Interview with Solace & Silk Recordings & Night Tracks 028: Guest Mix

Today we've got Jamie (Forge) and a little from Tom (Solitude) who are both involved with running the record labels Silk and Solace to tell us a little bit about their plans for the two, and Forge drops a dub filled guest mix for your listening pleasure too (Download here or listen after the interview). Read on...

NT: Hey, can you give us an introduction? 
F: Yes sure, my name is Jamie Stowell I produce under the name Forge for d&b and Stole for my dubstep/downtempo stuff. I’m also one half of ‘The Hybridz’ with my partner – Jefferson (Integration Now) from Brazil and I’ve recently just started a new house project with one of my friends here in Melbourne. We still have no name for the project yet but the tracks have been going down really well on the radio so far. I also run Silk Recordings and now Solace Records with my partner in crime Tom – Solitude.

NT: So, you run the Silk Recordings label, which is pretty well established already. What made you want to get involved with Solace Records too? 
F: It kind of just happened naturally. I meet Tom thru a mutual friend of ours Edd (eleven8) and I had told Edd I was looking to setp up a new dubstepish label. He introduced me to Tom who also had the same idea, I checked out his mixes and was really impressed with the quality and sound he was portraying. We got talking and soon realized we both had the same clear vision about what we wanted to achieve and the sound we wanted to bring to the label. A year later and lots of planning I suppose you could say the rest is history.

Clubroot - Scars (Solace Records)

NT: Just a few questions about some of the decisions you’ve made with regards to the label. Firstly, you say you’re going to have a focus on bringing through some of the more upcoming producers. Is this something that’s important to you, and why take that route rather than try and get some of the “bigger names” to release with you? 
F: Yes, I think it’s def an important factor in our signings. The main reason behind this is because of the music. There is some amazing music out there that is not getting released, signed and promoted the way it should be. Personally I think there is also a lot of music especially in the dubstep scene that is lacking the dynamics, integrity and emotions that I think music should have. Of course we will have established artists doing singles and remixes but the majority of what we will release will be new up and coming producers. 

NT: You’ve got Clubroot lined up for the first release, with eleven8, Phaeleh and The Hybridz to come. How did you decide on these artists? Did they approach you, or did you approach them? What do those producers have that helped you decide?
F: All the artists mentioned have a certain sound or quality in the music that fits in with our ethos for the label. Tom has already built key relationships with some of the artists mentioned and he is well respected within the music scene in England so we already had his contacts to build on. In terms of our decisions, again Tom has put loads of work into sourcing some on the best tracks from the artists and it’s really good to see the relationships that he has built, so I think when we both get sent a track we know straight away if it’s a Solace tune or not.

NT: How important do you feel it is to release on vinyl? And what made you decide to release only through a handful of digital stores?
F: In terms of the format, I firmly believe the music does the talking so the format is irrelevant. However, by keeping the Vinyl to limited edition runs and providing buyers with a free digital version of the track from our site this will ensure you get the best value for money when you purchase the vinyl. We both have massive vinyl collections and when we first started to DJ there were no CD’J’s or Serato, so I guarantee there will be always people out there who prefer to smell the vinyl and physically hold it as we do. The digital stores will be restricted to a certain degree, most of the major ones will stock out releases though.

Silk Recordings - The Ascension EP

NT: The first release is probably going to be considered Dubstep. Do you see Solace sticking to this style?
F: Sure, you can def class it as that. I think there’s a theme with most of our tracks that you will hear, we are branching into uncharted territory as some of the music we have collected for the label def does not fit within the ‘dubstep’ genre but something in between. We have some garage-y tracks lined up and some even house-y type numbers as well. I can say though there won’t be anything above the 140 tempo, but below it and into the future who knows.

NT: Optimistically, where do you see Solace going from here? Have you got any plans, confirmed or otherwise, of what’s next after the Clubroot release?
F: Yes, we actually have the next 3-4 vinyl releases already lined up. On top of that we have about 12 tracks of digital releases waiting to be scheduled in. We are also putting together tracks for our first L.P which is a collection of tunes we’ve been slowly collecting over the last 10 months or so. We are both really excited with this one because in a way this will represent our sound as a whole and give you the full spectrum of music that Solace will release. As you can see we are not in a big rush to get our releases out at the moment, but once we build up the momentum and our promo you will see a constant string on high quality releases happening every few weeks. We have some other big projects we are working on, but more will be revealed soon. Our website will be up very soon and you can buy both Silk & Solace from the same site. All releases will be exclusive to the site a few weeks before release date. Merchandise and various other goodies will also be available too.

The Hybridz - Tribal Ghosts EP

NT: You’ve put together a mix for us, would you give us a few words on your selection?
F: With the mix, I just tried to play a bit from everything I’ve been feeling at the moment. Some of my house tracks at the start and into some dubstep and garagey styled tunes. Finishing off with a dose of d&b and a few exclusives from Silk ;)

NT: Finally, something I ask everyone. If you had to select your three favorite “Night Tracks”, what would they be?
1. Burial – ‘Distant Lights’
2. Portishead – ‘Only You’
3. John B ‘Up All Night’

1. Royce Wood Junior Feat Stac - Wet
2. Arae - Trouble Sleeping
3. Global Communication - Epsilon Phase

NT: Check out Forge's mix for us here, or download it here! Big up dudes, thanks for your time!

1. Swamp Factory - Aremnia - Dub
2. Swamp Factory - Acid Shiver - Dub
3. Swamp factory - Scatter Bug - Dub
4. Burial and Four Tet and Thom Yorke - Mirror - ???
5. Integration Now - Logic Of The Dark - Solace Dub
6. Hodge - Conjecture - ???
7. Stole - Protector - Dub
8. Compa - Reactions - Dub
9. Kryptic Minds - Cant Sleep - (feat. Alys Be) - Osiris
10. Clubroot - Scars - Solace Dub
11. Stole - Mercy - Solace Dub
12. Stole - Come Clean - Dub
13. Forge - Syria - Silk Dub
14. Dakosa & Anile - No Way - Dub
15. Faib feat. Skinni mc - Unity - Dub
16. The Hybridz - Anograms - Silk Dub
17. Flatliners & Sublime Porte - Grizzly Hills- Consequence Remix - Silk Dub
18. Furi Anga - TUMOBM - (Nether's Underwater Dub) - Silk Dub