Label profile \\ Dimensions festival launch their own imprint
On the never-ending ‘must do’ festivals list, Dimensions is pretty high up. In their young history – just six years – they’ve given underground artists a platform whilst pushing their DJ collective and directory series. Of course in Croatia, they’ve given hundreds of up-and-comers and established names quite literal platforms, too.
To celebrate their debut release, a compilation featuring twelve of their most rated rising artists, co-founder David Martin talks to Tina Edwards. We find out how launching a label felt like a “logical progression”, and uncover advice for artists about pitching their music to Dimensions Recordings.
\\ What’s the story behind the launch of Dimensions Recordings?
It’s been a long time coming; Dimensions Recordings is headed by Andy [Lemay] and myself, we’re driving it. Andy’s been involved in labels for a long time and I was involved in a label a long time ago.
It feels like a logical progression. It satisfies our needs. In terms of the fit and the brand – I don’t really like that word – but in terms of what we do as a group, for us to start a brand new thing with a brand new name? It would’ve taken a lot longer to establish. Whereas with Dimensions Recordings it’s easy to see that its an extension for us – of a demonstration of what were into and what music drives us.
It’s made the process longer; working with twelve brand new artists and tracks. We could have released a year ago a single artist EP but it wouldn’t have demonstrated the breadth of what we’re about. Maybe people wouldn’t have had the patience with us, too.
\\ Tell us about the artists you’ve signed to the label
The artists that we’ve got on there are pretty diverse. We had an idea of what we wanted, and it wasn’t dance floor orientated, it was more song based. I found Silk Noise Reflex [by James Tillman], and I was surprised I hadn’t heard it. I sent him an email, and he got straight back the next day. He said he’d like to do something and asked if we had space. It just fitted perfectly, he’s so talented. We’ve not met him yet but we’re hoping he’ll be at the festival.
After that, Kerem Akdag is doing a mini album for us. Andy’s had a relationship with him before [appearing on the compilation]. The album he’s given us now is unbelievable; really soulful, really beatsy. Gilles [Peterson] and people like that are picking up on him. On the other end, there’s more club stuff. London Modular Alliance – they’re London based and very electronic; some classic house, some afro. Mim Suleiman, from Tanzania; she’s someone we’ve been into for a long time. If I’m correct in my memory, she said this was the first thing she’s ever recorded. There are twelve artists that we see having long relationships with. We’ve been building a family.
\\ Any advice for artists on how to submit music to the label?
We absolutely want to encourage it. Everybody’s involved in the festival; Andy and I are always about grassroots stuff – supporting established names yes, but grassroots is essential for us. At the moment we have our release schedule until March 2018. I think probably my advice would be; things change over time, so when people say now isn’t the right time, it’s not necessarily a ‘no’. Sometimes artists get disheartened with that. Sometimes they see it as a brush off and I don’t think it is. Doggedness is important. It’s about determination; we will be open to taking more demos on. Probably, it will be worth telling people it will be three months before we look at new music – not to say don’t get in touch with us!
The other thing about the label, is that once we’re kind of out there, in our flow – we’re not gonna be really stringent in terms of having space between releases – they’ll reach different audiences, DJs,- so were gonna be hopefully putting a lot of stuff out relatively quickly.
\\ Jazz-orientated artists have glided even higher up the Dimensions Festival bill since it launched. How conscious is that?
I feel like we’ve always been good with pushing that stuff. It’s timing as well. People are really open at the moment, it’s exciting. It gives us the chance to feel free enough to do it. It’s great for us because we don’t want to be held back – [jazz is] always on our playlists.
JS | Tina Edwards