￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Catch Recordings is an electronic music record label, owned and run by Brett Osbourne (Nadsat) and Rob Chadwick exploring the diverse sounds of Techno and electronic music. With a strong ethos and vision to not be pigeon holed, Catch Recordings was born. Building a network of quality artists that produce and engineer forward thinking electronic music, and have a passion for what they do, whilst delivering consistently across the board whether it be in their production or as a DJ.
We’re joined by label owners Brett Osbourne (Nadsat) and Rob Chadwick. How are you guys?
Brett: Yeah, not bad at all thanks.
Rob: Really well thank you.
Great stuff, firstly let’s talk a bit about your backgrounds and what you were doing before Catch?
Brett: Ha, everything and anything… Well, I was an aspiring music producer and DJ in the evenings and weekends but my pocket money came from Hairdressing. From leaving school I originally went to college to study Law and Psychology, but I dropped out of the first, got kicked out of the second and after that I decided that I was a creative at heart so went back to training to be a hairdresser in Leeds. I’ve always liked to have my fingers in many pies in regards to work, but hair is my trade and my backbone, so mix that with a lot of summer seasons in Ibiza then that is pretty much the background before music.
Rob: I was brought up in the world of hospitality and parents ran pubs up in North Yorkshire. However like Brett I got kicked out because I took all the lads out to a pub and got arse-holed. In turn we missed a trip to a hotel or something along those lines. It was any old thing back then. I then moved to Leeds as a few of my mates were studying there. I had about £400 to my name and went to Glastonbury the same week I moved. Then just after I found a night called Back to Basics and one called The Dirty Disco, the latter I started to work for as part of the promotional staff and then worked my way up through their ranks. I didn’t really know anyone back then so it was a really good way of meeting people singing of the same hymn sheet.
As a label you look to incorporate certain elements which are combined to complete a release package – How the artist represents the label, the label represents the artist and the release artwork. Could you explain the details about these?
Brett: Yeah sure. I like people to not only know a track on our label when they hear it, but also when they see our artwork. We work very closely with our designer for each release to make sure the artwork fits with the concept of the music and the label. When working on forthcoming releases I like to connect with the artists on a personal level and work together to come up with the best possible EP from what they have provided, so we can curate an EP that represents both them, and us as a label. With so much love and effort going into the making of the music and all the rest, we feel it should be showcased by artwork that represents that.
Rob: Brett and our good friend Tom source the music and we also now get a lot of people coming to us, which is nice and a testament to people enjoying our various sounds. When we started we wanted to organically grow the label to see what the reaction would be. Each piece of artwork is carefully designed to accompany the imprint and Rich the designer really works with us on that after listening to the music.
There is one other factor that completes Catch as a brand which is the label showcase events. This year you have taken the label to Berlin and more recently last weekend at Districkt Bar in Leeds. How important are these events to the labels development?
Brett: I think it’s very important for a labels growth. You cater to a different category of people when doing showcases. With a label like Catch its a great way to show what lies between the diversity of our music. Some of our releases (Doubtingthomas for instance) are very down-tempo and are easily listened to at home and we have other releases that are used peak time in club events, so between them lies music that we as artists and DJ’s use in sets so the showcases show the whole package of Catch and what we are about.
Rob: Donnie at Distrikt has been mega in supporting us. Distrikt is a a great place to showcase our music, and also a tough one (in the best possible way) because it’s a bar that turns into an underground venue so you need to try and gauge everyone that walks in the doors from the early hours right until the end. We are coming into our 5th year which is exciting and we have a lot of fresh places we are performing at so it’s going be another positive test for us next year. We are hosting a few stages at festivals too which we will be announcing really soon.
Let’s talk about some of the artists signed to the label. Catch has a strong ethos not to be pigeonholed. Can you give an example of some juxtaposed artists and why their sounds sit so well with you?
Brett: Each artist on Catch has had a specific sound that we have wanted at that time. If you fall into the trap of being pigeon holed then it can be very difficult to divert from that path and explore different avenues without it been critiqued as something that doesn’t fit with the label. As I mentioned before, our range is very diverse so if we use Doubtingthomas’s Fall EP as an example, the EP has 3 different moods, the lead track ‘Bite The Bullet’ is your go too for the dance floor, ‘La Metamporphose’ is the deeper more intricate musical selection and the title track ‘The Fall’ is enabling us to show the more leftfield side of Catch. This was our goal from the off and DT’s music did an amazing job of allowing us to show that from the off and throughout our future releases.
Rob: It’s 100% our aim to try and get a taste of every genre which we feel can have a knock on effect from the last release. It’s nice to have that flow between releases and I think that’s something that’s a testament to Brett. We have had techno right the way through the soundscape and now when I look back at the catalogue of music it’s something we can be really proud of.
The release artworks are very clean and minimalist. Could you tell us more about your designer?
