MAD Records. They've been making waves and are friends of the family so we caught up with Ben and Josh and asked them to answer some questions that hopefully inspire others to get up and get involved...
MAD have been quietly releasing music that hits that perfect border of club, fun and good. They make those records that can be played across many sets (see the dub of last years Django Django remix) and then deliver peaktime and some slow chug too. They've got something about them. Oh and they DJ. They're fun. I played with them and they went from afro to classic Kevin Saunderson in a super fun style. You can check their Bandcamp HERE though (trigger warning) sometimes things are vinyl only. On with the program...
1. What were your goals when setting up the label?
MAD. Initially it was just a experiment whilst sitting and twiddling our thumbs during the time that shall not be named …it’s since developed.
Ben. And wanting people to here our music.
Josh. Well, I didn’t want anyone to hear our music.
2. What was the trigger that made you set it up?
Josh. Nothing more than Ben believing in our first tune enough too commit it to wax.
3. Which label(s) past or present do you find inspiring? And why?
MAD. Easy street! (In unison) Musically the consistency and quality of the label is so high, the more the look the more you find. We strive to do the same and look at curating the label and our catalogue like a perfect Playlist or DJ set of mass proportion. Other contemporary labels would be Klassewrecks, Parkway and Public possession who all follow the previously mentioned ideals.
4. How did the first project come about?
Although we didn’t know each other that well, we lived locally to one another and just made use of the downtime in Lockdown, all ‘bubble’ permitting of course ; )
5. Tell us about the labels design ethos (and please send some examples of sleeves and labels)? Who are you working with on this?
At first we drew a lot of Inspo from the name ‘Make A Dance’ and wanted to having the movement that dancing brings to the sleeve designs. So the first two designs were inspired from dance instruction books, and we have sort of kept that ethos. Its important to us that when you see our records in the wild you instantly know its a M.A.D Records record.
Recently we have been working with DJ Ray (Killer DJ, and graphics bad boy) based in Miami - we have been a big fan of his work for a while and he really gets what we are trying to archive visually, we are both really happy with the results.
6. What do you have forthcoming and what is the most recent release?
We have a full year of releases in the pipeline across M.A.D Records and M.A.D edits, the label and scope of releases is really going to grow this year, welcoming new artist’s and returning favourites.
The next record out is an EP from Man Power and Kenyan artist Rapasa Nyatrapasa Otieno.
7. What has been the biggest ‘learn’ to date?
If you want something done properly, DO IT YOURSELF!
8. What would be your advice for anyone wanting to start a label themselves?
Reach out to people that you aspire to - you will be surprised who’ll get back to you - everyone needs help and advice at the beginning to its only right you pass the knowledge on - fuck gatekeeping, ask the ‘stupid’ questions and make sure you’ve got someone who is good with spreadsheets, accounts and timekeeping. That’s the actual work.
9. Give us five tracks that you feel have shaped or influenced your label?
Because there was no preconceived notion of what the label would be when we started and what it would grow in to, here are five tracks that have shaped the label.
1 'I Need Somebody'… because this was the first release.
2 MAD QUEEN …This was played by such a diverse set of DJ’s and as a result have made some great friendship’s through it.
3 Lex Wolf - Tell Me - this sums up everything MAD Edits is about!
4 Deadletter - ‘Line The Cows’ This track and EP show’s a bit of our taste’s outside of the down the line doof doof’s.
5 Rakim Under feat. MC Jack- Vice …This show’s what M.A.D Records original music is all about.
10. What's the long term goal for the label?
Being able to facilitate putting out the most unbounded musical projects we can imagine for us and our artist’s, cultivating and connecting with our musical community and building year on year!
We’ll leave you with our manifesto and don’t forget to follow the party line
Ask yourself the following:
Does it make me feel good?
Does it make me smile?
Does it make me want to DANCE?
All the music we make & release needs to come from a place of joy and passion.
This project is for the love of the dance and therefore should always have the dance in mind.
Make A Dance are having a party 'Make A Dance With Friends' at The Carpet Shop in Peckham (ace venue) on the 17th February. Follow the party line above (it works!) or click HERE for more info. I think tickets are going fast.