Thanks for taking the time to compile a mix for Hyponik, could you tell us about it, some of the artists you’ve included and the general aesthetic you’ve gone for?
Big thanks for having me onboard. I did a few recordings recently and had all sorts of ideas but wanted to go with something most reflective of my current moods and what i’ve been listening to. I’ve included a bunch of new (ish) music from artists like Facta, Yush, new Cassius Select coming on Banoffee later this year, Cleveland on Kalahari Oyster Cult, Sepher, Andrea on Ilian Tape, TSVI, Duckett, Al Wooton on Trule, and new Ghost Phone + some Coco Bryce to close.
Across Banoffee Pies Records and its various sub-labels and projects such as Otaku, Beats, Limited Series and the ambient Sonder Series the label has developed an impressive back catalogue. What was your vision for the label when you first launched back in 2014 and has it become that and even more over the years?
I’ve always wanted to work freely on music projects or with people that excite or interest me without any particular tie to a specific sound or genre. Working alone the idea of starting lots of labels and the management entailed of running so many platforms in the digital age kind of scares me (more Facebook) so I wanted the label to act as an umbrella group for all the music it represents. Granted it can be a little confusing but I hope the different series reach the people who enjoy it and the platform continue to give space to some great artists. I couldn’t be happier with how things have turned out since 2014. Much more to come!
You’ve recently released material or have upcoming material from some hotly-tipped acts like Nikki Nair and Tristan Arp, what’s your A&R process, are you just reaching out to artists you admire and play when you’re DJing for music or are you getting demos from most artists?
I think the A&R process continues to vary from record to record and I remain flexible in how I see that happening each time. Recently I’ve found the new music reflecting my DJ selections more but I’m by no means tethered to that. Sometimes connections come far more randomly than expected but I enjoy finding music and speaking to people directly – that always feels most natural and things evolve organically that way, which has been the case with almost all the 50 releases now in the labels back catalogue.
There are lots to consider when putting a Various Artists comp together to create a cohesive sound but now is a good time to carry on digging away on the laptop. There’s been such a positive boom in producers and artistic talent recently that it’s really great to see. I’ll continue to support as many people as I can.
The artwork has been ever-evolving much like the music throughout the label’s catalogue and would indicate an interest in contemporary art? How do you pick the artwork and are you working with many designers or just one over the years?
I’ve always had an interest in art growing up and enjoy a good browse and exhibition but the label is quite ad hoc in some ways. Our early Black Label Series releases and all the digital compilations are from Ellen Pearson‘s photography but she is also responsible for the design and illustrations on 3 of the 4 albums currently out and lots of other doodles along the way. She’s totally great. The other releases of late, specifically on the original series, are mostly tongue in cheek illustrations by Jim O’Raw who’s also killer. For other series sometimes I’ll just bang something out with my very minimal design/photoshop skills. Whoops.
What’s next for DJ Autumn / Banoffee Pies throughout 2020? What’s your current future in Bristol looking like?
For my DJ stuff… I mean to be honest though who actually knows. haha. Yet to do a live stream though.. Maybe I’ll download zoom? My relocation from Bristol to Berlin was supposed to be a few weeks back but obviously fell conveniently during the crisis and the lockdown so that has been postponed until international travel is back. For now, I am living with my partner focusing on making music, cooking all the recipes I couldn’t be bothered to do and digging for music.
Label wise this time off has been productive – I have planned releases up until the end of this year already in 2021 and have some amazing new projects to announce. For example, just recently a new LP from Soulstatejazz and a jungle record on BP013 and after that the start of a new re issue series, some charity comps, more black label and limited series bits. Hype.
Any artists /DJ’s, in particular, you think people should be keeping an eye on this year?
Too many to mention. But I’m a biased die hard Wisdom Teeth fan aka K-LONE (check his new album it’s too xl) & Facta are always a good crew to watch. Ghost Phone is in my opinion one of the labels about right now if you digging r&b sound (which is back). + Sandys garage is hot af on Dr Banana. On top of that following DJ Plead and TSVI (+ all nervous horizons sound) religiously and all the 3024 crew pushed by Martyn e.g Yak, etc. and heavy percussion stuff. Also very much enjoying the Drum & Bass revival. bring it back. it is back.
Headroom Festival is another project of yours – how did that turn out last year and how do you see things unfolding this time round?
Headroom was a really great success for our first year and I was very excited for round 2. The crowd were great and all the artists stepped up – it was ace… Whether that can happen is possibly very unlikely but i’m holding my breath until August to find out…fingers crossed. Either way we have/had some amazing things locked in for this year including appearances from Sonja Moonear, DJ Storm, re:ni, Parris + Live performances from Duckett + Soulstatejazz, some ambient bits and a sound bath with Prosumer. It was/is/might still be fun…? headroom.dance is where you can find out more anyway.
Lastly during these trying times were in, what has been inspiring you lately, anything outside of music such as a book, movie or any other form of activity that’s been keeping you going?
(Despite momentary realisations of “wtf is happening”) It’s been a good time for headspace and getting inspired. Musically I’ve been really enjoying the extra time but I’ve also read a few good books recently + listening to some interesting podcasts. I actually just started a new sci-fi novel called “The Left Hand Of Darkness” – would fully recommend it + some Yuval Harari books (his latest “ 1 questions..” is superb). Aside from that keeping a handle on my mental health and doing lots of exercise. Benefiting in the short term from the apocalyptic early summer. My mood is kind of like this mix.
For now enjoy the music I guess… Stay safe. Much love. Ell xx
Rer Repeter – Principles Unknown (Bokeh Versions)
LOS – Drop (Juke Bounce Werk)
Facta – Scales + Measures (Wisdom Teeth)
Cassius Select – Born To Defence (forthcoming Banoffee Pies Records)[BP014] Yush – Touch Again Soon (Haws)
Cleveland – Ora (Kalahari Oyster Cult)
Andrea – Renif (Ilian Tape)
Sepeher – Consortium (Dark Entries)
TSVI – Assam’s Children (Nervous Horizon)
AÆE – Noite Inteira (XXII)
Duckett – Dem Panic (Berceuse Heroique)
Herron – Throwing Mud (Pedder Mannersfelt)
Al Wooton – Levi (Trule)
Benny Ill v DJ Hatch – Highland Spring (Tempa)
Kamus – Wallace (forthcoming)
Yak – Lod’s Tribe (R&S)
Babylon GHOSTPHONE003 – (Ghost Phone)
Coco Bryce – Wish We Didn’t (Fresh 86)