We take some time out to talk about futuristic drum & bass with Warm Communications head honcho Heath Looney. We get up to date with releases from Seba, DJG, and the lowdown on the US scene...
1. Warm Communications has been releasing deep and experimental drum and bass since 2002 and has enjoyed a steady rise through the ranks to take its place as one of the scenes most revered labels. For those that don't know can you describe what your label is all about and the concept behind it?
Warm Communications was started as a outlet for drum & bass with an edge. If you listen to the back catalogue, the label has covered many genres in drum &bass. I like each release to be completely different from the last one and not become a label that gets labeled or stuck into one particular sound. Personally, I always want to be challenged by music, so I’m always searching for music that has some sort of edge to it or leftfield sensibility. That said, it can be sometimes a risky move with sales in todays market, but I’m willing to take those risks in order to give something different back to drum & bass.
2. Now we know what Warm Communications is all about can you give us a bit of background on yourself? How did you get into the world of drum and bass and what made you decide to set up a label?
I started listening to electronic music back in the early nineties . Loved early house and progressed from there into hardcore and jungle. Had heard a lot of jungle on compilation cds[no record stores here back then and no scene], but the teeth didn’t sink in with me till I heard Dj Crystl’s “Sweet Dreams”. From there as they say the rest is history. At the turn of the millennium, I had come into contact with a lot of budding producers and from there just started going over branding, concepts, etc…till it all came together.
3. Your based in Amarillo, Texas and thanks to modern technology and a truly global scene you have released tracks by artists from all over the world. Most recently Seba (Sweden) and Consequence (New Zealand). Do you find it difficult to source the right music to release being based in the states or does it help in allowing you to focus on the direction of the label and not be swayed by trends and fads?
Yeah technology is definitely a blessing in that sense. I’d probably be a country music label if I had to stick to Amarillo music and what good would that be?! I think being in the states is just a location and has no restriction on who or what I can release. I’ve always prided the label on being as diverse as possible, so trends or fads don’t really play into the label’s releases.
4. What is the market like in the states for the kind of sound that your label is pushing?
It’s hard to say from my perspective what the market is here in the states for what the label releases. Obviously, the more mainstream sound is a lot more prevelant in the bigger cities[just like anywhere], but there is always a small percentage of people that want to be challenged when they hear something new and I always like to think those numbers will grow, but who knows.
5. Deep, forward thinking drum and bass is making a serious resurgence at the moment with excellent new music being released all the time. Warm Communications is one of a number of labels to really raise the bar in terms of quality, which helps to push things forward. Whats your take on this and how do you see things going forward?
*Thanks for the kind words regarding warm! It definitely looks as though more forward thinking music is getting attention these days and from my perspective that is a great thing! As I stated earlier, I always want to be challenged in some way with music… Hear something new… Feel something new! So, that being said I’m very pleased with where drum & bass is right now. I think music like many things in life work in cycles and what’s popular today is out tomorrow. Warm Communications is always about releasing interesting music that hopefully can give the fans something new with each release.
6. With a number of US artists now making waves this side of the pond who for you is the pick of the bunch and who should we look out for in 2010?
There are some great artists here in the states making some great music. A few that I always have my eyes on: DJG, Method 1, Sinistarr, Jus Wan… I would love to hear more though… I'm always looking for new material!
7. What does Warm Communications have planned for the future and what can we expect from you in the next twelve months?
Well, we just released WARM016 [DJG] last month and WARM017[SEBA] just came out this month, so make sure you all go pick those up! In the future we will have more releases from Seba & DJG that have been confirmed. I love organizing and putting together remixes, so I have some great remixes by some outstanding producers in the works and will disclose more info on that at a later time. We have plans for a compilation and have a couple tunes for it, but it’s still in the early stages.
*Also, for anyone who hasn’t checked out our sub-label “Pushing Red”….get on it! Caters more to the dubstep/ electronica genre! RED003 [ Headhunter / F Remixes ] is out August 30th and RED004 [ Ruckspin / ft. Jack Sparrow ] is out September 27th. http://www.soundcloud.com/pushing-red