Brett: The artwork is done by our designer Rich Sutton. I’d known Rich for years and when we first started Catch I had him in mind as I had seen some of his previous work and it was great. Being friends, it enabled us to work quite closely together on the projects so when designing the artwork we like to send over the brief and also the music so he he can get a feel for the mood that we are after for each piece.
Rob: Rich has been there for the start for us and without him we wouldn’t have the character of the label. I’m not sure if people look for our artwork initially but we have had some really positive responses.
Doubting Thomas is sitting as your bestselling artist on Beatport but you also release on vinyl. How do the two formats compare? Does it still benefit smaller labels to continue pressing?
Brett: It’s quite hard to compare the 2 as there are different processes and mindsets when buying records to buying digital. When buying records people will have a specific sound that they want on vinyl or artists and labels that follow to buy their records. When buying digital you can pick a specific track to purchase where as on vinyl you are getting the whole package. I think its always going to be a choice made on the love of vinyl and music to press records, pressing records isn’t about the money or sales, it’s purely for a love of music. It’s not easy to start a new label and it’s even more difficult to sell records.
Rob: Again, with DT we probably wouldn’t have had a starting block to go get some of the acts, events or releases there after, he’s been really supportive to us. To answer the last question, it’s certainly a risk even doing vinyl but I feel you need to do both. We are in the digital era and it’s only going to get even stronger with the technology constantly improving. Vinyl is obviously still really strong for us but with the backlog of releases and bigger labels having their releases pushed back it leaves less for the smaller imprints with less money and print. There needs to be a balance.
And how are your roles and responsibilities split between you?
Brett: Rob and I have been good friends for years so we have a very good working relationship. As we both have different backgrounds and attributes to bring to the table. I’m generally working on A&R, sourcing music and dealing with artists and forthcoming releases along with the logistics. Rob works in magazine and PR and has great relationships with venues and industry so while I’m on with this he is pushing forward our showcases and tours along with building the label and then we both cross over when it comes to decisions.
You have a good relationship with the guys at Hoxton FM and do regular live shows. Has this provided a good social media platform for Catch and would you say the live visual engagement has its advantages over studio recorded podcasts?
Brett: Yeah, it’s been wicked since we started our shows at Hoxton. The guys are really good to work with and they have a great range of shows throughout the week so we slot right in nicely. It helps us reach across to people more and again, allows us to be even more diverse as you’re catering to a massive range of people. Some people tune in as they follow Hoxton, some tune in as they follow Catch, so it’s great to be able to reach a different target. The live thing helps as its the bridge between studio recorded and DJ sets, it’s a lot more personal and you can put more of a face to name.
Rob: I’ve known Dan for a while at Hoxton, we met at ADE a few years ago, he’s been really supportive to us. We do a monthly show on the first Friday of each month before the legendary Normski. That in itself is enough for me, he always has a story to tell! We have had some really cool guests come down and next year we have a nice selection of local and international talent coming on the show.
Moving onto your label mix Brett. What’s the story here? Did it provide a good evaluation of the label to date?
Brett: Yeah, definitely. I’m glad you asked this question as it was something that I was a little apprehensive about at first. Like I’ve mentioned before, our sound is very varied so to provide a fully coherent mix using only Catch tracks in 1 hour was something that I’ve never actually done before. I really enjoyed putting this together as it allowed me to delve back into our catalogue and see where I could take it. I wanted to showcase our whole range and where our music could sit so started right down at 104bpm and moved it up to 126bpm across to show 2 different sides to Catch.
Looking to 2018 what are the plans and goals for the next 12 months?
Brett: We’re coming into our 5th year of operation so we have a big year in 2018. We have a great rosta coming up for our label events and will be showcasing some amazing artists on our vinyl releases. Both myself and Rob live in the same country for the same time in 5 years so we’ve been working hard on plans to take Catch to the next level.
Rob: Celebrating 5 years and looking back on where the fuck they have gone! Its been a joy to work on this project that is now getting serious. We have a really cool tour lined up for the Spring and Summer and we will be playing a really nostalgic show this February in Leeds which is close to both of us. All will be revealed.
For anybody looking for more information on Catch and what they stand for visit www.catchrecordings.com. Thanks guys for talking to us, is there anything you would like to add?
Brett: I think you’ve done a good job of covering everything. I case you’ve missed it then head to our SC page for our new release by ‘JXTPS‘ we’ve had some great support on this so far and it’s gonna wrap the year up nicely. Thanks for taking the time to chat with us guys, it’s been great to answer in depth questions about different aspects of Catch and ourselves. Take care.
Rob: Pleasure, thanks for the opportunity.
The latest track on Catch, JXTPS – ‘Sing Song’ EP, is out now
Grab it here
Decoded Radio hosted by Ian Dillon presents Catch Recordings with Nadsat.
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