Nick Coles catches up with two the guys behind super-fresh progressive label ‘Melodic Beats’ from the south west, packing in decades of experience between them, Plymouth veterans Paul Honey and Tim French give us an insight into what they and their label are all about…
So, how did you guys first meet?
We both first met back in the early to mid 90’s clubbing and DJing at the mighty Warehouse in Plymouth. We then went on to become residents at the Dance Academy Plymouth from 1997. We were both heavily involved in the scene back then and along with the residencies at both the main clubs in the south west, Paul also promoted various nights himself at various smaller clubs around the city as Breathless. Great days, although they were pretty hazy.
What made you decide to start your record label together?
We had both had a break from music to concentrate on careers and family and both started to get back into it at a similar time. Paul then started the Melodic Beats Podcast late 2019 and Paul then asked myself and another mate Sam (Apostille) to come on board as residents early 2020. Then as we all know Corona Virus and lockdown hit. The podcast started to go from strength to strength and really started building momentum and after a suggestion from a mutual friend Louk, a record label seemed like the logical next step. A few Zoom calls later and with help from Louk and Simon at Flow Publishing, we were off with our first release – Roodles (I know) from Tim in June 2020. In early 2021 Paul decided it was time to take full ownership of the label and we parted company with Flow who had (and still are) great and very good friends of MB. We are now up to our 19th release and lots more lined up for 2022.
We’ve had some amazing artists come on board with releases or remixes including, Audioglider, Nigel Dawson, Nila, Alex EFE, Diego Berrondo, Jaap Ligthart, Kiz Pattinson, Moku, Richie Blacker, K Loveski, Around US, Glen Molloy, Sounum & Sagu, AudioStorm, TD, Xango, Last 2 Standing, Dan & Dan, Ranj Kaler, Jannis Brinkmann, Steve Jones, Kazko, Mindform, Patrick Evans and of course releases and remixes from Tim , Paul and Sam (Apsotille)
We’re all quite humbled to have artists of this calibre want to release and remix for the label.
Plymouth really was at the forefront of the UK clubscene back in the early 90s, with the likes of Sasha, Digweed, Nick Warren and Carl Cox all playing regularly in the south west, did you ever imagine that 30 years later we’d all still be here trading stories and pushing the music?
In one word, NO! lol They were crazy times back then and you lived and breathed the music and the scene it was one big party and like most musical youth movements you did feel it would peak and the bubble would burst! I know at the turn of the century it did all feel like the party might be over and the proceeding years were certainly not the same but I think it is brilliant how the scene has evolved and moved on to new generations and has really shown that it was not a flash in the pan and is here to stay.
Describe your label in 3 words?
Quality Underground Music
You have been running some events right?
Paul & Sam (Apsotille) deal with the events side of things and we have managed to put on a few events over past 18 months or so which have gone down really well. Our Jody Wisternoff event was amazing in the summer at the Terrace Bar on Plymouth’s Hoe over-looking the sea. All the stars aligned for that one, it was such a magical event. We have also been luckily enough to play some festivals under our Melodic Beats Music banner which is the three of us . A particular stand out event was the Rock Oyster Festival in Rock Cornwall which if you haven’t been I strongly recommend you do. The plan is to host a few events a year around our hometown of Plymouth. Time is always a bit of a challenge so for me (Paul), a few events along with a few gigs a year is the perfect compliment to all the work put into Melodic Beats. Tim has the desire to play much more though, to be fair he is younger than me and has the energy to do that…..
With the popularity of acts such as Franky Wah, CamelPhat, Cristoph and Boris Brejcha breaking down the barriers with more melodic house sounds on a commercial level, do you think it’s time for bigger A-List prog acts to put the South West back on their tour schedules once again?
Yes absolutely, there is a real gap in the market for this in the South West and we hope to bring more quality DJ’s down form the Melodic Prog side of things, it’s getting a balance of who we want to bring down with who would work it down here..
What is the criteria and process in getting a track signed to Melodic Beats?
Listen to the past releases to get a feel of the sound of the label and what we are about and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org if we like it, we’ll sign it. As you will see from the label there is variety there. But the common factor with it all is that it’s quality underground music from the deep, melodic and progressive worlds of music, and the bits in between. Even if I (Paul) get demos sent through which isn’t right for Melodic Beats Recordings, if I can help point them in the right direction to a better match then I will.
Any artists you aspire to work with moving forwards?
Loads! So many amazing artists out there producing incredible music. We would love to work with Framewerk , Gai Barone, Luke Brancaccio, Pob, Kamilo Sanclemente, Andres Moris, Analog Jungs, Sebastien Leger, Jody Wisternoff to name a few I could go on for ever. The label was created as a space for great artists producing great music we like, so obviously the names would be an honour, but it’s just as exciting when you get to put great music out from the lesser-known producers as well.
Running a label is extremely time consuming and hard work, is it a fair split between you guys?
No not really.. Paul certainly does 99% of the work, I (Tim) just take all the glory, lol. We both work the networking side but Paul does all the main label side of things.
Having each been involved in the club scene at a very vibrant and pivotal time, you must have some pretty crazy stories! Can you each give us one mad tale from your 90s Plymouth clubbing/ DJing days?
Lol yes there are some crazy stories for sure and many many stories. One particular one that springs to mind was a mutual friend of ours Richie Piggot, who used to DJ in the 90’s and who got booked to play at a local biker gang’s club house in Cornwall. At a loose end I thought I’d tag along for the ride, which at the time seemed like a good idea! Suffice to say, it was quite an experience. We got picked up at the train station and driven to this housing estate where their club house was. It was basically two four-bed semis knocked into one, all the windows were boarded up with metal sheets and the front door the same. We were escorted in and the door locked behind us with the words we will let you out in the morning if your music has been good! Needless to say we were shitting ourselves! Quite a cray night ensued. It turned out the bikers liked the music Richie played so luckily we lived to tell the tale, lol.
For me (Paul) too many crazy fun nights to mention really. It’s all locked in the memory bank. Just…….
What are your top 5 tracks of all time?
Sunscreem – Perfect Motion (Junior Boys Own Mix) Still sounds fresh today.
Sasha- Xpander, What a tune remember when I first got the EP through on promo and just sounded so fresh and new.
Spooky-Little Bullet (Live Version) So haunting with emotion just always transports me back to happy times.
Quiver- Twist & Shout (Original Mix) I remember my best mate Richie Piggot dropping this at a party, just a pure prog anthem so groovy but also dark. Always reminds me of him.
V.O.A.T – Moonchild (Original Mix) This tune just personified the warehouse for me. Phil Jubb used to drop this a lot and just all ways reminds of having it on the dance floor. Happy days
So hard to pick 5 but these all hold very special memories of times gone by!!!!!!
Leftfield – Not Forgotten
Shades of Rhythm – Sweet Sensation
Larent Garnier – The Man with the Red Face
Blast – Crazy Man
Andy Cato – The 7am Drop
Any final words for the readers of DMC World?
If you like what you’ve heard then please do check out the label, Melodic Beats Recordings and Melodic Beats Podcast and don’t forget to like and follow us on all social media sites and whatever streaming platform you listen to your music on. Just clicking the like and follow really does help us and all the artists involved. It’ll keep you updated with everything we do and we have some fantastic things coming up in 2022…our latest EP release Audioglider ‘Depth Perception’ is a biggy…https://li.sten.to/mbr019Audioglider
Facebook: @melodicbeatspodcast & @melodicbeatsrecordings