Pro-B-Tech Records are a new Scottish label that were brought on to the scene in June 2012. Managed and created by Brent Lawson with the aim to release quality deep and phatter tracks across the musical underground spectrum. Since the creation of this label things have continued to grow and grow and signings now include TILT, The Underground Allstars, Dave Seaman & John 00 Fleming, Hernan Cattaneo & Martin Garica, Kastis Torrau & Arnas D, Donatello, Paul Nolan and many more.
With a passion for music which stems back to his youth listening to the likes of Jean Michele Jarre and Brothers in Rhythm, Brent Lawson has finally realised a life long dream. As owner of Pro-B-Tech records his vision for releasing quality progressive house has seen him amass a roster of artists any label head would be jealous of. With Head of A&R / PR and general partner in crime at Pro-B-Tech Records & Agency Lee Softley AKA Blue Amazon by his side, they have really burst on to the world stage in 2014 with label showcase events and artist tours all through the year and into 2015, there’s no stopping this plucky Scots man.
Brent grew up in Friockheim in the wilds of Eastern Scotland, and works in the Oil industry. Married with kids, he splits his time between domestic bliss and music. Learning to DJ on turntables, his passion for music saw him play at all the local spots before life took over and he had to concentrate on raising his family. Now of an age where he can once again follow his dreams, Pro-B-Tech was born and is soon to be expanded to a DJ agency which will support and further nurture the labels talent. His own DJ career is also on the rise with supporting gigs on the recent Tilt UK tour and more planned for 2015 and beyond.
Hey Brent, thanks for joining us at Decoded Radio and providing us with a 60mins feature mix for your label Pro-B-Tech. So, you come from a background of DJing and event promotion. Did running a label feel like the next naturally step for you to take?
Absolutely, I have not managed to officially get on the production ladder so I sat and thought for a long time about how or what would be the next best natural step. This was when I came up with the idea of a label and Pro-B-Tech Records was born – (I say officially not on the production ladder this mix includes a first listen for you all of my first work a collaboration with Blue Amazon, but don’t tell anyone it’s a secret).
Since the launch of Pro-B-Tech in September 2012 how has the label’s sound diversified?
I think that just over the last 6-12 months you / we are starting to reach out and release more Tech House / Techno based tracks, I must be honest I am not a fan of Genre’s nowadays and have gone back to my roots of classing Dance music as House. However as much as we do not like some of the genre’s or where they are place we are very much now pulling a plan together that will see a more open and change in direction from Pro-B-Tech Records, we will not drop our roots but we will open up a lot more opportunity by spreading our wings.
Lee Softley aka Blue Amazon has also come on board as Executive Label Coordinator. How has he changed the dynamic of the label from when Mick Park was A&R?
Mick & Lee well first off all WOW for myself never did I think I Would be working with Mick Park / TILT and now Lee Softley / Blue Amazon, I mean these guys have provided so many defining moments in my years of dance music, but back to the question, they are both very different in approaches and ideas but both very driven and have amazing strengths and knowledge that I feed off daily.
I 100% do not believe that the label would have had half the success if it weren’t for the help and education I have gained over the years. Lee is now very focused in helping me in the real nitty gritty of the business side and also helping greatly in diversifying the label bringing different options to the table. I Had a great few years and learned a lot with Mick but it was the right time based on TILT getting really back into the studio and needing more time to concentrate on productions hence we parted ways but still keep in touch.
I understand there is also a Pro-B-Tech agency? What plans are there for that side of the brand and could you explain a bit more about it?
Yes so really again it was always in my head I am always trying to stay 1 step ahead bring the next thing into the business that again would be a natural progression. So that was when Probtech Agency came to light, at present we are really just working in the background at present on the basis that we will hit 2016 running. We have already agreed exclusive contracts with NameSpace, Blue Amazon, TR20, Sebastian Markiewicz, Ian Dillon, Da General and of course myself.
Really whilst it is a sister company of Pro-B-Tech Records the guys involved can and do with our help promote all their music on any label, it is not a direct link to Pro-B-Tech Records lets say a dotted line connection.
Off the back of ADE this year you have just released a Pro-B-Tech ADE Showcase Album. Could you tell us a bit about and the artists featured?
So we are being inundated with promo’s and many top class singles and EP’s but we also do not want to have people signed and then just waiting and waiting, this idea all stemmed from Lee and he actually did most of the hard graft pulling in the artists and getting the agreement to come out on an Showcase album rather than a specific single or EP. That is not always an easy thing to do as many people prefer to release their own music as a specific individuals release but we landed very lucky on this release.
