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Hey guys, pleasure speaking with you! How are you?
Hello , we are also very happy to speak with you about our label it’s going very well ! we celebrated this year the anniversary of the creation of the label with the release of a various artists EP after a 10 year break
We are thrilled to go back at releasing music for artists we love , 2019 is going to be a very exciting year for us
Let’s start with the story behind the label, how it came to be and reach such a poignant level in France?
We were amongst the first to organize rave parties in France back in the 90’s and it lead us to make friend with American DJs / producers such as Paul Johnson or Arman van Helden who were coming to perform in Europe for the first time and French acts such as daft punk that were relatively unknown at the time . Our first releases with artists like superfunk or Sebastien Léger put us at the avant garde of the French touch movement
Why bring the label back now?
Our label was primarily based on vinyl sales and that model changed dramatically around 2007 with digital distribution . On top of that we also saw a new cycle happen , funky house faded out as the style that will later be called EDM was rising . But recently it all changed again , the edm cycle finally ended and digital distribution also changed in nature : we went from a download based model to a streaming based model . All of that provided the perfect context for us to resume our label activities
What made Utopian Nation the right fit for the label’s return after 10 years?
This utopian nation ep was a good fit for black jack because it contains several layers of nostalgia that we enjoy , between French touch funky house and synth pop or movie soundtracks from the 80´s … it also takes a very melodic approach despite the 3 tracks being purely instrumentals
Where do you draw inspiration from musically?
Black Jack sound has always been inflicted by a mix of funky house , Chicago house , 70’s funk and 80’s synthpop
How do you perceive the scene in France today? How has it changed, if it has at all?
It is still too soon to tell how the scene in France is going to evolve but we ve been noticing a rising interest in going back to what made that style interesting nearly 20 years ago . We see veterans coming back and young new comers that are really passionate about it
What artists do you follow today?
These days we tend to follow artists such as : Folamour, Disclosure, Mk, Claptone, Purple Disco Machine (…)
What advice would you give others who have started / wanting to start a label?
If you want to start a label you shouldn’t limit yourself to just releasing music , it would not be sustainable . You should also be involved in things like booking and publishing and also try to anticipate what is coming in terms of new ways to distribute music
Are you doing a full revival of the label? Will we see further releases?
absolutely , we are coming back full time , 2019 is gonna be a very busy year for us . We will be signing already established names as well as some very talented newcomers . We are also planning to release some titles in an old school fashion : on vinyls and even K7 tapes
How would you describe your sound?
vintage funky house would be the simplest way to describe it
What are your top 5 most definitive tracks?
1/Pepe Bradock – Atom Funk
2/Tori Amos – Professional Widow (Armand Van Helden’s star trunk funkin’ mix)
3/Everything but the girl – Missing (Todd Terry)
4/Paul Johnson – Hear the Music
5/Dave Clarke – Southside
What’s your favourite ever release on the label?
Definitely Fafa Monteco Cockatoo Club
A double pack vinyls full of disco samples all with a great energy shaped for dancefloors . This ep really represent the spirit of black jack
Radio Slaves EP is out now!