Decoded Radio hosted by Luke Brancaccio presents Beatfreak Recordings with D-Formation

Beatfreak Recordings is one of the Spanish labels with more history within the electronic music. Founded in 1997 by D-Formation, it’s been 20 years since the label began bringing joy through good music by giving support to new talents situating them in the highest positions on the worldwide DJ and artists rankings. We fell at the perfect opportunity to speak with Dimas after his label manager Teddy approached us at Decoded Magazine about any interest in interviewing D-Formation. I gladly accepted the offer for Decoded Radio as there were some big congratulations in order as Beatfreak Recordings has reached its 20th year. So, Teddy set the meet up and away I chatted with Dimas starting with eventually hitting this two-decade landmark. Dimas said: “Firstly, thank you for inviting me to join Decoded Magazine. The truth is that 20 years is a long time and as you can imagine Beatfreak has gone through many stages and styles but always concentrated on the underground sound, right now and looking back I cannot be happier. Beatfreak became one of the most powerful labels from 2003 and we had some very good years until 2007 until the decline of vinyl, after 2007 the label has continued to work but as always it takes dedication and a lot of work.” He further added:

“After a pause of around 10 years it has been a bit on standby, it was at the beginning of 2017 when I decided to start again to find a way to make Beatfreak great again, all this with the great help of my label manager Teddy. Today I can say that Beatfreak is going through the best stage of these 20 years, it has not been easy and there are still many things to do but everything points to the fact that we have come much further.”

There is clearly a very high standard when it comes to signing music to the label. Dimas explained Beatfreak’s ethos and style stating: “Beatfreak is currently a label that accommodates everything that in our opinion we consider good music. Beatfreak, like in my sets as a DJ, don’t consider whether it is Techno, Progressive or if it is Deep House for example, only that it has the quality necessary to consider launching that track on the label. On Beatfreak you can find techno, melodic techno, progressive House, Deep House or Electronica. I think that music must be categorised by good or bad, not by styles. Each track can make you feel different sensations at different times.” And many artists and label owners I have spoken to have said the same thing. Laurent Garnier for example is a big supporter of this attitude. Next I asked about some of the key factors which have shaped the label into what it is today and it was a fairly straight answer: “The key factor in this case is that on my label I release music I like. I don’t release anything that I don’t feel to play it in my sets.” Obviously, the process of running the label has changed a lot over the past two decades with advancements of today’s media. Dimas gave me an insight into his own experiences during this time:

“The process has changed a lot, today we have the world of the internet and social networks that are an important promotional tool and available to anyone with a little imagination and this platform can do big things. 20 years ago, everything was different, starting with the promotion to DJ’s, we had to make vinyl’s in test pressing, with the economic cost that entailed, using postal mail, in many of the cases investing money in radio promotion however, thanks to the internet things developed quicker with almost instant possibilities. As you well know everything has its positive and negative side.”

So, I asked Dimas if he feels nowadays the ease of access to music is also on the flip side making it disposable at the same time? I’m sure you will agree with his reply:

“Today there is too much overproduction of music in all styles, much of the music has become throwaway music because the following week there will be another 500 new tracks. Only some of the tracks are played for months and in some of the cases remain forever. The difference 20 years ago for example is that when people were buying a vinyl it was because they really liked that song and was played in the clubs for a long time, now many people have lost or do not know the value of music, especially the work behind each track. Many people think music should be free but do not think that there are people who are dedicated to music producers and labels that if not for our dedication and because we really love music. I do not know what would happen to the music. So, if you like music you have to support it and not download for free from thousands of pirate sites.”

Here is a good time to mention your prior experience as one of the biggest vinyl distributors in Spain as Resolute Distribution. Dimas talked to me a little about those days: “Well as I mentioned before, everything is different. For me the music has the same value that it had before, I understand that there is a lot work behind that song, but evidently years ago when we all played and bought vinyl it was something very precious for us and we treated it like gold when we had a good track. I also read that I miss that vinyl era is not the vinyl itself, it was the process of getting the music.” He further added:

“An example is this – We had our days to buy music that in my case used to be on Thursday, really this was a very important day because not only were you going to buy music but it was a meeting point where once a week we saw friends, we chatted, we had a beer or whatever, now you have to drink beer at home alone hahaha.”

