RM Records is a new independent record label based in London founded by DJ, producers and long term friends, LongPlay. RM Records is a creative outlet for not only their own productions but also a platform for breakthrough music across the UK and Europe. Predominantly rooted in house culture, RM aim to bring other genres into the mix to create a collection of eclectic house sounds bringing together rising talent and established global artists across vinyl and digital releases. Their philosophy is to sign music they feel passionate about and hopefully you will too.
LongPlay are Andy King and Dave Winney. Together they hold a great respect for music which holds no boundaries whether it be disco, techno, 90’s garage or a deep house. With a core vinyl policy, LongPlay aim to leave the crowd wanting more going back to the basics with feel good music and a house-party atmosphere. Their latest release ‘We The People’ does just that. Lets see what the guys have to say –
Hi guys. Thanks for joining us to talk through all things RM Records. Let’s start with your latest release ‘We Are The People’ which is a lovely piano lead house track. Can you tell us about the choice of sample used here?
We originally started making the track around the time fabric was closing in London. The London nightlife has been taking a massive hit over the past few years with venues closing all over the place. So originally, we wanted to make a track with a purpose, the Charlie Chaplin speech had done the rounds but when you break the vocal up into sections we found it gets the message across perfectly for what we wanted to say. London is closing and “we the people have the power, let us use that power and unite” i.e. let’s not let our music scene disappear. Go to your local clubs, support your DJ’s and musicians – the scene will die if we allow it to die. Drop the vocal over an old school influenced piano track and there you go.
The release is out now which includes some select remixes. Could you talk us through what each remixer brings in addition to the original?
When it comes to remixes, we tend to look at what we have in-house, we go back to artists we have previously signed to the label and try to keep everything within the RM family and push releases as a unit. RM Records was founded on the basis that we would not use artists just for the gain of the label and would try to continually use our roster for future remixes/parties/EP’s to help in any way we can to boost their own ambitions. With this in mind we went back to Timmy P, Hudson and Ruff Stuff for this EP. Each artist brings something different to the table with their style and we thought each artist would take the EP in a different direction and create a better variety in the package. Yes, we could have sent it out for people to regurgitate the original mix and have four similar tracks which don’t offer the listener much else but the point of the remix is to let the artist put their take on it. The Ruff Stuff remix is the best example of this, they have stripped the whole track back to basics bringing the violin to the forefront to create a Berlin stomper. It’s not something we as LongPlay would produce but that’s the whole point, we love their style and love having them on board. So, with the hard stripped back aspect of the EP covered we then chose Hudson to work his magic and create an excellent piece of work which is more laid back and has the elements of a warm up track throughout taking it to the melodic side of the market. Lastly, we needed a main room stormer and we could look no further than Timmy P for this. Track after track he’s churning out stormer after stormer rattling main rooms around the country with their hard-hitting kicks and baselines. So we asked, he accepted and the end result was what we expected….Stormer!
You kicked off 2018 in style with an RM Records label party at Ministry of Sound Saturday Sessions. Was London still riding the high from NYE?
The label showcase at Ministry of Sound was a big deal for us. We have thrown smaller label parties in the past which if we’re completely honest have helped finance the earlier vinyl releases. As a small label it is difficult to fund the vinyl projects especially as the returns are not what they once were. The Ministry event was purely a showcase, nothing financial, it was all about showcasing what we have and there is no better place to do it in my eyes. Keeping on the theme we have with returning to old artists and ensuring we grow as a group we chose the lineup based on our very first label showcase some years earlier. All of the DJ’s from the first showcase were approached for the ministry show and all accepted with no qualms or stumbling blocks to overcome showing they understand the ethos and share the same desire, for us we couldn’t ask for anymore. The date itself is a difficult one in London as New Year’s Eve was only the week before but we weren’t left disappointed as the punters turned out for what was a great night for us all round.
Being a smaller independent record label in London which are the best ways you find that help you gain a greater exposure in the city?
It’s extremely difficult to gain exposure in London right now. The world and its wife are turning into DJ’s at the moment with half of the same setting up independent labels to boost their social media presence and carve their way into a jam-packed market. We can only aspire to take the same route as, for example, Wolf Music by releasing good quality productions, staying consistent and giving quality rather than quantity. Word of mouth is always the best tool and if the product is right the exposure will grow.
