Codename : RCRDS – The Story So Far…

Co-founder Moakz takes us on a time travelling trip for our 88th mix

It seems appropriate that the 88th edition in our 1 More Mix series flexes heavily on a time travelling vibe…

Courtesy of Moakz, it’s an absolutely stunning 100 minute exploration and celebration of jungle music’s most timeless, emotional, musical, soulful and dynamic parameters qualities.

At points bone-shaking, at others soul-quaking and forever peppered with exclusive forthcoming tracks; It all comes from one label: Codename : RCRDS.

Co-founded and run by Moakz alongside fellow Southampton junglist Chiron, the label was born through their club nights Codename : AMEN. The label only launched in April 2023. yet, as both their catalogue and this mix shows, they’ve already curated a remarkable wealth of contemporary, forward-thinking jungle… Including their first VA album which dropped last Friday March 15.

Entitled Look To The Future Vol 1, it’s a 10 track trip into jungle’s most futuristic motifs and characteristics from some of the label’s key artists and peers. Arcologies, Con-Figure, Digital Altair, Eschaton, Fortune & Chance, Marc OFX, Mineral, Moakz, NonRev, Wez Walker, Perpsective R and Trident all feature on the album as the Codename crew unite to hard salute the atmospheric legacy and influence of imprints such as Good Looking Records while still keeping firm eyes on what’s ahead.

We’ll be digging into the rich influence of atmospheric jungle drum & bass on the album next week with a spotlight on each contributing artist. But first, let’s set the scene and get properly acquainted with this sublime mix and out chat with Chiron and Moakz (who previously featured on 1 More Thing on our own VA last year and featured in this video about it)

Fill up the Mr Fusion, check the hover conversion and stand aside. Moakz is going to get this baby up to 88.

To be continued…


This is a big moment. Your first VA album. Tell us all about it…

Chiron: The inspiration and concept came from Moakz and the artist. When I heard that the inspiration was GLR and that 90s atmospheric sound I was totally on board as that era was amazing. To have been able to buy the records when they were originally released, and hearing them played out every week, was amazing.

Moakz: This one had been bubbling away for a while!  When we first started the label, with a few exceptions we focussed predominantly on looking to release jungle and dancefloor atmospheric 160-170ish bpm music and this has brought a cross-section of influences from hardcore and jungle techno to UKG whilst keeping musicality and atmosphere central.

Alongside this, we started to receive some amazing demos from the likes of Arcologies and Perspective: R, which were a bit more chilled, and leaned maybe a bit more in the direction of influence from what many people would know as ‘intelligent drum and bass’ or ‘the Good Looking Records / Bukem sound’. Obviously there are so many other amazing labels but GLR arguably had the largest cultural footprint?


 Moakz: Nowadays it’s most often termed ‘atmospheric drum & bass’.  Anyway, we absolutely loved these tracks and wanted to find the best way to showcase them and felt that a long form release series would suit best.  This then triggered conversations with other artists who we already work with regularly, and once we were rolling it was a case of approaching other artists to see if they would like to produce a track around the concept to contribute to this release and future Look To The Future volumes.

Didn’t it have a different working title?

 Moakz: When we were in the early stages of the planning with a few tracks committed, the project was half-jokingly called The Ironing Board LP as a nod to the famous Tony Fordham (GLR manager) scene from the Modern Times documentary.  After a while Dave (Chiron) told me that there was absolutely no way on earth we would be releasing an LP with this name! We eventually settled on ‘Look To The Future’ as we wanted to discretely reference the influence of Good Looking and that era in the title, but also turn a page on things and say to people – look we all love the classic era stuff, however this is a new golden era of this sub-genre, and here are just some of the brilliant artists at the forefront of this sound, and shining bright for the future of atmospheric drum and bass.

Also, on the topic of the album, as it’s our first, we’ve released a physical CD version. Working closely with Marcus Tee, a limited edition 50 copies run was created.  I think it’s important to mark these moments – it means a lot to us as label owners, and it clearly also means a lot to the artists, we had a lot of “I just phoned my mum to tell her!” type messages.  Sometimes having a physical product to show for all your hard work in the studio is important and I’m a big fan of all these limited edition runs on Bandcamp, if they’re done with the heart in the right place!

Yeah totally. You’re just coming up to a year of the label – how has it been so far? 

Chiron: It’s hard work but immensely enjoyable. Moakz and I chat regularly and whilst we would never say the last year has been perfect, I believe we have got far more right than wrong. I probably underestimated how much time the promotion can take from designing the social media posts to the time it takes to physically upload and share onto the different platforms. The biggest buzz is the music though, from hearing a new demo to road testing it on my various radio shows to listening to the finished master is a brilliant experience.

Moakz: I lead on the release side of the label – this initially focussed on A&R but has also grown to encompass release plans, artwork briefs and social media content. Dave focusses on the business mechanics and events side. It’s certainly been an exciting and challenging experience with plenty of thinking on our feet and a lot of long nights and weekends.  I had a bit of a perspective on running a label from releasing on other imprints such as Omni Music, Default Recordings, Liquid Drops etc, and had a lot of guidance and support from Chris Wright (Eschaton) and Ian Crook (West), owners of the first two labels who have both been fantastically supportive… so we did go in with open eyes. However I definitely don’t think we realised just quite how hard we would need to work to get the music in front of people and grow an audience for it, especially with our signature sound sitting perhaps outside of both mainline drum and bass and jungle styles.

That’s the trickiest thing! So much music and so many people vying for attention. Working though!

Moakz: Well we’re proud to work with some great people around us to help fine-tune things to the highest standard too – SyRan’s mastering is superb. We work really closely with Marcus Tee on the design briefs which has created a distinctive look and 36 Hertz are also working closely with us to provide dubplate cutting of some of the tracks. It’s is nice to be able to open up to a different audience who may not buy digital.

