Keeping a foot in Berlin (Germany) and the other in Bergamo (Northern Italy), the guys behind Delta 9 Recordings started kicking it in production after 11 years of promoting Drum’n’Bass events. Mostly focusing on techeish, dark and minimalistic sonorities, it seems this label wants to bet both on quality and on quantity. Check out the two volumes of their recent compilation From The Street as proof. Let’s get deeper into this amazing label.
Chain D.L.K.: Hi folks! How are you?
Delta9: All good! Finally, spring is kicking in 🙂
Chain D.L.K.: First of all, how did you get close to drum&bass? Do you remember the very first moment an “amen” break reached your ears (and supposedly your soul)?
Delta9: It happened back in ’00, when I was in a friend’s car. It wasn’t “proper” drum&bass, but a mixtape including some Aphex Twin and Squarepusher tunes with crazy drum editing, and since by that time I was playing the drums, I immediately fell in love with those rhythms. When it comes to a real drum&bass album, “New Forms” by Roni Size had an enormous impact on me.
Chain D.L.K.: In your opinion, what were the sparks that ignited this music style, and what are the elements that keep this fire burning?
Delta9: I think it’s all about the intrinsic energy and funkiness of this music. It’s not by accident that the “Amen” break comes from a funky tune, and people refer to some tunes as being “rollers.” Jungle and drum&bass brought an alternative to the 4/4 electronic music and combined elements from a lot of other music genres in a very modern way. This offers endless possibilities for creativity, innovation and sonic explorations.
Chain D.L.K.: Do you think that managing a label provides a different perspective versus when someone is just making drum&bass?
Delta9: Working on a label lets you better understand the business aspect of the music: how to connect the producers with their audience, how to promote their music, how to distribute it… It’s definitely less creative than making music, but still kind of interesting.
Chain D.L.K.: Can you tell us something about the history of Delta9?
Delta9: Delta9 started as a crew of 3 DJs/producers (Echonic, Noya and Ronka) in 2003 with the idea of spreading the d&b scene in our hometown, Bergamo. Later on, we bought and partly built our own sound system to run some free parties, which became quite popular. After nine years promoting and sometimes bringing international guests into Italy for the first time, we decided to run a label and continue to support the music we like. In 2015, Raider joined us to make the label bigger and more visible.
Chain D.L.K.: Are there any (living or dead) record labels that you could consider a sort of authentic milestone? If yes, which ones and why?
Delta9: One label that I admired a lot was the German Tilt Recordings. They were one of the first labels releasing a huge amount of free tunes, and if you look at their catalog, you will notice how many artists have contributed to it (Mefjus, Maztek, Enei to name just a few). It was also one of the first labels producing and spreading the technoid sound.
We are also big fans of labels like Renegade Hardware, Prototype, V-Recordings and Virus, which promoted a lot of our favorite artists in the late 90s.
Chain D.L.K.: You recently released two massive compilations, including a lot of absorbing tracks… First of all, I would like to ask, what are the features in common with all of them? How did you choose and include them in both selections?
Delta9: All the projects started from the tune we got from Jumpat (It goes like). Since he didn’t have a b-side for it, we asked Acid_Lab to contribute, because we thought his style would match. Shortly after, we ended up gathering more dubs and demos than initially expected and decided to organize them into two compilations: From The Streets vol.1, in which all the tracks share a minimalist, ambient, deep sound, and vol.2, which is more dance-floor oriented, but still contains elements of deepness.
Chain D.L.K.: Any real next big things in them?
Delta9: I would keep an eye on Cyrah, Logics, Ethik & Dottor Poison, Stoner and Ephyum…they are working a lot and sent us some really interesting tunes!
Chain D.L.K.: What other artists do you really like at the moment, and why?
Delta9: I really like dLo at the moment; he’s making a lot of nice rollers, his drums are groovy, and he blends perfectly liquid funk, techy and deep sounds.
Homemade Weapons is another artist who has a unique sound; some dark amenizm with great break editing and post-apocalyptic atmospheres.
Raider’s favorites producers are Skynet, Ink, Loxy, Gremlinz. He really likes the minimal side of Drum&Bass, and he is a big fan of labels like Alignement, Halogen Music, UVB-76 and Samurai Music.
Chain D.L.K.: Your roster is impressive. Do you remember any odd or absurdly casual situations by which you met any of them?
Delta9: Not really… It has always been about discovering new artists by listening to radio shows or finding them on Soundcloud.
Chain D.L.K.: You’re based in Bergamo (Italy) and Berlin (Germany)…what are the main differences between the Italian and German DNB scenes, in your own words? And, what are the main differences between both scenes and the one of the supposed baby of this style (UK)?
Delta9: Well, I haven’t lived in Berlin long, so I can’t really say I know the German d&b scene well. In Italy, drum&bass is spun more inside community centers than clubs, and it’s still very niche music that receives almost no visibility from the media. In UK drum&bass, it is broadly known and is a big part of the club culture, so that some artists are almost celebrities there.
Chain D.L.K.: What’s your relation to clubbing? Are there any clubs that are really supporting what you call the drum&bass culture in Italy or Germany nowadays?
Delta9: Clubbing has been fundamental to our musical culture and inspiration. Especially when we started listening to drum&bass, we used to travel a lot to see some big names of the scene. There were clubs like Maffia, Link, Magnolia, Bunker, and CSO Pedro, which were a reference for the drum&bass head in north Italy.
We keep the d&b scene alive in our hometown of Bergamo, and we always try to bring in new talents.
In Turin, The Dreamers are very active, and they come from more than ten years of great parties at Bunker Club, Cap 10100, Samo Club, etc.
The IDM – International Drum’n’Bass Meeting – crew hosts a yearly festival in Bologna @ Link Club and other smaller IDM gigs (usually with three headliners) in different Italian cities, especially in Venice, Florence, and Rome.
In Milan, Mother Inc is a long-living crew that resides at Magnolia Club.
In Berlin, there are some nice locations that regularly support the scene: The Void Club (where I sometimes play) is bringing both big names and some promising newcomers, Gretchen has monthly excellent guests in their Recycle shows, and Rosi’s is hosting the Bassport nights.
Chain D.L.K.: When is it going to come to a third volume of “From the Streets”?
Delta9: Maybe next year. Now, we will concentrate more on single artists and EPs.
Chain D.L.K.: Are you going to work as a proper agency for the artists you’ve involved?
Delta9: We’ve discussed it a lot… At the moment, it is quite difficult because managing a label is already taking up a lot of time and energy.
Chain D.L.K.: Any work in progress?
Delta9: Soon we will release some remixes of 81:94 FX (the opening tune of From the Streets vol.2). We will have a release from Conspired Within, an EP from Logics in July, an EP from Cyrah and one from Invadhertz.
We have also scheduled releases from Ephyum, Stoner, Ethik, and Dottor Poison.
This year we are also going to reach the 50th release, and we would like to celebrate it properly!
visit Delta9 Recordings on the web at: www.delta9recordings.com