There is also your affiliation with Ministry of Sound. How important is the club space to London clubbing and what have been some of your own personal favourite experiences?
We have had the pleasure of playing for Ministry of Sound on a few occasions now and the brand itself is massive for London nightlife. With club closures happening across all London boroughs and some of the clubbing giants themselves falling foul to the ever-growing pressure of developers looking for space to acquire in order to build new commercial or domestic premises, it’s been great for Ministry of sound to stand firm, stay open and above all keep delivering quality. The club itself doesn’t let anything slide, there’s no “that will do attitude”, whether you’re in the world renowned main room or playing in the smaller Baby Box or loft the sound system is on point and the set-up is crisp. It’s a well-oiled military machine of a nightclub from the cloakroom right up to upper management, everyone knows their job and they do it well and with precision. The scene in London needs more clubs like this if we’re honest. We all know nightclubs are a numbers game, it’s all about how many people through the door and how much they want to spend. But Ministry takes this business model and understands they also have a duty to give back to the customer for what they are paying for, it’s how the club has stood the test of time. Venue after venue purchase a sound system and DJ set up when they open, they use it night after night until the set up barely works and the speakers are on their last legs often crackling all over the place like the chorus from a bowl of Rice Crispies. Ministry is different, they re-invest, maintain and push the boundaries (for example their Dolby surround system) and for us that’s what makes the club special and why we love playing there so much.
The personal favourite clubbing experience isn’t one people would generally expect, it’s not a memorable moment in one of London’s famous venues like fabric or the end, not a trip to Berlin or even hours spent in one of Ibiza’s super clubs. The experience came in the shape of a night out in Romford, Essex, and a trip to Time & Envy (now called Fiction) on New Year’s Day 2003. DJ EZ had come up with the idea of putting on a night called “4×4” dedicated to the type of garage music he held close to heart. As this was the events premiere he added Todd Edwards to the line-up, I’m not sure how true my next point is but I’ve also been told this was Todd Edwards first DJ set in the UK and had never travelled to play before through an anxiety issue, so it was a big deal all round. EZ had championed Todd’s sound for years so it was a no brainer for him to be added but I don’t think Todd quite realised the affect EZ had made on his popularity in the UK until he dropped his first tune “wishing I were home” and the roof literally went off the place. There was around 3000 paying customers in the venue that night, myself and 2 friends included, about 15 of which were women and the rest were all men and everyone had arrived for Todd Edwards…this was music and that’s all. Track after track the crowd were going bonkers as Todd ploughed through his catalogue of productions, the atmosphere was immense, the music was on point and I’ve never experienced anything like it. To this day I still get goose pimples when talking about it, I highly recommend searching YouTube for the evidence, it’s worth it.
Let’s get to know some of the RM Records artists. Since the first release who have been instrumental to the growth of the label?
We can’t really pick a particular artist or credit any individuals for the growth of the label. We have grown as a group and hope to continue that way in the future. We think long and hard about the artists we choose as we have to represent the artist by putting out their product and likewise the artist becomes affiliated with the label so both sides of the relationship have to tie together and fit, this was working together becomes a lot easier. It’s obviously easier to communicate with more local DJ’s and have more social interaction with them, Mikki Funk is always on board with us and ready to roll his sleeves up and work when required as he isn’t far up the road. This doesn’t mean though that Mikki Funk is any more or less important to RM Records than Say Hudson from Aberdeen or Ruff Stuff from Italy.
And a little about yourself also. How did your partnership begin and what qualities do you both bring to the table?
This is an easy one. We both live in the same area and we only have one high street with a select number of pubs. Around 15 years ago before any other halves or children came along we used to frequent the same bar almost every night of the week with our own separate group of friends and just by playing “winner stays on” on the pool table night after night the two of us started talking and eventually we became friends. It then became apparent that we were both aspiring DJ’s and both shared a love for exactly the same style of music, which was garage at the time and then the rest is history. Having known each other for so long we know what strengths each other has and what is the best way to get things done, trust is also a massive thing.
You have kindly provided a label feature mix for us full of tracks from RM Records? Was it a good reflection of the label so far?
When putting together the mix we tried to feature something from every artist that have released on the label so far but unfortunately given the time constraints of a mix it’s almost impossible to feature everyone. So, we had to pick the selection that worked through a 1-hour journey rather than just throwing all the tracks together. The mix itself eps and flows through different styles we feature on the label so we feel it does tell the story how we want it to being that the label is about music and not fixed to one specific sound.