The great thing about this album is that it really was a mix of genres and that was the plan, we wanted to use this as a first step to let people see and hear that Pro-B-Tech Records are not just a label of True Progressive house, it features Tech House, Deep House, True Prog and it seemed to go down very very well, we also have to thank Eddie Gordon and Kings of Spin for the on going PR a superb job done.
Who are some of the new artists due for release on the label and how did you come across signing them?
Well sticking I guess with the diversity side of things we have a real Tech / Techno release coming soon, currently out on Promo by S.T.O.I.K.A, the next release by Sebastian Busto due out on a 2wk exclusive 30th of this month – Phenomenon EP 3 tracks of South American beautiful and well received tracks, Progressive, Deep and a bit of Tech all thrown in. We have so many signed tracks and idea’s on going just now, and you will be seeing a dedicated Pro-B-Tech Showcase Album coming early 2016 that we believe is even stronger than the ADE release.
Could you talk us through the structure of the feature mix, is it predominantly material already released or are there a few exclusives in there?
This mix is predominantly tracks that are not released yet and several that we have signed on Pro-B-Tech Records, As I mentioned above it does include my first ever release which I am over the moon about. I have tried to structure the mix around our forthcoming releases and the diverse sounds that will be coming so the first few tracks you will here are from the S.T.O.I.K.A EP coming soon a more techy funky, deeper sound, and naturally progresses into a faster paced more True progressive sound that I have love for, it does include a couple of tracks / remixes from one of my absolute favourite DJ’s / Producers just now Ian Dillon so very pleased to have him involved in the agency as well. It was pulled together at very short notice and I am a little OCD when it comes to mixes so I hope you enjoy.
For anybody thinking of starting a record label what main points should they consider before? How time demanding and costly can it be for example?
Really do think about what you want?, do not think that the sound of I own a label comes with masses of glitz and glamour, the truth it’s a labour of love, the digital market is extremely difficult and it takes a huge amount of time and finance to keep it going. That said would I change anything, do I have any regrets absolutely not but be sure, research make sure you understand what you are getting into, remember these are legal documents you are sending out, take time to understand what you asking people to sign, and make sure that if you are just starting out get as much help as you can, things like Royalties don’t try and do this yourself make sure you get involved with a distributor that can help you on all aspects.
Once you know its what you want after you agreement is up with your distributor you will have a better of idea of what is involved and may then want to look at taking on board some of the work yourself, really do your homework , research and understand.
Brent it’s been great talking with you. Lastly, what future plans and projects can we look out for in 2016?
2016 mmmm well you are going to see some bigger projects with label we are working on some 2/3 new albums, a DJ Mix compilation, and many more EP’s. We are really looking to get 2016 off to a flyer with Probtech Agency so a lot of time and energy will be getting put into this, more affiliations with the likes of Roland, Ableton etc, we have already affiliated the label with MUSO, Andy Chatterley’s online anti piracy software so again really pushing on this, it’s one fight that we are continually battling and bringing in more labels to help them as well. All in all I expect 2016 to be bigger and busier than ever! Thanks for speaking to me and taking the time to put out my mix. Greatly appreciated!
All the best!
Decoded Radio hosted by Ian Dillon with guest Brent Lawson (Pro-B-Tech label feature)
01. Jeremy Orlander – Taiga (Original Mix) [Vivrant]
02. Soulwerk – Stuck In My Mind (Jos & Eli Remix) [Perspectives Digital]
03. Blusoul – Modular Memories (Original Mix) [Lost & Found]
04. East Cafe – Minus Ten (Original Mix) [Bonzai & Friends]
05. Ziger – Razor (Original Mix) [Juicebox Music]
06. Han Haak – Redemption (Original Mix) [Sudbeat]
07. Monojoke – The Shining (Plus Thirty Remix) [238W]
08. JOBE – Law Of Entropy (Cristoph Remix) [Selador]
09. Lonya – Wastelands (Oliver Weiter remix) [Plattenbank]
01. S.T.O.I.K.A – 3PM – Pro-B-Tech Records – Promo
02. S.T.O.I.K.A – Essance – Pro-B-Tech Records – Promo
03. Richard Empire – Droplet – Pro-B-Tech Records
04. Sebastian Busto – Drowned Trees – Pro-B-Tech Records Promo
05. Blue Amazon & Brent Lawson – Pro-B-Tech Records Promo
06. Alex Nemec & Alex Madness – Good Enough – (Ian Dillon Remix) Mirabilis Records
07. JRM & Red.Tree – Pro-B-Tech Records – Promo
08. Ben Shaw – Above The Clouds – Sudbeat
09. Ian Dillon – ID
10. Take off Doha – Quatar – (Captured SFX)
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On rotation: Inside My House Radio www.insidemyhouseradio.com