We laughed but it’s true. The demise in record stores left a gaping hole in the social and networking side of the business. Meeting face to face and physically holding a piece of music you have spent time searching for or was held specially for you out the back is a thing of the past. The ways of the industry have changed but undoubtable music can and has still stood the test of time. A timeless track is a timeless track. Dimas spoke of some tracks which have defined the Beatfreak label over the past 20 years: “Of course, there are many tracks that have left their mark on the different stages of Beatfreak. To name a few at different stages I can say that tracks like BCA – ‘Feeling’ was one of the tracks that began to give popularity to Beatfreak in (1998). It was a real success in Ibiza and many parts of the world. Another track that should be highlighted would be D-Formation – Sings & Portents (2003). This track was a great hit at all levels, it was played by artists of trance, techno or even house. It was an untypical track at that time mixing a lot of tribal percussion with melody that took you to the trance. Another that also marked and perhaps was Beatfreak’s biggest success was the remix that I made for Coca & Villa – La Noche (2004). This track according to Beatport has been the best seller tracks in the first decade of Beatport between 2004 and 2014, precisely the number 1 place, there are many more to name.”

Looking back with a smile he went onto reminisce on some highlights: “Well in these last two decades there have been many changes, I look back and I say “how many vinyl’s before and the packaging hahaha” but now everything is digital. It is also funny and curious as I have seen that 20 years ago for all the DJs or producers the novelty was the digital technology and everyone wanted to have digital mixers and to enter the digital world in general, and now it’s the other way around. Everyone has turned back and we all want an analog sound and the analog hardware revolution has come back.”

Beatfreak Limited is a sub-label which makes up the Beatfreak Group. I asked how this label differs is style or sound and why was it initially set up. Dimas explained: “Well this label was created at the beginning of this year and it was really due to the musical direction that Beatfreak Recordings has taken. As I mentioned earlier in this interview, Beatfreak currently has taken a much more melodic direction. In general, it’s quite a lot more musical, deep, melodic techno or progressive for example. The creation of Beatfreak limited is precisely to be able to cover the style which Beatfreak Recordings do not but I don’t rule out that the label moves to a direction more similar to Beatfreak Recordings. As I mentioned in this interview for me what is important is the music and what I feel at every moment, that’s why it is most likely that Beatfreak limited really becomes a true sub label of Beatfreak Recordings and more or less with the same type of sound to be able to have many incredible artists who are not so well known and to be able to support their music from Beatfreak limited.”

We also mentioned Teddy Smilyanova earlier who is the label manager and A&R. “Well really Teddy is like my right hand and her work is very important in the label” Dimas explained.

“We also form a great team together with my partner Jesus Segura. Teddy is a very versatile person and can be in charge of practically anything. Her main job can be from managing contracts, promotion or listening to the demos that come to Beatfreak, obviously the demos are one of the most complicated tasks in a label. We decide what to launch as a team effort and you can imagine that sometimes we are not in agreement, but when you consider the results of the label both she and I have a large percentage of success in the releases that we publish.”

Moving onto events we spoke about Amsterdam Dance Event and the Beatfreak ADE line-up at club NL. Decoded Magazine have hosted a few events ourselves there during ADE. It’s a nice intimate venue. The Beatfreak line-up seems to showcase of a selection of international artists from the label. Dimas explained: “Fortunately at this time we have a large roster of artists on the label and unfortunately cannot be all included due to time constraints. We have 11 artists who will be at the party for a space of 6 hours, the sets will be short and, in some cases, b2b, but what really matters to me about this party is having an incredible evening with the Beatfreak artists and of course with all the people who come to see us, they are all welcome. I’m also very excited to meet some artists that we only know via email and it will be a point to listen to the Beatfreak sound and meet us in person in a very good club and very central in the city of Amsterdam.”

The new D-Formation ‘Daytime’ EP is out now on Eleatics Records including another original track from RPO and a remix by Florian kruse. Dimas spoke to me about the release: “I’m very happy with this release! In just 3 days of sale both original tracks ‘Day Time’ and ‘Amaya’ in collaboration with Rick Pier O’Neil has entered the Top # 50 in the genre of Progressive House on Beatport.” He further added: “About the remix for ‘Day Time’ by Florian Kruse, I really like his performance. He has taken the track to a terrain more techno and full of energy that really is what it is when there are remixes in some releases, to be different from the original.”

