To follow up from Build's biggest release to date, a very smooth sounding collaborative album entitled 'Joint Ventures', label boss Baobinga answers a few questions exclusively for us...
Hi Sam. First of all, congratulations on ‘Joint Ventures’ – a fantastic listen. Tell us a bit about yourself and how you first started up in the UK music scene.
Glad you like it! As far as I go, I got into dance music through jungle and techno, and then followed my way through an obsession with interesting drums along many twists and turns to wherever I am now...
In 2011 new labels seem to be appearing all the time, but what motivated you to start a label back in 2009?
Well, I'd got a bunch of tunes stockpiled that all seemed to be hanging together quite well, and the opportunity arose to get the label going without having to risk a huge amount of capital upfront (thanks Multiverse!), so it was a case of the right situation arising at the right time. I'd been thinking about doing a label for a while, but it was only around 2009 that it seemed as if the barriers between genres and styles had broken down enough for me to be able to do the kind of label I wanted to do - i.e. one that wasn't pushing a specific narrow stylistic agenda.
You have just released the vinyl of BUILD006, a collaboration between yourself and Guido. How important do you think it is that labels continue to put tunes out on wax?
I think it's very important, even in the sense that although sales aren't great at the moment, people still respect a vinyl release over a digital-only record - and this applies to young producers who don't really buy much or any vinyl, they still feel that a vinyl release gives a record some kind of 'reality' or solidity. For me personally, I love vinyl and I love the culture of record shops, so I'm happy to be able to contribute in some way to keeping that going.
You have collaborated with so many different artists, from Mensah to Cosmin TRG. How do you find collaboration as a way of producing and have there been any which just haven’t quite worked out?
I really enjoy working with different people - it's a great way to learn new tricks and it kind of forces you to come with your best stuff as well! When a collaboration works really well, I think you can hear elements of both producers in the track, but there's also something there that you wouldn't normally find in either producer's work - that's the exciting element and what makes the whole thing fun. There's been a couple that haven't worked out, but I think that has generally been down to scheduling issues and general lack of time on both sides, rather than any kind of dramatic personality clash with people storming out of the studio, smashing synths and threatening violence!
Trans Pennine Express - Baobinga & Jack Sparrow
What was it that persuaded you to launch into the ‘Joint Ventures’ project, does it feel like quite a big departure from the run of twelves that have preceded it?
For me, I feel like the album is a continuation of the direction the label has been taking over the past 2 years, and it also served as a useful marker to work towards - a big project on which I could focus my energies. Obviously, the label has almost by accident become a showcase for collaborations, but beyond that, the album presents a wide range of tempos and styles, which is something I've tried to do with the singles as well. The level of work that goes into promoting an album is definitely a step up from putting a single out though - I need a week on a beach!
As you said, the album sees you producing at a range of different tempos, is this something that you can see yourself doing more of in the future?
Yeah definitely - particularly in terms of D'n'B, and the slower house stuff. Those tunes were really fun to write, as they have such a different step on them, compared to the more usual 125-140bpm range. Switching tempos is another thing that can keep the process of creating music fresh and exciting, which is important if you want to keep making music that is fresh and exciting!
Gun Talk - Rider Shafique
The "UK Bass" scene seems to have been morphing constantly over the last year or so, how important do you feel a strong local scene such as the one in Bristol is to the development of a distinctive sound?
I'm not sure location is quite as vital as it used to be back in the day - for example, the way certain clubs and record stores were instrumental in developing disco, house, jungle or dubstep for example - but it is great to be working in a city where there are so many talented people doing their thing, and also willing to mix it up. For example, at Pinch's monthly Dubloaded night, you'll see everyone from house purists to grime kids getting together and chatting and checking stuff out, and that is a big part of what makes Bristol exciting. The rise of the internet has reduced the importance of physical location, but then again there may well be a backlash against that, where people want to feel that what they are listening to is rooted in something real. I guess the rise of Berghain techno links in to this - the strength of that sound is very much tied with ideas about Berlin and that particular club, which adds weight to the story behind the music.
And finally, what is your vision for Build during the second half of 2011? Any exciting new artists you think we should be keeping an eye out for?
I'd like grow Build as a brand - doing more Build themed rooms, as we have a wide range of artists involved in the label now, and the Build nights we have done have worked really well. We'll probably put out another single from the album, maybe with some interesting remixes, and I'll probably work with some more people that are making interesting music at the moment. I've got a couple of names in mind, but I'm going to keep them under wraps until everything is sorted. I'd like to see more releases from Kahn this year, and I'm also hoping the slow house thing will blow up a bit - check out Behling for some quality mixes in that vein; proper heavy slow groovers!
You can buy 'Joint Ventures' for the bargain price of £7.00 direct from Build's website.
And if you want a little taster, check out this free track from Baobinga & Randomer.