Robert McCorquodale chews the fat with Night Slugs label head L-Vis 1990 ahead of his appearance at the Rizla Re-Crafted party at Motion, Bristol this Saturday November 20th.
Your Forever You EP was out in the summer, were you happy with the reaction it received?
Yeah it got an amazing reaction across the board. It was an underground hit and people like Busy P, Medhi and Brodinski have been playing it in every set too.
You’ve been in the studio working on your debut album. What should we expect?
It’s going to be slightly different from most of my other stuff. It’s not just going to be a collection of dance tracks either, I’m writing it as an album, there’s a bit of concept behind it. It’s like Chicago house made in 2020.
Night Slugs has undoubtedly been one of the labels of the year, why do you think it has done so well?
I’m not sure really, it’s just been consistently good music. It hasn’t been about anything else, like a scene or anything, just good music from good artists who are looking towards the future.
What was the motivation for starting the label?
We’d been running the night for 2 years before starting the label and it just felt natural. We’d built up a crew of DJ’s around us that were making really interesting stuff, but there was no place for our music because no labels were putting out our kind of records. So we thought we should go ahead and do it ourselves.
Obviously you had belief in the artists and their records, but were you expecting the acclaim you’ve had?
We weren’t really expecting anything, we just wanted to get our music out there and it’s grown into something we could have never anticipated.
You’ve been quick to correct any attempts to tag the label with any genres. Is there a musical style or direction that you’re following or is it a natural evolution that moves on with each release?
The way the label has come together and how our artists have grown has been completely natural and organic. We all came out of bass music like bassline and funky, and we’ve bought ourselves to it. We’ve always hated any genre associations with our music and I think it’s pretty impossible to label it, it’s just held together by a vibe.
There’s been a wealth of innovation that has helped make UK bass music one of the most exciting scenes in recent memory. Does it feel like you’re at the heart of something special?
Yeah totally, it definitely feels like there’s something special happening right now. Its been weird the way its happened so smoothly, to suddenly be at the centre of something so big, its beyond our wildest imaginations of when we started the club night 3 years ago. We had a Night Slugs party at Counter Culture on Friday and where we’ve had headliners in the past it was just all of our crew, and the place was totally packed. It was a real testament to what we’ve achieved this year.
With Night Slugs you’ve signed some of the best emerging talent around, what does an artist need to grab your attention?
All of the artists we’ve been putting out are our friends, we haven’t actively been going out to find them, they’ve just been our crew from the start. Jam City who’s EP we’ve got coming out next has been a DJ and a friend for a few years, his music has been evolving while we’ve been doing our thing and he’s going to come through next year. Kingdom has been a friend for ages, we were chatting with Egyptrixx back before Night Slugs even started, and Girl Unit was housemates with me and Bok-Bok.
Does that make it even more special that you’re doing it with your mates?
Definitely. It feels real; you know they’re putting their soul into it. There are a lot of people now trying to get on the style and sending stuff through, but because they’re not part of the crew it just doesn’t feel right.
The end of the month sees the release of the Night Slugs AllStars Compilation. The first volume of a series, is it a nice way to cement the success of the label?
It’s a nice way to round of the year you know, and we can bring Night Slugs to another market. It’s out on CD so random people can pick it up in shops, its got some of our best hits of the year for the newcomers, and we’ve got some exclusives dubs on there for the true fans that know the label and have all the releases.
You’re playing at the Rizla party this Saturday, which is part of their Re-Crafted tour. Are you a fan of remix competitions in general?
Yeah it’s good for kids to work with the parts and practice doing the remixes. In the past it’s almost been a way to kill a tune, give the parts to everyone and you get a hundred million remixes of ‘Pon De Floor’! But done in the right way they’re definitely good for getting the kids involved.
You’ve been a promoter for a number of years now, is it something you think you’ll always do or as time goes on do you think you’ll focus more on producing and label work?
I think the parties go hand in hand with it all, they’re really important for us to get our vibe across. The radio show is important for us too, but I think we’ll always throw parties.
You started out with nights in Brighton before doing Night Slugs in London. How do the two cities compare when it comes to putting a night on?
They’re totally different. In Brighton it was hard do to do something new and interesting, the town is so transient with students and tourists moving through, it’s hard to start a scene or get people really excited. In London there are so many more people from different walks of life that are into the same music, it’s much easier to build up that excitement.
You’re touring Australia with the mouth watering line-up of the Sterosonic festival. Sounds like a great way to catch some winter sunshine.
Yeah it’ll be nice to come back with a little bit of a tan before Christmas
Are you going to try and catch any of the ashes while you’re out there?
Probably not, I didn’t even know it was going on to be honest, I’ve just been locked in my own little world doing my album. I’ve just got back from a US tour as well, which was amazing. The American crowds have a bit of a different vibe to them, less guys with heads down, maybe a bit more of party atmosphere over there.
What does 2011 have in store for L-Vis and Night Slugs?
We’ve got the Egyptrixx album coming out, the Jam City Album, and my album will be dropping late summer. I’ll be doing a live show for the festivals too.
Finally, L-Vis 1990 sounds like a sci-fi robot, is there a story behind the name?
Yea it comes from an old Sigue Sigue Sputnik record from the 80’s. There was an intro to one of their tracks with a deep voice, it described how the ultimate band was going to change the future by revisiting the past, and that band was called L-Vis 1990.