Let’s go back to the very first release on Respekt Recordings, why did you decide starting a label was the right step?
Paul: Initially it was envisaged as an outlet solely for our own music, where we could do what we wanted and experiment a bit more, but we rapidly found ourselves wanting to sign great music we were being sent, so the scope just grew naturally in the end.
Rich: We felt it was paramount to build our own brand and grow a label family of artists who we were supporting at the time. Definitely an important string to any artists bow in the current electronic music climate!
And what was the biggest struggle you faced in the beginning?
Paul: Other than the obvious learning curve of learning to run a business, one thing that has taken a while is really finding the label’s identity. The sound has definitely evolved over the years, but we couldn’t be happier with the sound of Respekt right now; Bringing in the influences that Rich and I grew up on, but presenting it in a fresh way with a really talented bunch of producers.
Was there a moment or a release when you thought ‘this is it’?
Paul: From a label perspective, it was probably when we released our debut album on the label – things started to feel “proper” from that point on.
Rich: As artists, having our first release on Oliver Huntemann’s ‘Dance Electric’ label was a good indicator that things were going to go well, but more recently our releases on Drumcode and Kraftek have also been turning points.
The internet and services like Spotify have allowed almost anyone to put out a release, do you think the ease of access is good for the industry or has it only filled the stores with mediocre music?
Paul: It goes both ways; The barrier to entry for releasing music has been lowered dramatically, which is good in that it allows people to release music that wouldn’t otherwise have been heard, but some of that music probably should never have been heard!
Rich: Quality control has definitely changed since the vinyl days, obviously the amount of music out there has been exponentially increasing ever since. I would agree with Paul, you can look at things both ways, but one thing is for sure – you have to keep up with the the rapid pace of the industry if you want to be successful.
What label continually impresses you besides your own?
Rich: Kraftek, Drumcode and Elevate are obvious favourites of ours and also a big inspiration for our own output however I’m also a big fan of the tougher end of the techno spectrum. Labels such as Soma, Arts, Figure, Etruria Beat and Jam.
Paul: Agree with all of those and would add Afterlife and Noir Music as well, I’m a big fan of the recent melodic resurgence!
Tell us what’s next for Respekt Recordings?
Paul: More of the same! We have great EPs and singles from The Reactivitz, Joe Blake and Phutek up next, then our annual Amsterdam themed compilation out in time for ADE in October.
Rich: Plenty in the pipeline! Our schedule is pretty much full until next year. We are also continuing our Prospekt series which showcases some of the new talent breaking through, and we are always scouting for new demos. You can check out some of what is to come in the Respekt mix we have put together for you.