Hyponik spoke to Atlanta’s Matt Weiner about his latest venture, CGI Records. The label’s third release, by JEROME, is available to stream exclusively below.
Weiner is born-and-raised Atlanta. He spent six-and-a-half years in New York from 2003, then returned to the South-East to start the label he’d been planning. His musical interests are split – he has recorded two albums and toured the US as one half of synth-pop outfit Featureless Ghost, accruing a strong following in experimental, New Wave circles. For that side of his output he co-runs DKA Records. His other half lies in rugged House and Techno. As well as promoting the HUNGER nights, the focus of CGI is DJ-friendly records that offer something a little different to the ‘straight, tech-house and deep house obsession of his hometown. TWINS, his solo project, sits somewhere in-between.
CGI shares a similarly local and DIY character as the flourishing Wild Oats and L.I.E.S imprints, in Detroit and Brooklyn respectively. Weiner’s first priority concerning A&R is for the label to provide a platform for South-Eastern talent – mainly that of Atlanta, Tenessee, Florida and the Carolinas – as “the scene here currently takes on the same shape as the Atlanta itself. Spread out, disorganised and fractured”. The label is run from his bedroom and living room, with boxes of records fast becoming furniture. Its name and logo are intentionally stark; CGI stands for nothing, and the logo “could be a company that makes bottle caps or something”. It’s also vinyl-only: “that decision was easy. I’ve bought maybe six MP3s in my whole life and I don’t listen to that much music on my computer, its not something I’m involved in”.
“There’s definitely a lot of overlap between synth music and dance music, but that’s roughly where I draw the line between DKA and CGI. I think any one label should stick to a certain aesthetic, and they both have very separate aesthetic reference points”. Somewhat surprisingly then, the inaugural CGI 12″ was by Featureless Ghost and could easily have fit both labels. The reason was more to do with the want of an “autobiographical” opening statement, and grounded by functional remixes from Beau Wanzer and Scott Fraser.
Manufacturing complications have meant the next three releases arrive in the space of a month. Golden Donna and Cc recently shared a record that cleared up CGI’s intentions, taking in elements of UKG and Italo house with some flair. Next is the debut record of Jeremy Harris’ JEROME alias. Harris, better known as Lazy Magnet, has been peddling limited-edition noise casettes, vinyl and CDs around the US for the best part of a decade. Now he turns his hand to crafting analogue, live jams for the club – stream both ‘4B’ and ‘5’ in full below. Then, on December 10, the Proper Trax boss and Hypercolour-signee Will Azada joins the roster with a three-track EP entitled ‘Cliché’. Weiner is infectiously enthusiastic about 2014 also, which will see Alex Falk, Grey People, Moon B, Broodlings, REKchampa, Kai Alcé and TWINS join CGI’s roll. Keep an eye out!
Words: Richard Akingbehin
Photo: Matt Wooddy