Church have become a real success story. In little more than 18 months, they have developed from a free Thursday night event, into a European-touring clubnight and soon to be independent record label. Their residents Seb Wildblood and Dom Apes having consistently rocked their Church shows and gradually become established DJs in their own right.
So far they have booked some of the biggest artists in UK electronic music. Instra:mental, Dusky, Bok Bok, Objekt, Lone, Disclosure, Mickey Pearce and Dark Sky spring to mind.
Ahead of the Church label’s inaugural release, and some big upcoming events (Dimensions Festival and Church Presents, August 17 at Corsica Studios), we spoke to the founders about the progression of the brand, what makes a good record label and future endeavours…
What exactly was the initial plan for Church?
The initial plan for Church was to build a night that represented Dom (Apes) and I’s (Seb Wildblood) musical tastes and backgrounds. As soon as the night and brand started to gather momentum, it became clear to both of us that Church could be much more than just a club night.
Do you have a specific music policy or would you, in theory, book anyone?
In theory, as long as both are us are into a sound, we’ll book it. From the beginning, we’ve booked artists that we ourselves would like to go and see. It has never been about anything other than that.
If you could book anyone in the world who would it be?!
Fat Boy Slim, Jeff Mills…
Can each of you each give us a highlight from one of the nights you have put on?
Seb: My stand out moment of Church was a show back in January at Corsica. It had a real festival atmosphere. Aside from that, we did a show in Amsterdam recently, which was great, we always enjoy doing European shows, its something we try and do as often as time allows.
Apes: The crowd are a big highlight of any night, when you have a venue filled with heads that come for the djs and people who just want a good time, the atmosphere is overwhelming.
Will the label and weekend nights ever become a priority over the more student focused, midweek nights?
For us, Church was never meant to be ‘student focused’, I think the weekly bookings reflect this. We’re massively thankful for the continued support from people who have been following the night from the beginning. Hopefully the Weekend line-ups we put on are worth the extra cash on entry. We’re also making sure people already following us have first dibs on early bird tickets etc.
We will still be programming the Thursday nights at Corsica, however it will not be under the Church brand. That project will be launching on the 27th September, we’re really excited about it.
What is it about Happa and Lorca specifically that makes you want to release their music?
I think both releases will speak for themselves. We’re really lucky to have both of them on board, we’re very grateful they’re trusting us with their music. Throwing Snow will be remixing one of the tracks from the Happa E.P. We’re really happy about this, as Ross is someone whom both me and Dom have massive respect for. We (Seb Wildblood & Apes) will also be putting together a remix for the E.P too. We’ve just confirmed our 3rd release too, soon to be announced.
What do you think makes a good record label? And which labels currrently do you see as having those attributes?
The sound you push has to be as honest as possible. If you’re not 100% into it, why would you want to put it out? Obviously quality control is also very important. We’ve got massive respect for a lot of labels. To name a few: R&S, Clone, 50 Weapons, Hotflush…
Do you think there are any downsides to the massive increase in the number of independent record labels in recent years?
No, as long as quality is there and labels support physical releases, we don’t have a problem with any label, we support them. It’s a community and you have to encourage each other to help it develop. Progression is the logical solution in any scene, otherwise everything becomes stale and there’s not enough originality to anything.