I would also say that it’s been a genuinely humbling experience to have so many amazing artists working with us in such a short space of time.  When we first conceived of the label it came from artists such as Trident, Mineral and NonRev sending me unreleased tracks either to play in my sets or to provide feedback on. After a while I started to half-joke “Why don’t I release this?” – from there it was a step to then say, “Ok let’s do this!”.

Classic accidental label setting up situation!

 Moakz: It had to happen, really. The first track we signed was Trident – Feel Good, which is still one of my favourites on the label. From there we approached quite a few more artists whose work we really loved and respected and who we felt might be interested in the project, and we were overwhelmed by the positive responses we received – it has just snowballed from there in terms of building up a sound and a vibe and it’s been amazing to feature such variety on the label – Cold Leader and Nothing for example are both amazing artists and have completely different vibes – I feel the label output joins the dots between them and it allows us to feature both seamlessly in DJ sets.

Tell us your biggest highs and lows!

Chiron: The biggest highs are from the positive feedback we get from customers/fans but also the artists we work with regularly who are really positive around how we represent them as a label. There have been no real lows as far as I am concerned. The biggest learn for me is still making the process of taking sales from Bandcamp, combining them with the royalty statements from our distributors and turning them into an efficient spreadsheet to pay the artists. I need to make the process more efficient!

Moakz: I love so many aspects of running a label, however I think one of my absolute favourites is pairing artists with remixers. One of the great things about working with such a creative group of artists is the amazing sounds which have arisen from cross-pollination, and hearing remixes and knowing that you have helped gestate tracks as unique as Sam Link’s remix of Mineral’s Shallow, Non-Rev’s rework of Cold Leader The Hollow Sausage, and Code of Silence’s rework of Outrigger’s Ripples: Reflections feels incredibly rewarding in itself.

As far as lows, it’s not a negative per-se, but running a label has definitely meant a reassessment on time for my own solo music productions, and while I’ve still maintained a steady stream of releases and remixes I’ve definitely found it harder to carve out the creative time around the day to day aspects of running a label and found I’ve needed to strictly manage my time to still allow me to work on my own music in bursts.  On the flipside, it’s definitely made me work harder on the creative and technical sides of my own music and I’ve learned a huge amount from hearing so many other artists music at earlier stages in the development process.

That is a classic too. So CODENAME: RCRDS comes from your event CODENAME: AMEN. How has the rave side of your operations gone during this time? 

Chiron: It has been well publicised how difficult it is for the hospitality sector since COVID and during the current cost of living issues, and there is no doubt Codename: Amen has experienced this challenge at times. We take comfort from the fact that the vibe is good at all our events, we have a friendly diverse crowd and a real mix of ages, and the feedback from our ravers is positive. We have a good location with a supportive management and promotions team at the venue in Southampton, and we look forward to continuing that with them.

 Moakz: I used to run events 25 years or so ago in Southampton (Offshore, Toast) with big headliners such as Andy C, Hype etc, and can honestly say that running events in the present climate can often feel like ten times the effort of that for a tenth of the audience.  Social media works against you rather than with you, and physical campaigns aren’t the easiest in a city where there is less of a captive audience than say Bristol or London.  I used to stand outside venues at 2am on a Wednesday night handing out flyers, you can’t even do that now if you want to as the events aren’t there and venues are falling at an alarming rate.  We’ve lost four venues in Southampton in 2024 alone but there’s no support for this industry.

Wow that’s heavy

Moakz: It really is. With Codename: Amen, we have actively eschewed ‘event norms’ as much as possible – our headliners are as much as possible label artists, we have delivered international guests – Krugah (in collaboration with Jungle Syndicate – big ups to those guys) – and Mineral for UK first appearances, and we support diverse local talent as much as possible too.

Although I look back fondly on the old events, I have found our current approach with Codename: Amen to be much more rewarding personally than working with a huge name where perhaps we are just another booking in the diary, and it’s been a brilliant experience hanging out with our guests – spending a few days with both Mitch (Krugah – from Brownville, NYC) and Ilkka (Mineral – Helsinki, Finland) was awesome and they’re two of the nicest people you could expect to meet, in or outside of the scene.

We have been starting to dip into running events in other areas of the country with appearances in London at Planet Wax in January, and an event to celebrate Outrigger’s EP on the label in March, and we are looking to start bringing the label’s sound and artists to other locations and events over the coming year. Promoters get in touch!

What’s next for the label and plans?

Chiron: We have a jam-packed schedule of releases through until the summer now and that is testament to Moakz and our artists. We will continue to release both limited edition vinyl dubs and we already have volume 2 of Look To The Future locked in for the summer, with volume 3 likely before the end of the year.

Otherwise, my job is to ensure we have the cashflow to continue to grow the label either organically or via paid promotion and to continue to provide quality radio shows that fans enjoy, listen to, and hopefully buy our music.

Moakz: I’ve got a first solo LP earmarked for the autumn on the label, and a couple of EP’s before that. There are also solo releases locked in from NonRev, Okee, TRC2, Woken Balance, Data B, Fortune & Chance, Flipper, Trident, No_Name and Indigo Virus, several others in progress that I can’t mention at the moment but which are really exciting, and of course we have the VA EP Trilogies which the label are becoming quite known for now with tracks from artists as diverse as Krugah, Charla Green, Marvel Cinema and Jack Rapture making their debuts. So all very exciting and plenty to keep us busy!

Other than that a key goal is to start to represent the label at other events more regularly and hopefully on the festival circuit, and we are keen and ambitious to start to talking to people more about bringing the distinctive sound of Codename: RCRDS to the masses!

Bring Look To The Future Volume 1 into your life now

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