Second up in our Label Insider series is Sprechen. A label we’ve been fans of for a while.Mix comes courtesy of TJ Lawton and Label boss and man of many talents Chris Masseyprovides us with a great insight into the labels motivation, inspirations and future aspirations.
1) Who are you?
I’m Chris Massey…Bolton born & raised but now residing in Manchester. I’m a disco jockey, producer, remixer, label owner, A&R bod, promoter, programmer, event manager and full time dog dad.
2) Can you tell us a bit about the labels history and philosophy?
I started Sprechen as a sideline to my A&R role at Paper Recordings. At the time I had been working on another label which finished so I decided to set up something of my own to cater for my own productions but to also be an outlet for other artists work that I happen to come across. Regarding influences I suppose I had built it around my own DJing style which itself is influenced by people such as The Unabombers & Chris Duckenfield who’s sets consist of many different styles & genres but always keep the dance floor energy to a max. I didn’t want Sprechen to be too much of what other people are doing, I have always wanted it to incorporate many styles & sounds that are always dance floor aimed…it is a party after all!
3) What have been the label’s highlights from the last 12 months?
Seeing releases get played & charted by personal peers and heroes of mine is always a really great highlight but on a release highlight I think the 2 year compilation release we did as a cassette & digital release was pretty special as it incorporated tracks by close friends of the label from Norway to Australia and of course some of the amazing talent we have here in Manchester!
4) What do you have lined up for the coming year?
I’m really excited to have got some label style takeovers happening at events such as Beat Herder with myself & Gina Breeze playing & the annual Come As You Are party over Pride weekend at The Refuge where we’ll be closing off the event in the basement club with myself, Paulette, Michelle Manetti & Gina Breeze. We’ve also got some incredible releases lined up feat names such as Daniele Baldelli, DJ Rocca & Dionigi as well as what will be our first (and probably last!) vinyl release from Justin Unabomber!
5) What are you looking for when you receive new promos and what advice would you give to budding producers looking for a home for their music?
I always listen to something and think ‘could I ever play that in a set and if so, what kind of set?’, its also got to grip me and make me move a bit in my seat but also must have its own identity…if something is sent that is a bit ‘cookie cutter’ then its probably not right for us. Best advice I can give is to just do your own thing and not do a carbon copy of what else is happening out there…take influences from other sources for sure but always do your own thing.
6) What is the biggest frustration or difficulty in running a label?
Getting your music out to people is a big difficulty. 25 years ago (and more) you would turn up to a club with an armful of white label vinyl and pass one to the DJ, chances are he would even play it that night…10 – 15 years after that you would do the same with CDs but nowadays? It’s hard man! Costs can run high and in the dawn of digital music & the internet your music just hits the pirate blogs almost instantly which when coupled with how much you make from streaming leaves you running well into the red! In-fact, what am I doing running a label?! Right that’s it…i’m closing it down! Ha ha!
7) Proudest moment and worst moment in the label’s life?
Getting everything launched back in 2015 was a great moment as everything was so well received! Getting props & plays on tracks by peers like Andrew Weatherall, Nick Warren, Doc Martin, Nancy Noise & Justin Robertson has been incredible as well as play listed by Nemone on 6Music!
Worst moment? Not too many thanks god although when we did the 2 year compilation and I did the costings to work out how much to sell it for I totally forgot to include the mastering costs and only realised after everything was well into production! So if anyone would like to buy one and help me claw some money back we still have a few left via Bandcamp on that link below 🙂
8) Which other labels do you admire and why?
Black Riot put out some great Chicago inspired sounds and Club Sweat is always a fave one to go to when looking for some 4am bangerz!
9) Tell us about 3 DJ’s / Producer’s we may not know but should be looking out for?
Tj Lawton who recently joined Sprechen in the office is dropping some dope dark style house beats which are well worth checking!
Gina Breeze is a good friend of Sprechen and she is an incredible producer who has really got her own sound going one that straddles that area between techno & house (no not tech-house!) with just the right dollop of groove!
My good friend Rob Jones who is resident at Supernature Disco (where I often play at) put me onto Lemmy Ashton and a track called Amsterdam and since then he has constantly been on my radar! Great productions.