It is undoubtable D-Formation is a respected figure head with a colourful history in the industry. What has maintained Dimas’ drive to success for so many years?

“Well I always say the same, I think there are some basic factors to be in this profession and even more to be able to keep you there over the years. From my point of view the main thing is talent, but talent is useless if there is not a great job behind it and of course maintain that desire and enthusiasm that you have when you are younger and you are starting. In my case, even taking many years in the industry and having gone through many different stages I have what you have to have to get up every day and think that everything is coming.”

It was great catching up with Dimas. I thanked him for his time and wished him all the best and continued success with Beatfreak. He parted with his thank you and what a pleasure it has been to be able to share this time with us all. “Expect the unexpected from Beatfreak and D-Formation.”

Decoded Radio hosted by Luke Brancaccio presents Beatfreak Recordings with D-FORMATION.

Tracks:

Luke Brancaccio

01. Graumann – Luna
02. Mâhfoud & Javier Orduna – Secret (T.M.A remix) [Get Physical]
03. Terranova – Let It Fail [Kompakt]
04. Flight Facilities – All Your Love (Joakim’s Paradise Vocal Mix) [Future Classics]
05. Stephan Bodzin & Marc Romboy – Kerberos (Matador) [Systematic Germany]
06. Arnaud Rebotini – Jacob’s Cycle [OFF Recordings]
07. Jimmy Van M & Juan Hansen – Madin (Gala Dub) [Bedrock]
08. Unknown – Let It Go (Catz & Dogz remix)
09. Flo Mrzdk & Juliet Sikora – The Get Down (Pete Sabo remix)
10. Adam Bayer & Layton Giordani – Rome Future [Drumcode]

D-Formation

01. UOIO & Luke Garcia – Soul Life (Original Mix)
02. Betoko & Haze-M – Addiktive Cikle (Original Mix)
03. Kamilo Sanclemente, Dabeat – Ara (Original Mix)
04. Paul Anthonee – Andromeda (Original Mix)
05. Pauke Shaumburg – Pleasures (D-Formation Remix)
06. Dorian Craft – Tucana (Original Mix)
07. Riveraj, Øctahedral – A Hard Days (Original Mix)
08. KellAr – After Party (Original Mix)
09. Marc DePulse – Hyena (Original Mix)
10. Circle Of Life – Moj Beograd (D-Formation Remix)

Listen Via:

15/08: Nube Music: 4pm-6pm ART (GMT-3) www.nube-music.com
16/08: Casafonda: 10pm-12am GMT www.casafondaradio.com
16/08: Radio Bondi FM: 1pm AEDT (GMT+11) www.bondifm.com.au
16/08: Krafted Radio: 10pm-12am GMT www.krafted.co.uk/radio
17/08: Midnight Express FM: 4pm-6pmm CST (GMT-6) www.midnightexpressfm.com
19/08: Tempo Radio (Red Stream): 10pm-12am CST (GMT-6) www.tempo-radio.com
20/08: Mio Radio: 3pm-5pm UTC (GMT+2) www.mioradio.net
21/08: Studio Lux FM: 11pm-1am CEST (GMT+1) www.studioluxfm.com
23/08: Casafonda: 10pm-12am GMT www.casafondaradio.com
23/08: Radio Bondi FM: 1pm AEDT (GMT+11) www.bondifm.com.au
23/08: Krafted Radio: 10pm-12am GMT www.krafted.co.uk/radio
24/08: Danceradio.ca: 6am-8pm EDT (GMT-4) www.danceradio.ca
25/08: Deep London: TBA
26/08: Safe House Radio: 10pm-12am GMT www.safehouseradio.co.uk
28/08: Soundtrip: www.soundtrip.gr
On rotation: Inside My House Radio www.insidemyhouseradio.com

Full show will be uploaded to Decoded Magazine Soundcloud from 2nd September.

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Decoded Magazine Director and Operations Manager of Decoded Magazine Radio.

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