Who are the next releases scheduled for the label?
We’re really excited about the next release, we’ve actually been sitting on it for over 12 months! The next release features M.ono and Luvless who we are over the moon to feature as we have been massive fans of their work for years. We also have a track from Hannes Heisster and finish off with a track from our good friend from Belgium, Melodymann. The EP will be hitting digital stores in late February/early March so keep your eyes peeled and your ears open.
Do you have a projection in your mind where you’d like the label to be in the next few years? And more importantly, how you plan to get it there?
Over the next few years we would just be happy with growth and sustainability, the challenge is always to keep going and if the music is doing well we hope to still be involved and pushing on.
Ok, lets end the interview with a bit of fun. Which track first got you both into electronic music?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer. We’ve been delving into the “hobby” of buying records for nearly 20 years and to pick a track that inspired the whole situation is almost impossible. The way we can answer is to take a general look on things. When we were both in our young teens we both had a strong love for UK garage. In the late 90’s early 00’s Garage was religion in London, you ate, slept, walked, talked and danced garage music 24/7 and it was this wave across London that inspired us to get involved with mixing and buying records. Without Garage music I think we might have taken up Golf or fishing. so, thank god for Garage music.
If you could go back to any festival to relive the experience which would it be?
Easy one. Lovebox in the early years. They had Horse Meat Disco in the NYC downlow arena. Not many people from our side of London had heard of Horse Meat Disco and the whole thing had an air of discovery about it. You had to queue up to get into the arena, once at the front of the queue we were greeted by a concept we had never come across before – we were required to purchase a stick-on handle bar moustache for a pound and then entry would be granted. We paid our pound; the curtain was pulled back and we caught our first glimpse of what Horse Meat Disco was about. We won’t lie, we were stopped in our tracks a little, but on we went and embraced the surroundings. We were then treated to a masterclass by veteran Greg Wilson and the buzz off the crowd was amazing. The arena had nothing but good vibes all day and we spent most of our Saturday in Horse Meat Disco in the end. We were returning to Lovebox on the Sunday but a few friends were so I recommended they check it out. They too spent their whole day in there and have not had a festival experience like it since.
You could approach 3 artist each to release on RM Records. Who would they be and why?
Firstly Louie Vega, put simply he’s the best in the game in our opinion. His been nominated for a Grammy, he’s led the way in dance music for as long as we’ve known, he’s our favourite DJ, need we say more.
Secondly, Kerri Chandler. Kerri has been a massive influence on us over the years. We are massive fans of all of his tracks and he has been the inspiration behind quite a few of the elements in our own productions so another no brainer.
Thanks for joining us guys. Before we wrap things up is there anything you would like to add?
Keep your eyes peeled for everything RM Records in 2018, stay safe and be seeing you.
‘We The People’ is out now on RM Records. Grab it here
Decoded Radio hosted by Ian Dillon presents RM Records with LongPlay
Decoded Hot Picks Chart Countdown
#4 Clarian – Under The Gun (Michael Mayer Remix) [Balance Music]
#3 Monkey Safari – Antilog Original Mix) [Bedrock Records]
#2 ANNA – The Dansant (Original Mix) [Kompact]
#1 Luzon – Manila Sunrise (Sharam Remix) [Yoshitoshi]
01. Mind Against – Days Gone (Original Mix) [Afterlife]
02. Ismael Rivas – Full Moon (D-Formation Remix) [New Violence Records]
03. Dave Seaman – Virgo Ryzin (Original Mix) [Selador]
04. Andr Winter – Voyeurist (Original Mix) [Senso Sounds]
05. Olivier Giacomotto – Bipolar Star (Victor Ruiz Remix) [Noir]
01. Hannes Heisster – Backstreet Noys
02. Hudson – Look Both Ways
03. Mikki Funk – Scwhung
04. Melodymann – Ride Along
05. M.ono & Luvless – Random Access
06. LongPlay ft. Asha Rae – Caught Up (M.A.X Remix)
07. James Dexter – Days That Count
08. Paul Rudder & Hurlee – Don’t Even
09. Alex Agore – Deeper
10. LongPlay – We The People (Timmy P Remix)
11. Reece Johnson – What I’m Thinking Of
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