We talk to Loefah, ATG's Jan Francis and Swamp 81 manager Katie Thiebaud about their new label.
Peter "Loefah" Livingston, ATG affiliate Jan Francis and Swamp 81 label manager Katie Thiebaud have a new label on the way called School.
Their first release comes from Dusky, the rising London-based duo of Alfie Granger-Howell and Nick Harriman. (You can hear their recent BBC Radio 1 Essential mix here.) Where Loefah's Swamp 81 imprint has remained stridently vinyl-only, School's first record will come in two versions, both due out on in December. The vinyl and digital releases will both feature the track "Calling Me," with "Muriel" appearing only on vinyl and "What I Do" exclusive to the digital version.
With so few details about the label currently available, we checked in with all three of the label's founders to find out more information about where School might be headed:
Two of you work on Swamp 81. How will School depart from that label?
Jan Francis: School is a brand new label and a new enterprise entirely. I do not work for Swamp81 as such but am close to the artists and management. In my opinion Swamp81 in the main consists of rather well established artists with an already rich history who have seen Peter's dream, and along with Katie have worked it into an amazing and unique label. School Records comes from the same management and legacy as Swamp81 as well as my own history as ATG, and the underground movement that entails. School is new and its artists haven't got that history yet, making it a very exciting prospect unfolding.
Katie Thiebaud: School isn't a departure. It's our new label in its own right with releases from producers that we think have great talent. We don't expect everything we hear to be right for Swamp 81.
Peter Livingston: For me School came about because I had music available to me to release, and even though I wanted to release it, I felt that Swamp wasn't the correct place. A new imprint was called for, and so I didn't create "Swamp 2," I decided to ask Jan and Katie, who I already work closely with, if they wanted to be partners in the venture. I feel our combined perspectives will bring something new and exciting.
What are each of your roles within the new label?
JF: I will be doing A&R along with event planning and production, promotional marketing and brand identity.
KT: I am mainly handling business and label management, but we all play a part in the creative decision making and A&R.
PL: I deal with A&R and promotion, along with the joint label responsibilities.
You say you're keeping the music policy for School "under wraps," but what made these Dusky tracks such a good fit for the new label?
JF: Long before Dusky were Dusky, they were ATG family and having them now as the first release on my first label is a great achievement for me.
PL: The policy is more centre-ground house/techno. Sonically that's what Dusky do, so...
You're also keeping tight-lipped about future releases. At the very least, could you tell us if you're got more in the pipeline, and how often we can expect new releases?
KT: We are working with Paleman and will keep new releases coming in 2013.
Swamp 81 has been vinyl-only. Why did you decide to open up School to digital distribution?
JF: I think having vinyl-only is great and creates a real tight boutique label, but if worked right we can create this same appeal while giving us a further reach around the world.
KT: Certain tracks work so well on vinyl. Just because Swamp81 is vinyl only doesn't mean we don't recognise when a track can work well digitally also. With School, we are still making one track out of the three available on vinyl exclusively and one track available for digital only.
PL: New label, time to try new things.
01. Calling Me
02. Muriel (vinyl only)
03. What I Do (digital only)
School will release Calling Me / Muriel / What I Do on December 3rd, 2012.