One of the freshest new labels around gets set for We Concur’s 1st Birthday in London town…
Interview by Rob Chadwick
‘BADE is a brand new label from producers Edward Antonio, Charlie Coombes, James Sison and Henry Stroud. They exist as three separate monikers: Edward Antonio, James Sison and Charlie and Henry as Talk & Smoke, having a long and rich understanding of dance music’. They are putting all that to good use on this new venture, which they promise is as concerned with the whole visual aesthetic as much as they are the music. Offering up a dark, tech tinged house sound and with label parties in the works at places like Corsica Studios (which is next Saturday for We Concur’s first birthday with the likes of Terrence Fixmer and Redshape) BADE is sure to become one of the key house players. Here we catch up with the pair behind the label to find out their backstory and more besides…
Guys welcome to DMCWORLD, can we kick off by telling is who is behind the label, how did you come together and why did you feel the need to start up?
Bade Records are four friends from London, brothers James Sison and Edward Antonio along with Charlie Coombes and Henry Stroud (who play under their moniker Talk&Smoke). All four of us have always had music as a passion. Growing up all four of us were greatly influenced by rock music; all of us previously played in bands as well. Over time our musical influences all aligned and in November 2013 we decided it was time to put our passions back into action. And so, Bade was formed.
What or who is BADE? Can you explain the title?
The name came to us from a textbook that Charlie was reading at university, we just liked the feel of the word. As for what we are: we’re a platform for what we consider our unique sound; it’s a blend of all of our individual tastes.
Are there any other labels you are inspired or influenced by? Do you plan to be in this for the long run or is it about capturing a certain sound right now?
We initially drew our inspirations from the melodic sound that was coming out of Berlin from about 2011, so our first influences were definitely people like Innervisions and Life & Death. Now, however, we’ve definitely started to expand the scope of our sound so we’re drawing from a much larger pool. People like Kompakt, Vakant and Desolat to name a few…
When we first decided to give this a go almost 18 months ago we really had no idea how things would pan out. We had no expectations whatsoever, it could have lasted a few weeks, a few months… Now that we’re starting to look towards our 2nd anniversary we’re putting down the foundations to keep Bade going for the long run. We’ve been so thrilled with the support that we’ve gained so far, and we’re hoping to keep it going for the foreseeable future!
What gap are you filling, who is your target audience, what sonic niche do you hope to operate in?
The sound that we first set out to embody is the prevailing melodic deep house sound that’s huge across Europe. At the time there wasn’t an outlet for that in the UK as the scene here was geared to what we now refer to as ‘UK deep house’ so we set out to fill that void. As time progressed we’ve started to develop our musical foundation, branching out into other genres and cultivating our own unique sound. Whereas we were definitely filling a niche when we started out, now we’re aiming for our releases to be less pigeonholed by specific genre, and be more associated with our own sonic brand.
Is format and artwork important to you, or just the music? Do you like the whole package as it were, are you collectors yourself?
For us the whole package is important. The sound is your foundation but being a successful label today requires you to approach all aspects of your art. For our artwork we follow themes, with two releases per theme, and we like to ask our friends who are artists to contribute. For upcoming BADE005 we’ve employed Ed and James’ younger sister who’s currently studying photography at Central St. Martins in London, using work from her portfolio.
What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far? How hard has it been to get off the ground?
Our biggest challenges have undoubtedly been a lack of financial resources and initially having no contacts or experience in the industry. Luckily for us the internet allows you to run a business relatively cheaply. Our main expenses have undoubtedly been our mastering costs and promotional services, and we use the best – Calyx Berlin for mastering, and DJ Voice for promo. However, these are the most important things to get right, and Calyx and DJ Voice are worth every penny! Getting a new label off the ground and building an audience takes a lot of time. Even though we had no contacts at the start everyone we’ve met in the industry so far has been so helpful and enthusiastic, it’s such a great and easy community to work in. As for the time commitment, we all love what we do so it doesn’t ever feel like ‘work,’ and it helps that there are four of us to divide the costs and workload.
Tell us about the label showcases you are doing – what’s the deal there, what does a label party entail?
We’ve had quite a few showcases so far. Our first was with our good friends, London based promoters Tessellate, and we hosted alongside Innervisions at Front to Back’s amazing One Day party last year. We just finished up our first individual showcase with Kris Davis at Plan B in February which was a sell-out and we’re very excited to host room 2 at We Concur’s first birthday on the 18th April. Our next individual showcase will be back at Plan B on 24th July. For us, a label party involves a great venue, music and crowd. Our attitude towards them is that if the crowd’s having a great time, then so are we.
You host room two at Corsica next Saturday – what have you got planned, what should people expect?
We’re so excited for this one, We Concur have curated such a fantastic line up – Terence Fixmer, Redshape, Woo York and Rachel Lyn. For that evening we’re showcasing Bade’s sound. Edward and James will be going back-to-back and alternating with Talk&Smoke everyone one and a half hours. We’re aiming to take the crowd through a real immersive journey of all our influences.
Can you tell us about any of the releases you have coming up? Who are they from?
We’re very excited for our next release from two Italians, Paolo and Filippo aka Babylon Crooks. The release is entitled ‘Perpetuum’ EP and has already been picking up some great support Joseph Capriata, Paco Osuna and Pirupa to name just three. Previews are coming soon with the release arriving May 11th.
Generally what is your A&R policy? Will it be friends and people you know only or is it just about the music?
It’s all about the music! We’re lucky enough that now we receive a huge amount of demos every week, but we’re always on the hunt for new artists. For us the most important thing about our music is that it stands out. At the moment all of our artists except James are from the Continent, but it would be great to increase our artist pool to include those across the globe.
BADE Records host room 2 for We Concur at Corsica Studios on Saturday 18th April and their forthcoming Perpetuum EP will drop on 11th May.