Rebirth Records Francesca Robbio talks releases, tours and how it all began

Rebirth Records’ releases have been at the front of many a discerning DJ’s music collection for some time time now, with over one hundred tunes under their belt, a track record of pushing forward talent such as  Tensnake,  Motor City Drum Ensemble, Soul Clap and Deetron early on in their careers it’s safe to say Rebirth have been making big waves since they came on the scene in 2006. Having just hosted Egg London’s Terrace Floor for Familia; Rebirth’s Francesca Robbio (Booking & Promotion Manager of Rebirth Records) talks releases, tours and how it all began for one of the most prolific and important independent Italian labels around.

You are from Brescia in Italy. Can you tell us a little about your home town and what the music scene is like there?

In the late 90’s Brescia was a very important city for the house music. Media Records, Time Records, Oxyd and other independent labels were born in Brescia. Unfortunately, we don’t have this music scene anymore. The labels are still very competitive, but abroad. Only very few clubs seems to have their own identity, but I see that something is going to change shortly.

Running a label as prolific as Rebirth must take some doing, how far ahead do you plan your releases?

We need to plan our releases at least 2 months in advance. This is due to the fact we start to promote a record 2/3 weeks before the official release, besides that we don’t have a fixed plan! Sometimes we sign a record and we release it after 1 year but sometimes we may not release anything for several weeks or maybe release 2 to 3 vinyl records in one month.

You’ve discovered some great acts, in fact Rebirth is known for its talent for having a magic touch when it comes to A&R. You must get sent a lot of material which must take a while to go through, but would you say there’s a secret to spotting the next act to champion?

Yes, the A&R and scouting activities are essential for Rebirth. Keep listening to new music, being constantly informed about what’s happening around, and surely having good ears and taste. Our label owner Shield has been working on this for the last 15 years. There’s not a precise secret for scouting a new talent, we select our music with method and not with personal preference or linking to what is the common taste. We listen to many demos every day, but what we think is that any label should evaluate music coming from different channels not only from its own natural followers. This helps the label’s growth and evolution, I believe that Rebirth’s secret is its pureness in the musical choices, driven by real passion and instinct.

In your opinion what are the tracks that set Rebirth apart from other contemporary labels towards the end of the last decade?

After 8 years, and a catalogue of more than 100 releases, a few tracks surely fixed important moments in the story or Rebirth. The tracks that stick in my mind though are ‘Finest Dream’, the first release, NUfrequency ‘Go That Deep’ (Feat. Shara Nelson) and ‘Fallen Hero’ (Feat. Ben Onono), Rennie Foster ‘Devil’s Water’, Tevo Howard ‘Without Me’ (Feat. Tracey Thorn), Freaks ‘Conscious’ and Bocca Grande ‘Procedere’.

What’s your relationship with Rebirth Founder Shield? Were you friends before you starting your involvement in the label?

Shield was not a friend of mine before my involvement with the label. I closely started following Rebirth about 1 year ago and one day was informed that he was looking for a close collaboration for the improvement of the promotion activities. I asked to meet him, we had a long conversation, and soon after he called me back in his studio. I was very excited to start this new experience! I’m the owner of an event planning agency and the link to the music world was just what I was looking for.

What do personally like to listen to in your home time?

I personally switch from house, to electronic and techno. I recently got new DJ headphones and I am always listening to music, stay up to date with new releases & tracks, above all with all the artists related to the Rebirth’s world. Always want to receive new demos and promos. It’s always great to have the possibility to listen to them before anybody else.

Corrado Bucci’s ‘Open Your Eyes’ track got a great reaction and chart success earlier this year. It must be rewarding to see a young artist like him get the much deserved recognition for their work and for you as a label to play a big part of their journey?

With influences from jazz to funk, ‘Open Your Eyes’ is an effective track with strong breakdowns, a warm house groove and old school vocals. It’s really amazing the joy and the passion he puts in everything he does. We are very happy to have him in our team.

