Situate Audio: a brand label for your radar that launched last week courtesy of R3IDY.
Based in Burton-On-Trent and regularly spotted on labels such as Yamatai, Phase, Trust, DNB Allstars and Rebel Music, R3IDY was first featured on this site as an Artist Of The Week last year. Now just weeks away from graduating from uni, he’s levelled up with his own label and exciting genre-blurring plans.
Proceedings kicked off last Friday with a feisty two-tracker – The Procedure (with Natty D) and Is This Real. Plenty more can be expected in coming months, including some really interesting VA concepts that push the dark, twisted techy sound R3IDY is championing to fresh new places and pastures.
We called him up to find out and more and get this sweet mix in return. Tune in and get to know…
We first spoke in June last year… Almost one year later, you’re coming to the end of your studies and you’re packing a label!
Yeah! I’ve been wanting to run a label ever since I got into D&B. The idea of having a collective of artists to work with, and the idea of having that type of artistic concept you can develop on your own terms, is really inspiring.
Finding a name that would work for branding took so long though! But one random time during a lecture in uni – because the label is also part of my end of studies – the word Situate came to me. I thought it had a nice ring to it. It means ‘to establish or build on something in a particular place.’ I thought it was the perfect analogy for a label. I want to situate artists within a community to build themselves, you know? I felt it would work and that’s how the name came along.
I love it. Can’t believe it hasn’t been used before
I like the formality of it as a noun and it’s meaning and it means I can bring in other aspects of stuff I like and that I’m inspired by like metrics and geometry. I’ve done my own design, too, which is hinted at in the background of playlists I’ve done.
Is that your design? Are you a natural designer?
I’ve done a bit of graphic design but to be honest I think I fluked it a bit with this design. I was messing around on Illustrator, drawing lines, seeing where it goes and was happy with the result so I slapped it on a hoody to see what it looked like. I’m well happy with it.
I love how this is a uni project but you’re taking it into the real world.
That’s right. The uni project is just to do a release on Spotify but I’ve had a few releases on different platforms now so I wanted to do a bit more than that and I wanted to start a label anyway… It made sense to launch the label for this project.
That’s amazing. Labels inspire you anyway, then? This has always been something you’ve wanted to do?
Yeah. I love the concept and idea of labels and what they bring to the scene. It’s sad because I hear of so many labels not paying people. I can’t get my head around that at all. Especially with well established artists who have been very vocal about not being paid their royalties. That blows my mind. Equal respect and trust is so important. I’m lucky I’ve only worked with labels who’ve looked after my interests and paid me, kept me updated on the release and everything. Yamatai, Phase, Trust. It seems mad that labels wouldn’t behave in any other way.
I totally agree! It’s great to see the change happening now with new labels being a lot more vocal about paying people…
Yeah it’s great to see that developing. And I’ve noticed a lot of artists I’ve really admired and been influenced by like Break and Noisia release mainly on their own labels anyway, so I’ve always liked the idea of that way of working. I’m the type of person who likes being in control of my own thing and I find it hard to totally trust people. This can be to own my own detriment sometimes and need to learn to trust people a bit more. You can get a vibe off people can’t you? Like Joe Trex and Tommy at Trust. Straight up guys who are very honest. Or James at Yamatai, he’s been amazing and taught me so much about how labels work.
I was gonna ask if you’d had any insight or tips from the labels you’ve worked with!
Yeah definitely. Yamatai and Phase have been really supportive. I went to the Sofa Sound workshop a few weeks back too and I got loads of insight from people like Bassi at Flexout and Dean at Engage Audio and the guys at Mob Recordings. So many labels I’m inspired by. It was great to talk to people and find out their experiences and hear what they have to say. I realised how like-minded it all is; everyone just wants to support talented artists and push good music.
Yes! It’s a label culture. Not competition. Inspiring. Are you releasing music by others or just yourself?
I’ve just signed a tune from Kalane which I’m excited to put out. After this release there’ll be two separate VAs. The first one is a Metrics VA. That series is associated with D&B and the graphic will have a measurement using centimetre style metrics. Then following that there’ll be another VA EP which will be 140 stuff. I’ve always had a passion for deep dubstep so that series will be called Imperial and the imagery will be based on inches so it will be spaced out. That series is called Imperial. So the scales match the style of the music and you know what you’re going to hear when you see the artwork.
That’s a really cool concept. I’m interested to hear some R3IDY dubstep! Have you released any? I don’t think I’ve heard any…
Not yet man, I love UK garage too so I’ve been dabbling with that and all. But nothing is ready for release quite yet. What’s cool is that I’m not following the 140 scene as closely as I follow D&B and I’m not part of that world as much so I don’t get that imposter syndrome thing as much I do with drum & bass. I can splurge out ideas and make tunes a lot easier. With D&B I struggle sometimes, I’m so into the music I’ll make something and then think, ‘Oh no this sounds like this guy’s tune or that girl’s tune.’ With the dubstep or garage the workflow is a lot more fluid and I’m not overthinking.
That’s the way it should be! How frequent will the releases be?
I want to do it monthly eventually but it won’t be that frequent to begin with as I’m still finishing uni and I don’t want to rush things. I want to have everything organised before I commit to a release. I know a lot of labels work four to five release in advance, maybe even longer, so that’s where I want to be… Have time to rest between releasing something and bringing someone new in. Just want to be as organised as possible and end up getting stressed on something I really enjoy, I hope people are into it!