We spoke to Valby Rotary about what makes them tick, what's next and their general uninhibited, unadulterated thoughts on "stuff". We gleaned insights so great we had to copy onto a scroll then translate onto the web.
How did the label come about? What was your original inspiration and how do you think you’ve managed to bring it this far?
Me & Louis ended up living with each other by chance in Leeds and after sharing tunes with each other and collaborating for two years we decided to create a platform to release our own music. We came across the artwork from a book on an online digital library and were sending them to each other imagining the possibility of it being label art. Louis was just finishing up ‘Hiccup’ at the time and together this inspired us to begin the label really. I think we’ve managed to bring it this far by making it our number 1 priority and constantly communicating and sharing thoughts and ideas.
You mentioned there were three of you, how do you work together and collaborate?
Louis and Tom make the music and liaise with the pressing plant and distribution services for the records. Benito helps create opportunities for premieres and sending promos to artists! Then we all kind of run the social media and try to spread the word about the label as a team. At current T lives in Leeds and L & B now live in opposite sides of London so we basically do all of our communication through Facebook chat!
Describe the Valby sound, where do you see yourselves fitting within the musical landscape?
Our releases so far have been four to the floor, with the intention of evoking emotion as well as being functional club tracks! In terms of fitting within the musical landscape, I think we’d be kidding ourselves if we thought we were doing anything terrifically unique or revolutionary. We really aren’t, we’re just another label doing our thing in our own way and I think there is always room in the musical landscape for that.
Louf's release on Valby Rotary, premiered by yours truly and Mixmag
How do you see your sound evolving over time?
Its hard to say how our sound will evolve, but we are constantly being influenced by new sub genres, and this has an effect on our production. I would say at the moment the shuffly/swung drum sounds of minimal techno and garage tunes are appearing more in our tunes for example. We make a conscious effort to keep all our releases very cohesive, regardless of what we have been influenced by. It seems like more and more young people are engaging in electronic music, due to social media, and everyone is producing tracks. This may saturate the market for independent labels, but in my opinion it keeps us on our toes to stay unique and consistent.
What’s the Leeds scene like at the moment? How did you start running nights?
The Leeds scene is great at the moment. There are consistently good acts on every weekend, and its not just the same few DJs over and over. We have been going to Wire club in Leeds for years and its always been a goal to put an event on there.
What’s on the horizon? New release coming out soon, but anything else in the works we should know about?
Valby 05 is on the horizon, along with some things we can't talk about yet! Shhh
Have there been any hard or arduous times for the label or has it all been plain sailing?
So far its been really positive running a label. There have been stressful moments with admin stuff and delays, and we can get overwhelmed at times, but overall we have been very lucky. I have heard some nightmare stories, particularly with pressing plant delays at the moment, so we cant complain…
Check out Tom VR's mix for us here - and keep up with the Valby Gang below: