All Tiller, no filler.
Music From Memory has been among the RA editorial team's favourite labels for the past two years, which tells you something about its remarkable curation. Along with Tako Reyenga and Abel Nagengast, Jamie Tiller is one of the people at the helm. His encyclopedic knowledge of many strands of music comes from years hunched over record bins at fairs, shops and flea markets. In record nerd circles, he's long been admired as someone who's able to stay one step ahead of the pack. But Tiller, who comes from London and is now based in Berlin, distances himself from the unhealthily obsessive aspects of digging culture. Speaking to Stamp The Wax earlier this year, he described 2017 as a "strange time" for digging, taking aim at people who use social media to brag about their rare records. "Anyone with a load of money and an unhealthy amount of time to spend on the internet can have all the hot records," he said. "But then they miss all the great 1 euro, 5 euro or even 10 euro records you can discover in a record store and it's just not about music any more but status."
Tiller's digging skills naturally fuel his DJing. As well as having deep crates and an ear for feel-good music from across the world, he's technically accomplished behind the decks, which explains why he's increasingly in demand. (This year has been a blur of sets across Europe and North America.) His RA podcast includes some tantalising exclusives from Music From Memory and its sub-label, Second Circle, along with some of the tunes Tiller's been playing out this past year.
What have you been up to recently?
Amongst other things I've been pretty busy with a compilation lately for Music From Memory, which is pretty exciting, though it always takes way longer than you imagine, especially working with so many artists and labels. Some tracks have worked out that I thought would never work out, and ones that seemed totally in the bag have ground to a halt. So it's been evolving in an unexpected but interesting way. Psyched to see that shaping up though finally as the idea has been there since forever.
Aside from that I've been enjoying playing some records around and about and basically trying to avoid saying the same things over and over in interviews!
How and where was the mix recorded?
The mix was recorded in one take at Chez Tiller using a Rodec MX180 Powerhouse, two Technics and a Pioneer CDJ I borrowed from a friend. (Shout out to the disco farmer!)
Could you tell us about the idea behind the mix?
The only parameter I gave myself was not to overthink the mix and keep it pretty spontaneous and loose. I pulled out some favourites from the last year or so, some music from friends, some forthcoming Second Circle, I guess with a certain vibe in mind, and tried to connect the dots somehow.
The release schedule for Music From Memory has really ramped up recently. Has it been plain sailing or have you experienced growing pains?
We've upped the release schedule a little but this is probably the limit at which we want to run Music From Memory. We have about five more releases that are getting ready to pop on Second Circle too, so there will probably be more growth there than with MFM schedule-wise.
It feels like the reissue game is more competitive than ever. Is this a good thing for listeners?
Right now it feels like there are more reissue labels starting than any other kind of labels, which is pretty, um, weird. On one hand I think it's an exciting time for listeners to be exposed to all this great (and sometimes not so great) music that has been unknown or inaccessible to most people. Records which were predominantly made in the 1970s and 1980s that for the large part probably had very little, if no audience at all, at the time they were released.
But personally speaking I'm much less interested in the latest "As played by DJ…," "holy grail" type reissues than I am by a few great new labels such as STROOM from Belgium and Efficient Space from Australia, who are putting out some amazing releases that feels much more driven by their own ears and personal musical interests than anything hype driven. I'm always really looking forward to hear what these two labels will come up with next.
Either way I think this access to so much incredible music has definitely had a positive influence on a young generation of musicians and producers, who seem to be inspired by all this music, especially a few who are chewing it up and spitting it out in interesting new forms.
What are you up to next?
I have a few trips on the horizon that I'm really looking forward to. It's always amazing to discover corners of the world you've never visited before, especially through playing music, and even more so when you're doing it with a group of friends.
We have some releases coming we're definitely hyped to put out on Music From Memory and Second Circle. On MFM we have an EP from Virgil "Vincent" Work Jnr., who was one part of Workdub a group whose work we released previously. The tracks are taken from a cassette that was basically just given out to a few of his friends. We also have a compilation from a Denver-based artist coming up soon, which is a really diverse mix of experimental electronics and oddball pop. A fair bit of this was only ever available on CDs the artist self-released later. On Second Circle we have another debut EP coming from Giuseppe Leonardi, a young producer from Vienna whose music totally blew our minds.