i’ve had the privileged opportunity to share some of my own thoughts with recording artist, dj, and formant records label owner, Leroy Bella aka SINES. you might recall the name from a track i posted a few months back in a little article i wrote called: future sounds of the underground.
this is a man of many faces, a jack-of-all trades sort. i’m really impressed at his ability to juggle all these different roles and still keep it tight and rolling. obviously this is no walk in the park, and i have much respect for people out there making an impression in the mold with their own cutters. what i’ve realized is true in the saying “the hardest way to make an easy living” is that it is the reality for many artists and musicians today. if you’re doing this to make money, or to be famous in the dj circuit, you’re in the wrong business.
Sines – Test One (Original Mix)
[audio:2010/0110/01 Test One (Original Mix).mp3] (buy)
Sines – Memories Are Here (Original Mix)
[audio:/0809/Memories Are Here.mp3] (buy)
more new releases available for purchase through boomkat.
T: what are your thoughts on ‘future garage’ and what does it mean to you?
L: The way I see the whole future garage thing is that it’s pretty much a whole new movement of garage and 2 step. Back in the days it was all about soulful RnB sounds, diva vocals, and the dark bass lines. Now it’s like a whole different twist up with out of this world synthesizers and crazy vocals. I love garage and all the new stuff that’s coming from it. Pretty much takes us into the now…the future.
T: yes, you’re right – we are living right here, right now. where garage used to be confined to london and perhaps even further restricted to certain communities, certain peoples, certain producers, etc. These limitations aren’t that imposing anymore. The cross pollination of music, culture, and advancements in technology, have re-defined all aspects of how people listen to, consume, and make music.
There certainly was a kind of “gel” that perhaps included a flagrant attitude and champagne bottles or whatever – but now we see these barriers completely broken with really different producers all around the world contributing to this music.
I don’t exactly agree on the name ‘Future garage’ personally, only because as time goes on it will certainly prove to sound dated; but at that time there will be new permutations, a new name, new producers, and so let’s not bother ourselves over what title fit’s the check box. it is such a square-minded way of thinking.
John the 3rd – Sexin (Sines 69 Ways Mix)
[audio:/2010/0110/John the 3rd-Sexin_Sines 69 ways mix_.mp3]
T: Where are you living right now?
L: I’m currently based in Houston, TX.
T: Do you feel detached from the UK scene, living out there? Obviously in light of what we’re discussing here it’s not necessary to be living in london to have exposure to this music, but anyone who really loves it obviously has a certain affinity to london.
L: Yeah, totally…But being around good electronic music for 10 years plus here in Texas has made it a lot easier to not feel that way. We have some very good artist here in Texas and 2010 will be a promising year for them.
T: what is the social atmosphere like in Houston? How are people there responding to your music on the dance floor?
L: There is a mixture of everything here in Houston. We have killed the dance in so many ways (laughs) good and bad. All the older “heads” who were into garage dig it. Some of the new ones too. Houston is a diverse city with many sounds. Some want that harder aggro stuff, and some want the chilled stuff. We mix it up every so often to try and match the right vibe.
T: let’s talk a bit about your record label. besides yourself, who else is involved with formant recordings?
L: Well basically it’s myself and the other half of Sines – Jae Swope (yes there are 2 of us) I handle more of the footwork while he pretty much scouts for artist. Then you have distribution which is handled by Z-Audio.
T: ah, i see! i knew there was a connection between formant and z. how about night audio?
L: We had a release on a various artists compilation EP that came out on Night Audio. The Submerse fellas and Kingthing run that label. Night Audio is still young but I’m sure they are set to blow in 2010. They got El-B next for release which should be wicked!
T: yeah i’ve been bugging kingthing about that el-b release for days! could you describe your a & r process, how do you decide what is right for your label?
L: Basically stuff that is fresh and new. I’m very keen on getting artist that are new faces to music. Someone that has alot of potential – for instance Hyetal from Bristol. His music is blowing up right now as we speak. There are so many artist out there that get overlooked.
T: why is bristol so damn radiant with seriously inspiring people? I’m a avid fan of portishead, and have also recently fell in love with the new King Midas Sound album. what is it about that place? radioactive drinking water? the air of inspiration floating in the ether? I can get quite romantic about Bristol. I recently heard hyetal featured on rob booth’s electronic exploration podcast. the mix he done was so on point i’m loving all his tunes right now!
L: Yeah man Bristol is something else. Its like the mecca of the UK. Dave (Hyetal) is such a great producer. I hope to be able to work with him again in the future.
T: can you touch on what you’ve got lined up in 2010?
L: In January we have XI from Toronto set to release his 2 new lush tracks Light Fm bw Glass. You can check them out here: soundcloud.com/formant-recordings
(our readers got the glass promo exclusive before the drop!)
Then in Feburary through March we will have a release for Daega Sound System from Vancouver. These 2 brothers are the ones to watch next year. You can check them at myspace.com/daega
Afterwards we have a Various EP planned with 3 tracks from artists: HxdB, Phaeleh, and Psychonaught. After that vvv’s joins Formant and it will be big! I have a few more tricks up my sleeves…For now, you can check out their tunes on myspace.
Thank you Bella for your time and big up Formant in 2010!