, no quantization, 'Small Good Thing' (from RBR001) was recorded in one take, and it's a great audio representation of that skill. Check out http://www.youtube.com/user/fraojfljtlnbsd for a huge diary of his looping experiments.
Even within the first EP alone there is quite a lot of stylistic movement. Does the label take a particular musical stance? Or is it more about supporting the full vision of individual artists?
We're open to all forward thinking music, With so many artists using similar sound palettes and formats for completely different effect, the barrage of sub genres seems to disconnect things which are intrinsically linked. Its about realising the vision of the artist, giving them as much freedom as is possible, the labels aesthetic is coming together and will continue to grow. Artists need to be recognisable, regardless of what style they choose to make.
What have you got coming up on the label over the next few months?
We've got a huge release forthcoming from Fybe:On, and a compilation which should be our manifesto for the next year with a hint to our next EP and a preview of what to expect from our first LP. There's also a debut free EP forthcoming on our FRB series very soon which you can get an advance copy of by signing up to our mailing list.
You have been kind enough to put together a mix for us. Could you talk us through it?
It's a big mix of unreleased material as well as some of the latest bits we've picked up, and a big nod to some artists which really help form our taste. Check out each label named in the track list as each one is a goldmine.
LIMINAL SOUNDS VOL.11: RAISED BY RECORDS
(Direct download here)
Oscar McClure - Grass Cuttings [Leaving Records]
Baba Yaga - Circe [A Future Without]
Jimmy Pé - Don Barzini [Outlier Recordings]
Deft - Asthma
Bokal - Laces
Joob - The Singularity [Outlier Recordings]
Ice Cube - We Be Clubbin' (Danaet Reclub)
Young Montana - Sacré Cool [Alpha Pup]
Floating Points - Truly [Eglo]
Taragana Pyjarama - Sudanese Blonde (FCAN Remix)
Vessel - Patina [Astro:Dynamics]
Nicholas Jaar - Materials [Circus Company]
Elektro Guzzi - Ludium [Macro Recordings]
Fybe:One - So What [Shades of Grey]
Murder He Wrote - Find Me
Duct - Pensive Stare [Shades of Grey]
Bambooman - Movements
Memotone - Small Good Thing (Live) [Raised By Records]
Ambiotics - Rickety Cricket
Sahy Uhns - Anticipation of the Night [Promixal]
Blawan - What You Do With What You Have [R&S]
Echo Park - Fibre Optic (Jon Convex Love Transmission Remix) [Disfigured Dubz]
Martyn - Popgun [Brainfeeder]
Pangaea - Hex [Hemlock]
Al Tourettes & Appleblim - Lip Smacker (Deadboy Remix) [Aus Music]
Alex Smoke - Make My Day (Ryan Cross Morning Sorry Remix)
Knowing Looks - Abandoned Skip [West Norwood Cassette Library]
Ambiotics - Stormbreaker Sub
Manni Dee - Acrobatics
Synkro - Tribe [Box Clever]
Klatu - Your Instincts
Water Borders - What Wi Want (Damu Remix)
Throwing Snow - Shadower [Sneaker Social Club]
Memotone - Known [Raised By Records]
Zack Christ - Han Paa [Raised By Records]