Visionquest: 3 Of A Kind
Do you think with Seth being aside from the group for the time being this has helped to make you stronger?
R: It’s made our friendship stronger; a lot of people have the attitude of “fuck them if Seth’s not involved”. I don’t really care; if a lot of people don’t want to interact with us because Seth’s not involved that’s their problem. Seth has left and is doing his own thing. That’s fair enough.
Where do you see the main label going in 2015? You had some great unexpected pop albums in 2013 from Dinky and Footprintz and some more dance floor leaning records in 2014. Will there be a particular focus for the label?
L: We’ve got albums, but there’s a lot more serious dance music that people might not expect. We’ve got albums from Ryan and myself. I’ve got a Lee Curtiss and friends album with almost everybody in techno music that I’ve ever liked I’ve gone and worked on a track with. Those are the albums, this year we’re going to use the album platform to put out our own music.
R: Last year with Dinky and Wareika they were more deep listening, the Rework one was more dancey, with a little bit of an electro vibe to it. We weren’t necessarily thinking about making an album particularly dance floor, it was more because we thought the album was cool. I’m working on an ambient album and I’m working on a separate album with Cesar Merveille which is going to be jazz based, lots of recordings of live records that will be more of an experimental thing. We don’t really plan on a dance floor vibe as far as albums go.
How do you go about finding new music to put out on the label? Is it a question of sifting through music you get sent? Is it difficult to come to an agreement with three of you making the decision?
R: It depends, for a while I didn’t like any new music for 2-3 months from new producers that we were being sent, but over this last few weeks I’m hearing some really kick ass stuff. It’s partly that, it’s partly artists e-mailing us and then other times I’m bothering people and saying “hey man why you don’t do a record?” sometimes people do one, sometimes they don’t. Then it’s a process of agreeing between us when it should be released.
L: We try to keep it 3 out of 3 for everything. We all have those different tastes and ideals so when one of us likes something and the other two say no we just forget it, it’s dead. If two of us like it we tend to push a little bit further and give our opinions on why. Usually the third person will listen and agree that what we’ve said makes sense. If we sound passionate about it then they trust your judgement. That makes it 2. something, so anything over 2.5 usually gets the vote. It’s also a screening process from there; we want to get to know the artists from there.
What do you think it is that makes a Visionquest artist? Is there a particular trait that producers on the label share?
R: I think it’s not just the sound that we like but their characteristics, the tangibles of the person, their personality, what they play and how they DJ. It’s a combination of everything. If the person is cool, fun to be around and makes good music, that’s it. We don’t always care about other people’s opinions, say for instance someone sees something as cheesy; we don’t give a fuck about that. Our label doesn’t follow a confine or any sort of normal rules.
Can you tell us about the idea between your new digital sub-label Brachtune? How did it come about?
R: The name is a complete inside joke, that’s how that came about, off the back of a 80s sitcom. The whole idea is that we were getting a shitloads of demos from friends. Some of them were really good for the dance floor but we didn’t think they were necessarily a Visionquest release. But they were undeniable on the floor. So we thought ok we’re getting a lot of these now and we don’t want to not put them out, so let’s put these out on digital and break in some new artists. This day and age people pigeonhole you, whether you like or not, sometimes a young kid is making good music but it doesn’t always completely fit in what we’ve been releasing. We want to give some new artists some time to grow on the label and possibly release on Visionquest later on, having said that we’re going to still release on the label ourselves.
L: We were getting tons of demos that were pretty exceptional, they just weren’t quite as in your face. Brachtune is a bit more underground in the respect that some of the tracks might be more subtle. The first release from Matt Tolfrey was an easy choice for the first release. We’ve known that track for years for when he put it out on Cabin Fever. It was Matt’s idea to re-release it; he had permission from Radio Slave and put it forward to us. The second release is going to be from Marlowe, one half of Digitaline, then possibly these guys from Italy and then a couple of guys that no one has ever heard of. We’re keeping those names in our pocket for now!
With your Visionquest Special Edition vinyl only project do you see this format as a way of preserving a culture which you love? From what I’ve heard it sounds like it is on more of a deep, dubby tip. Is this the intention?
L: Yeh, we firstly had the big three part remix package from Quilla, all very out there kind of stuff that we had remixed by a bunch of pretty amazing producers like Ricardo Villalobos and Craig Richards. That’s definitely what it’s all about, deeper and dubby style techno. You’re not going to be able to purchase any of those ever on mp3. That music goes so well for the vinyl only people and it’s all stuff that we really like.
R: Part 5 has just been released with a great track from Moreon & Baffa. Two guys of Venezuelan descent that live in Barcelona, they’ve got another EP coming very soon. We’re waiting on a few special remix guys to finish off the EP.
Do you see yourselves producing together as a collective again soon?
R: We’re looking to do a live DJ performance. We’re going to be presenting the music live as all of us, as Visionquest, so everyone has to put their stamp on it. That’s an important feature of the group and we’re going to get back in the studio. We’ve never really done original material other than one or two tracks so we’re looking to focus on this.
L: As a group we’re gonna get this DJ/live set together. We’ve been speaking with Native instruments and Ableton to get everything synced together with the turntables. So it will be a DJ/Live performance.
A lot to come from Visionquest for the rest of this year and going into 2015 then, we look forward to hearing it!
L: Both the albums that Ryan and doing are going be really special and we hope people will respond to those. People are waiting for more content to come from the guys who created the label. I’m going to be in Chicago for the fall and I’m getting my album hammered out. The whole thing for this album is no filler tracks, it’s all dance floor. There’s going to be more releases from the sub-labels of really solid stuff, some more big releases from Benoit and Sergio and also we have a big one coming from Gene Ferris from Chicago and Sonny Fodera from London. That one’s a bit of a curveball.
R: We’ll have two albums on the label over the next year, possibly three. You’ll have more music from us as Visionquest and also individually. I’m going to have a new EP out on the label in October and my goal is to have one also out in March or April next year, in addition to the album. It’s busy times next year, but it’s good exciting times!
Lucky enough to be in Ibiza this weekend? Then you can catch the Visionquest boys in action alongside Sasha, Julio Bashmore and Dusky at Space for We Love… Tickets are availble below
To buy tickets for this event please visit the events page: We Love…Sundays at Space – Sasha presents Last Night On Earth – Sasha, Visionquest (5HR SET), Julio Bashmore, Dusky tickets from Skiddle.
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Words: Tom Warner