Ones to Watch :: Bade Records
Sunday afternoon at the Cabeza Stage, Gottwood. The sun was beginning to set in North Wales. The festival’s dreamy landscape was at its most beautiful; the green lights were starting to low in the forest, the house in the not too far distance was glowing with warm evening light and the mirage-like lake was reflecting the pink and orange of the sky. A few of my friends and I were enjoying the beginning of the end of a wonderful weekend sitting on the banks of the lake, when, for the last half hour, a set was very cleverly summing up that emotion which we had been feeling. Track after track followed with such delicate mixing we soon felt obliged to get up and dance. My mate went up to the DJ and said, ‘I dare you to play a bad song’, to which one of them replied, ‘We haven’t fucking got any!’ With the evidence provided it certainly felt true.
Playing that fabled stage for the late afternoon slot, were London based DJ duos, James Sison and Ed Antonio of Brothers Black, and Charlie Coombes and Henry Stroud of Talk & Smoke who, together, form Bade Records. What caught my attention and the attention of many that afternoon (they were the surprise highlights of the festival for The Commission Magazine) was their demeanor. There was no doubt they were enjoying themselves, however they managed to maintain a professional outlook that was mirrored in their sets. Mastering the art of subtlety in both selection and mixing is a tough trait to acquire, but it was there in abundance. It is unquestionably present in their exclusive YoungOnes mix as well.
Founding the label just over two years ago Bade Records has come a long way despite only a handful of releases. From their first find in German artist, Ben Böhmer, to the more recent work with Varysoo, they have sustained the highest standard in melodic house and techno. They have also made a great impact on London’s nightlife, playing alongside many big names such as Dark Sky, Konstantin Sibold, and Fort Romeau it was only a matter of time before YoungOnes discovered these lot. While Sison’s own track ‘Stolen’, was one of the labels definitive tracks and obtained much exposure across the Internet, earning them much respect, their latest release from Belgian artist DkA has seen support from the likes of Laurent Garnier and Innervisions member Marcus Worgull.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Bade Records and talk to them about their successful beginnings and what is to come in the New Year.
Tell us about your first clubbing experience or when you realised this music and life was for you?
We’ve always been really into music growing up, trying to get into various clubs underage, producing our own stuff and sharing music with each other. We’ve always wanted a career in music so it seemed like a natural progression to start the label together as a group, bringing together all our knowledge.
We're really excited with how things are progressing right now as we’ve just launched the first of a new series of 'Bade Presents' events at Oval Space. We'll be bringing longstanding artists along who we really admire as well as newcomers who are just breaking onto the scene. Our aim is to showcase the sound of the label as well as that of some of the best in the business. Our first event on Februrary 6th kicks off with Extrawelt, Nick Höppner and Terriers at Oval Space and we’re incredibly excited about it!
Your 4th release, ’Napier Lake' which came out at the beginning of the year was from one of your own, James. Now that you have teamed up with Ed to form Brothers Black, what does the future hold for your solo career?
I plan for future productions to be a joint project with Ed under Brothers Black - we’ve spent the last few months producing as much as possible and we’re both very excited about releasing some music. We’ve got some releases locked in for early in 2016 so keep an eye out for them!
Where did the name Bade come from?
We chose a word with no meaning as sort of a blank slate, something that hopefully we could attach meaning to in the future. As for what we are: we’re a platform for what we consider our unique sound; it’s a blend of all of our individual tastes.
Growing up in London, how would you say this has influenced you and your style?
We’ve always been very much in touch with the UK scene, from drum & bass to dubstep, to house and to techno. We were definitely attracted to the more melodic end of the spectrum, however, despite its obvious connection to continental Europe, we’re very keen to keep to our UK roots.
When I met Henry from Talk&Smoke when you guys were performing at Gottwood, he said you had gone over to Berlin at one point. Did you find that was a really important step for the imprint? What did you learn out there?
It was a great opportunity to meet people in the industry and learn about their experience. We of course loved the city, made some great new friends and would love to spend more time there in the future! James and Ed will be moving to Berlin early 2016 too, so we’ll be operating the label from both Germany and London.
Looking towards your own DJing, your success has gone from strength to strength playing alongside Marcus Worgull, Omar S and Konstantin Sibold, did you expect it all come so quickly?
We’ve been really lucky to become good friends with the guys who run Tessellate, a successful night in London of which James is a resident. It was amazing to play alongside some of our favourite artists and influences and the Tessellate guys always have a great atmosphere at their events too! As mentioned, in February we’re starting our own series of nights and booking select artists that we’re both big fans of and also think are spearheading the scene. It’s an incredible prospect for these artists to be playing under the Bade name for our night!
Two of you are Brothers Black and the other two are Talk&Smoke. How does the dynamic work when you’re both playing at one of your showcases? How would you describe the differences between the two sets?
It’s a lot of coin flipping to allocate set times and the differences in what we play largely lie in the time / situation we’re each playing in!
Who would you say has influenced your style of DJing? Who do you look up to?
There are loads of DJs we’ve seen, particularly recently, that we’ve really admired. There are of course the superstar choices like Ben Klock, Rodhad etc, but really we aspire to renowned selectors like Donato Dozzy / Ben UFO / Nick Höppner - seeing these guys over the summer was something that really stood out for us and why we were determined to get Nick on board for our February date.
Your most recent release on Bade records from DkA was a brilliant find. Can you tell us a little more about how that signing all came about?
There was a collaboration between DkA and Igor Vicente that we all loved from a while ago on Get Physical. From there we did some research on DkA and loved his style so got in touch. The feeling was mutual and we went from there! There will also be an amazing remix EP coming out in January 2016 that we’re really excited about, so keep your eyes peeled!
It is so hard these days to keep moving forward in an ever evolving scene. Do you think you should always remain true to your own method and process or adapt to the change?
The only rule we have as a team is that all four of us have to be 100% behind every track. As a result our track selection is very personal - if we all feel strongly about a track hopefully others will too! We’ve got some amazing material lined up for 2016 with some artists we’ve been wanting to work with for a while!
In the mix we’ve done for YoungOnes, we’ve included several unreleased tracks from Bade, Brothers Black and Talk&Smoke so keep a look out on our respective pages!
You can catch them playing at Oval Space this coming February alongside Nick Höppner, Extrawelt and Terriers. Get your tickets at Resident Advisor.
Words by Ben S
Edited by Matt & Ben C