One of my favorite Labels ‘Spearhead Records’ is releasing a new Various Artists album to celebrate 10 years in the game so I caught up with label boss Bcee to find out a bit more about the project…
Since ’10’ celebrates 10 years of Spearhead could you start from the beginning by telling us briefly how the label was formed?
I originally started a label called ‘Rubik Records’ with Doug Ross aka Kubiks back in 2001. While we were on the same page musically, we were heading different directions business wise, and in 2005 I moved to Ibiza, which made things even more difficult. At that point I decided to go it alone and formed Spearhead Records, with the intention of just quite simply releasing music that I liked enough to risk huge amounts of money on in order to release.
Many of the Artists who featured on earlier Spearhead releases went on to explode in the scene. What do you look for when signing a track?
There are a few things that I look for, with the main one being that I love the music. As well as that though here are a few other things that I always take into account. 1) Does this producer want a long term career in drum & bass? I’m looking to invest in people long term, not just stick a track out for the sake of it. 2) What is this producer like as a person? Are they going to be a twat to work with? 3) Will I be able to remember this track in a few years even if I haven’t heard it for ages? What about it makes it memorable?
Then on top of that I rarely put out music from people that I haven’t personally met. I get about 100 demos a week which means that listening to them all is an impossible task. I used to try and listen to everything but these days I have enough trouble keeping up with the music that my own artists send me.
’10’ features one disc of classics remastered and one of brand new material. How hard was it to pick the classics to include?
Picking the classics from an ever growing back catalogue was a challenge and I kept changing my mind. I based the vinyl version on the tracks that have been out of press for a long time. Then added my personal favourites to the CD, but there were still several that I just couldn’t squeeze in. I also wanted to make sure that I included as many different artists as possible so tried not to have too many from the same producers. The main reason that I created disc 3 with the mega mix on was because I wanted to fit more on. I managed to fit about 60 tracks into the mega mix, hopefully without it sounding too ridiculous.
And what about the new material? I’m particularly loving LSB’s ‘Loop of love’ I must admit!
For the new material I approached a lot of the producers that had already had releases on the label, plus some of my personal favourites with the hope that would submit tracks. As quite a few of the producers of the early releases now have deals with other labels, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. I took over a year to pick the ‘future sounds’ collection, but am definitely happy with the end result.
You also have some big projects on the Horizon including LP’s from yourself and Riya, can you give us a little teaser of what to expect from them?
My 3rd album drops in April and includes collaborations from Hybrid Minds, LSB, Villem and S.P.Y, plus a load of guest vocalists. Riya has been working hard for the last few months on tracks for her debut album which is close to completion. She has recorded about 30 tracks in the last few months and we are currently trying to work out which ones are going to make the cut. The main problem is that there aren’t any tracks that standout as ‘fillers’, so it’s a tough task. Whichever tracks end up on their you can expect features from Villem & McLeod, Break, Total Science, Hybrid Minds, Enei and loads more… Then we also have brand new music lined up from Hybrid Minds, LSB, Muffler, Dexcell and a few more, plus we have just signed Mutated Forms who should have an album out later this year.
You’re also putting on another event at London’s Plan B, Who’s on the line-up?
The next Plan B night is on Thursday 2nd April, Friday is a bank holiday, so you can come out on a Thursday and spend the whole Friday in bed recovering! This one is the launch party for ‘Come And Join Us’ and my guests will be Hyrbid Minds, LSB, Bladerunner, Utah Jazz, Villem & McLeod, Furney, Dexcell, Riya, Tempza, MC Fava and a few more.
Link for tickets is: http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?677183
Thanks a lot and here’s to another 10 years of Spearhead!
Grab the album direct from Spearheads online store