More Time Records is the new imprint founded by SNØW and Boiler Room’s Ahadadream, and last month they launched with a powerful collaborative four-track EP, 24/7, from SNØW and legendary UK producer, Zed Bias.
The label is built around drum-focused club music that takes cues from dancehall, Afrobeats, UK garage and more, but also acts as a platform for the music of SNØW – the new moniker of an already established UK producer (more information in the following interview).
The new 24/7 EP features an appearance from Swing Ting affiliated Manchester MC Fox, who takes on a classic UK funky instrumental, while other tracks meld grime, techno, and leftfield UK bass sounds.
With the More Time operation now in full swing, we caught up with SNØW and Ahadadream to discuss the current climate for running a record label, and their vision for its future.
What made you both decide to come together and start a label?
SNØW: I heard Ahad’s tune ‘Lady Saw Drum Dub’ I guess about a year ago now on a Radar Radio compilation. I thought it was sick so I followed him on Soundcloud and we started chatting and he sent me some more tunes. I was already thinking of starting a label but just to put out my own music. I thought some of his tracks had potential but weren’t quite there sonically, so I invited him to the studio to work on them a little bit and maybe put them out on the label I was planning.
I’m a very scatty / disorganised creative! I have lots of ideas but sometimes struggle to bring them to fruition. After a while of thinking about this label but not really getting anywhere, I asked Ahad, who seemed a lot more organised than me, if he wanted to do the label together.
Ahadadream: I’ve always been a big fan of Sam’s other project, so when he hit me up to help me polish up my productions I was 100% on board. I’ve always wanted to start a label myself – to have full autonomy and control over when my music comes out and how it’s presented. It felt like a no-brainer when More Time records came about so comfortably out of the blue
Is there anything behind the name? Why More Time?
SNØW: Time has always been a recurring theme in my project names for some reason. I’d like to say it’s a deep conceptual thing behind all of my work but it;s just a coincidence, really. We were struggling with a name for quite a long time. I think Ahad came up with the name More Time when we were brainstorming, he wanted something that sounded very UK. When I heard it, I really liked it, it just made sense; there are never enough hours in the day!
I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to mixdowns, I’ve studied the craft a lot over the years. I even do a bit of mixdown work on the side for major labels sometimes. I should probably care about it less to be honest, most of the dancefloor probably don’t give a shit about the stereo image or if the kick is clashing with the sub! Over the years, as a DJ, I’ve been sent a lot of music which had potential but didn’t quite sound good enough for me to play it out. I often used to think I’d love to help that person mix down that tune – I would definitely play it if it sounded better, but it’s hard to find the time when you have a million other things to do! Now having this label gives me a bit of an incentive to give a bit More Time to other people!
Ahadadream: What Sam said.
How do you find working together?
SNØW: The working relationship is still young, but I think we make a good team. I think we both have similar tastes and a similar vision for where we want to take the laber, and our different skill sets compliment each other.
Ahadadream: I think we’ve got a bit of a killer combo with Sam looking after the sonic output of the label and making sure it’s all up to scratch, and me contributing a bit more to the branding and online presence.
What was the most difficult part of setting the label up?
SNØW: I think deciding on a name and artwork took the longest time to work out, there was a lot of back and forth but I’m really happy that we took the time to get it right. Have to big up Joe Prytherch on the art!
Ahadadream: Finding a name was the hardest, 100%. Also, getting our head around boring things like PPL etc. is still an ongoing struggle.
More Time’s debut release, ’24/7’, is a collaborative EP between SNØW & Zed Bias and also features Swing Ting vocalist, Fox — how did you broker the idea of working with them both on an EP?
SNØW: I’ve had the tunes on my hard drive for a while! It’s one of the reasons I wanted to start the label. I met Zed a few years back when we were playing the same night and we just clicked and got on really well. He invited me to Manchester to make some tunes, and about a year after that meeting, we bumped into each other again and made the studio mesh happen. I jumped on a train and just came up and kipped on his sofa for five days and made about six tracks. The process was very easy, I’d known Fox for a while too and we’d been talking about working with each other, so during one of the days Fox passed through and laid his vocals for 24/7.
Ahadadream: As soon as I heard the tune ’24/7′, I knew that it had to be our first release even though at the time it was a really rough version. I’ve always been such a big fan of Fox’s vocals – shout out Swing Ting as well.
Can you reveal who is behind the SNØW moniker yet? And if so, why did you decide to keep everything under wraps to begin with?
SNØW: I guess I can now! To be honest, it’s been the worst kept secret ever, I didn’t really go all out on the secret thing! I am Sam Interface, one-half of Jus Now. I was kinda in two minds about keeping it a secret but as it happened, the first release dropped very close to the last Jus Now EP, so it made sense to try and keep things separate for a while.
From here, what sort of music are you hoping to push as an imprint?
SNØW: I think both of us are very much into groove and percussion-led club music! Exploring the lines and grey areas between UK funky, Afrobeats, soca, dancehall and grime. But I don’t think we will get pigeonholed too much. If we both really like a tune we will put it out.
Ahadadream: Yeah, drums are at the core of everything that we do but there are some exciting vocal collaborations in the pipeline too. It’s gonna be a balance between tracks made for the club but we also want to push our artists to make songs.
Are there any other labels or party crews in particular that have inspired the music you’re into?
SNØW: It’s a great time for music at the moment, there is loads of cool stuff going on. My favourite labels right now are Swing Ting, Roska Kicks & Snares and Nervous Horizon, so big ups to those guys. I really respect the way that labels like Night Slugs, Lobster Boy and Enchufada have built their stable, sound and brands too.
Ahadaream: Yep and Príncipe, Gqom Oh! and Mixpak.
How important do you see indie dance labels being over the next few years? Do they still have a big role to play in an increasingly DIY world?
SNØW: It’s a very difficult time to sell music and to be honest, I don’t expect to really make any money from it anytime soon, if at all. Who knows where things will go in the next few years. I think we have to be inventive in how we try and make money from music and merchandise. As a dance label, there will always be a bit of demand from DJs to buy your tracks to play in their sets, but I’m sure at some point you will see DJs streaming straight to CDJs!
I started out wanting to start a label just to put out my own music but since teaming up with Ahad, we’ve already found a few artists we want to work with and help develop. You have to ask yourself what you can offer that someone can’t do themselves. From my point of view, as someone who’s been in the business a little while now, I’ve had lots of struggles and made a lot of mistakes along the way. It’s nice to use my experience to try and help younger artists improve their music and grow their brands, it feels good to help people out and if we can all grow together it will only make us all stronger as a team.
Finally, what are your ambitions for More Time going forward?
SNØW: I already mentioned we’re working with some new artists, so I’m really looking forward to getting some of that stuff out. I think the long term goal is to just build a brand and solid crew that can all grow together and hopefully start collaborating with promoters to take the whole crew on tour. Our main focus is club music but we both love vocal tunes as well so we’re keeping our ears to the ground for any interesting vocalist to work and build with, too.
Ahadadream: Consistent and top quality output. Also, parties!
SNØW & Zed Bias – ’24/7’ EP is out now on More Time Records. Grab it here.