In any other industry, ten years would be considered a long time. As far as drum and bass is considered however, ten years may as well be ten life times. In such a fast paced scene where artists, labels, events and even clubs can disappear almost over night it becomes more and more difficult for underground organisations to reach these milestones, and so when they do, special attention must be paid.
It’s a well known fact that the team behind Vandal Records have worked tirelessly over the last few years pushing up and coming artists and gaining a formidable reputation as one of the forerunners of underground drum and bass. A lesser known fact is that Vandal has been in business for a lot longer than most give them credit for with early releases spanning back as far as 2004 with label co-owner SKS on the buttons. Since then, Vandal has very much paved the way with artists such as Nymfo, Nick Bee, Hyroglifics and Lockjaw all jumping on board, demonstrating a diverse yet powerful approach.
With the British summer (finally!) underway, there seems no better time to celebrate the upcoming release on Vandal Records’ sister label ‘Vandal LTD’ entitled ‘Modern Soul 2’, the sequel to last years compilation of soulful liquid rollers. This second instalment is an eclectic mix of sweet, hedonistic liquid, trip hop, halftime and jungle all guaranteed to put a huge smile on your boat race while you drift off and dream of being on a desert island some where. After listening to the release in its entirety, it’s easy to see why it’s already such a hit. With this in mind we could think of no better time to catch up with label owners SKS and Redeyes to discuss the past, present and future of Vandal Records . . .
Hey guys, thanks for joining us on In Reach today! First of all, big ups on your latest release ‘Modern Soul 2’, you must be really happy with the support its received so far!?
We got very good feedback on the first Modern soul LP and this year still get a very amazing feedback on this one so happy and proud to release the music we deeply like and see the support it gets. We spent so much time of our lives this year on this LP, hard work always pays off.
For me, ‘Modern Soul 2’ is another incredible release to add to what has already been a very successful few years for you. What would you say is the key to maintaining such consistently strong releases?
We are always working 24/7, even on holidays! Keeping in touch with artists and digging music all day, we never stop trying to reach our goals.
Something a lot of people won’t know is that although you’ve been at the forefront of drum and bass for the last few years Vandal has actually been in business for over a decade. What was it that inspired you to start your own label all those years ago?
The drum & bass scene in Toulouse has always been massive and all the activists were starting to produce quality tunes, so the city clearly deserved a label who represented the local scene and thats why Vandal was created.
During Vandal’s early days did you have a specific idea of the direction you wanted the label to go? And if so, did you stick to it?
The local scene here was starting to become international so I got the connections to release international Drum and Bass artists (S.P.Y, Skitty…) and as I like every kind of drum and bass from the dance floor tunes to the deeper ones I always released this kind of music. Could be some neuro for the end of a set, halftime for a pool party or liquid for warming’ up a night!
Coming back to your most recent release, how did you choose the final tracks for Modern Soul II? Did you want to keep a continued style from last years LP?
Yes, the idea was to bring a compilation that you can hear from start to end everywhere and bring with you on a journey in the summer, it truly represents what we are releasing with Vandal LTD, we got no limit with this label, we just put the music we love no matter the style is, from hip hop to footwork to liquid stuff.
If you had to choose a favourite track, which would it be and why?
Actually we really love this halftime/future beats vibe from Shield, Monty and Greazus & Bsn Posse.
Given the success of the Modern Soul releases can we look forward to this becoming an annual thing?
Looking at the public response and how much satisfaction we get to make it we would love to release this LP as much as we can. We do like the idea to put something fresh for the summer, something that could rock any speakers around a pool or at the beach or in a club.
After such a successful few years what do you have in store for the future of Vandal?
Next release is an EP from Italian duo Fractale then Nymfo and Zombie Cats are the next releases this year on Vandal Records. Also we got the next Grand Royal EP featuring halftime and juke music from Monty, Greazus, Redraft, Redeyes, Calculon, Zero Zero and Teknian on Vandal LTD.
If you were to give one piece of advice for anyone thinking of starting their own label, what would it be?
Work with passion and trust yourself.
And last but not least, which artists are smashing it for you at the moment? Who should we be watching out for?
SKS: I’m really into this deep roller, techy vibe like Archetype, Halogenix and Arkaik.
Redeyes: Greazus, Shield, Redraft, Lumumba.
Thanks so much for joining us you guys! Before we go, any shoutouts?
Shouts to all the artists involved in the label and the people that support us !