How was the Familia at Egg London event on Saturday?

Our Showcase at Egg London with Nick and his Familia team was amazing. Really warm welcome and best organisation ever. People crowded our terrace room from the very beginning up to 10 am. Very good reaction to all our sets! We experienced also a live radio show and I was very happy about that. Need to repeat as soon as possible!

Memoryman aka Uovo, Stefano Testa and Corrado Bucci toured with you to your showcase event on Saturday, their sets went down really well with a great reaction from the crowd, were all three obvious choices for you for the event can you tell us about both artists involvement with the label?

Memoryman aka Uovo is an Italian electronic music producer and DJ.
 He was born in the capital of Italian House music, Bologna, 15 years of clubbing around the world, part of Pastaboys trio and Manocalda Record owner too. By the end of October we will see a new release by the Pastaboys out on Rebirth.

Stefano Testa, with more than 15 years of DJing experience joined with rebirth from 2009. Resident DJ of “Rashomon Club”, one of the most important in Rome. He is a  close collaborator of the label. He had one release in 2009 with “Manetta’s Fine Food” and one in 2011 with “10 Jackson Avenue”. A new one is coming shortly.

Corrado Bucci is Rebirth’s new talent. He is a young Italian musician, producer and DJ. His tracks ‘Brooklyn’ and ‘Chewing Bubble’ have been gaining great support in the electronic scene. He’s used to explore new musical territories and has started to play real instruments, refining his artistic expression. Corrado Bucci excites us again with his eclectic music and he is supported by the likes of Gilles Peterson, Rainer Trueby, Jazzanova ,Mousse T, Lovebirds ,Rob Da Bank, Andy Daniell , X-Press 2 ,Stacey Pullen, Ben Westbeech, Pastaboys, Simbad and Chicken Lips.
Oxia headed your room. He’s had recent big success and notable appearances in Ibiza this summer.Was this a first time collaborating in a live event with Oxia or have you worked together before?

Of course, Oxia is a big artist and a great producer, very nice person and very polite. Nice to meet him. He remixed Agoria’s ‘For one hour’ for Rebirth in 2013, and has been supporting the label for quite some time now.

You’ve had some big showcases around the word recently, what have been your top three events so far?

We started to create and promote an increasing number of parties in the last few years. We have come to develop an idea of a label night which is more intimate. Included in the name of the label, we have created a veritable tour event inspired by the concept of “re-birth”, reborn each time in a different socio-cultural environment. We love to get music and promotion, the real one, in the right way. Reborn with the same passion as always for a job, today, unfortunately, only exploited and commercialized. The last cities to experience this label party concept were Miami [Born in Miami, March 26 2014 – Winter Music Conference], then Brescia [Nato a Brescia, April 30 2014] and finally Barcelona [Nacido en Barcelona, June 13 2014 – Sonar OFF].

What have you got coming up on Rebirth and how do you see the label developing as we approach 2015?

We are planning to tour to Amsterdam in October (ADE), Paris, Rome, London again and New York. Regarding the new releases’ The Infamous’ by Butch & C.Vogt (with a remix from Robytek & Shield) is currently one the most played tunes in Ibiza, and the most charted track in 2014 on Resident Advisor. ‘Psych’ the new Freaks (Luke Solomon and Justin Harris) album and the single ‘Wake Up’ remixed by Oliver $ & Jimi Jules, a monster EP by Michel Cleis and Klement Bonelli, a new Ep from Blond:ish, and the long awaited return from Pastaboys featuring Osunlade, both planned to be released in October. Finally, in commemoration ‘Promised’ of NUfrequency still sung by the great Shara Nelson and remixed by Charles Webster and Adesse Versions.

 

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Ian French
About the Author

Director and DJ, Ian French (Naif) is passionate about every genre of music from Breakbeat, to Drum & Bass, to Techno and Progressive House. If he was to describe his preferred style of music he would probably describe it simply as electronic music. Besides his love for music and DJing his other passions are fine cuisine, wine, and travel.