10 years of Audio Addict Records is worth celebrating right? Of course it is! DJ Hybrid gives LoveThatBass the lowdown on what it’s like running a record label in 2020 and beyond…
In drum and bass years, it’s a long time to be running a label, especially with ever changing subgenres and production techniques. How do you maintain momentum and most of all, a passion for it all when you’re relying on so many people at once?
I think that’s the real challenge with running a label for a long period of time, you can have a good run for a few years and build momentum but trying to stay consistent and prolific within the scene over many years is difficult. Last year in 2019 it was hard to keep momentum as a lot of artists I had been working with for years were all starting to release on bigger labels (including myself) and it got to the point where i realised I was pretty much going to have to start a fresh with a whole crop of new artists.
Luckily I would say in the last year there has been a huge influx of new, young artists so I essentially based the relaunch around those fresh new artists which has inevitably changed the sound of the label but it made me excited about the label again so I know it was the right decision.
When releasing other producers’ music, do you find this solely depends on what fits the label or are you just as keen to push new talent in undiscovered areas of the scene? For example, would you release a happy hardcore EP?
When I first started the label I was probably a lot more open to releasing different styles of music as I wanted it to represent my music taste which is very eclectic but nowadays I think I probably look for a certain type of sound that I know will fit the label, especially since the relaunch.
On the subject of other producers, what’s the one thing you wish everyone would fall into line with? Do you find time management an issue at times? If so, it must have a knock on effect on release schedules?
Time management can sometimes be an issue but I usually have so many releases planned in advance if one is pushed back we can usually bring one forward to take its place. I think one thing I do wish some producers would fall in line with a bit more is what other labels they work with, I’ve always been told to pick a few good labels to work with but some artists seem to release on any old label that contacts them. In some cases, the label is getting more out of it than the artist as they are using them to build their brand or even replicate other successful rosters.
A handful of producers have really championed a new wave of jungle over the last 10 years and certainly in the last few years, the ‘96 sound has made a big return if you go looking for it. What’s your take on this considering it’s something your production is sometimes associated with. Do we see full 360 cycles every 10 years or so?
Yeah I think we do see things come round full circle and the new wave of jungle is a great example of that, there was a period of time where people made a lot of ragga drum and bass but in recent years we have seen certain producers go back to a full on authentic 90’s jungle sound. When I first started out I wanted to make that big Ram Records, Drumsound, Bassline Smith sound but after a few years I got bored of that and started chopping up jungle breaks and since then I’ve never looked back.
Even former drum and bass producers such as Clipz are being heavily influenced by the 90’s jungle sound in his most recent tunes.
Prediction wise, what does 2021 have in store? Are we going back to 2000 and something? Is the jump up sound of 2005 making a comeback or are we in for something totally new?
I can already see that era of jump up making a comeback and I really like it as that was the sort of tunes I used to mix when I first started DJing. I think jump up became a bit too full on (similar to Nuero) where there was more focus on the technical aspect than the actual vibe of the tune. From what I can see at the moment, people seem to love simple jump up/rollers with a slight jungle influence or ragga element that has a switch on the drop or big epic build ups with female vocals.
As much as people love to moan about foghorns or rollers etc I genuinely love a lot of the new vibes that are coming through at the moment so I’m very optimistic about the future.
Merchandise certainly came back with a bang. If money was no object, what would Audio Addict create as saleable merchandise to promote the label on a larger scale?
We started as a vinyl label so it would be nice to go back to pressing vinyls and selling slipmatts etc. Other than that I’d love to have some custom rolling papers made that we could give out with our orders!
The headshot artwork on recent releases looks great! How’s this going down with the artists having their own signature cartoon creations? Will the format continue?
I think it has been going down well so far! It’s just something a bit different that stands out on the download sites. We were thinking of continuing it for the rest of the year and then maybe thinking of another concept but time will tell…
Any plans for an Audio Addict collaboration album? Anything else big happening this year?
We have the 10 Years of Audio Addict Records album dropping next month which ended up being so huge it’s been split into 4 parts. We have over 50 remixes of our back catalogue from over the years and a lot of the new artists that have been smashing it this year are involved such as Disrupta, Jappa, Gray, Hexa, Jak, Bruk & J Select.
If you could choose one release from your label to play as a last tune at an event, what would it be and why?
I think probably the Callide remix of my tune ‘Toxic Jungle’ just purely because of the epic intro and unexpected drop.
Finally, DJ wise – what’s your take on the future of clubbing for the foreseeable future? Would you play at a seated event? Any thoughts on branching out to live production tutorials or something similar?
I actually played my first socially distanced event in Bristol last weekend and it went really well. It was seated but people were still vibing the music and enjoying themselves. I think the only way we can go with the future of clubbing now is quality over quantity, people might have to pay a bit more to have a night out but i can’t see it going back to normal anytime soon especially with the amount of venues that face closure due to Covid.
In regards to tutorials I’ve just started a Patreon page which features exclusive tunes, samples, presets and loads more. I will be working on loads of tutorials over the next few months so will be posting them all on there.
Big up everyone that has supported the label over the last 10 years, Big up all the artists that have been involved with the label and big thanks to Cygnus Music.