Moments were caught with King Deluxe Records owner / operator / manager / big cheese, PK, to discuss his stand out label and it’s artists that speckle the globe. As well as himself being a performer at Shambhala 2012 this summer past.
Remember in 2006 when Flying Lotus first appeared? The originality he was revered with, the sound that had arguably been created and put forth was euphoric. Copycats, mimics and followers quickly formed and followed to developed (or further develop) lo-fi, glitchy, analog as a new genre. That level of originality and subsequently similar sounds can be found on Year Two, the first free release from King Deluxe Recordings which marks their second year in existence.
Note: All these words being the opinion of just one should not, and can in no way accurately depict the vast array of music aggregated in Year Two. Download link below.
Elo elo. Thank you for taking the time. Can you give us a quick intro?
My name’s Peter, I started King Deluxe two years ago, knowing I had standout albums by Fancy Mike and Alphabets Heaven in the works, that needed a good home. Before that I ran a netlabel called Peppermill. Which was also quite visual but was more eclectic. Folk, rock, gypsy jazz, just about everything else.
What was your initial goal with the label?
It was kind of an exercise in commercialism. The Peppermill stuff was getting better and better, and we were well known in the Creative Commons music scene but it was more difficult with every passing year to get the same amount of listeners.
Then I went to my first Shambhala, discovered sub-bass, went home afterward and bought a subwoofer and began the 2999 project. Which in turn inspired me to start a label dealing exclusively with frequency-rich electronic music.
But a key component was to add dollar signs to our art. I had no aspirations at that time of doing this for a living, I was just curious if selling the music would give it more mass appeal. And I believe it did make a substantial difference. “Free” music seems too throw-away for people these days.
What was your reaction when you were asked to play Shambhala 2012 initially? What were the events that set this motion?
Hoola from the Living Room stage liked our sounds and asked me to do a label showcase, which I was more than happy to do. Especially after his stage was a huge part initially of what brought me initially to these styles. Also the whole lion/pride theme of theirs was very serendipitious.
I didn’t advertise my zero dj experience, although I’ve always loved making mixes. So I did my best and had a blast. That sound system of theirs was incredible this year. The most precisely balanced at the festival.
Twenty twelve was your ____ Shambhala?
I’ve attended twice before, although last year (2011) I couldn’t make it. Which was a shame since Siriusmo was there, among others. It’s a unique event in that people buy tickets long before they know who’s going to play. Still it’s always exciting when they finally announce the lineups.
What is your favourite aspect of this Kootney nestled festival?
Probably how surreal it is. They take great care to immerse you in their universe. Then again they just set the stage, and let the people create all these different worlds within. I actually thought that this last year was an improvement over two years earlier, in that it was mostly devoted fans that managed to attend, instead of… well there’s certain party-goers that used to come last minute that didn’t care so much for the art of it all. I’m sure it’ll keep on evolving.
Also, being a performer definitely had its perks. You get to see the festival from another angle. The organizers go out of their way to make us feel like VIP’s. And it was great to chat and catch up with others backstage, that was the highlight for me.
On the subject of your label, King Deluxe Records, you have developed quite a roster. Artists from all over the world. What do you look for in a prospect? Physical proximity to yourself does not seem to be an issue.
While I’m always on the lookout for local talent, I come more from the netlabel scene. Which is more international. Many labels find success building off a growing party night, or a popular blog. I on the other hand, similar to our friends at Error Broadcast, first spent years putting out non-commercial music from unattached geniuses regardless of which town or city or continent they hail from. With this model it’s more difficult to gather everyone together for shows, and to build a scene from scratch, but there’s just so many incredible unknown musicians out there now that its not very tough to fill a release schedule this way.
Other than the ease of ability to connect with people around the world what kind of role has the internet played for King Deluxe Records.
The main benefit of the growth of the internet is how it advances the arts. Infinite possible connections. People are collaborating like crazy and it’s accelerating creativity, in my opinion. It can never completely replace one-on-one interaction, that kind of immediacy, but the kind of feedback and participation I can find for projects wasn’t possible a decade ago. On the other hand the net evolves so quickly that it’s amost impossible to have any kind of formula for reaching fans. It’s a lot of guesswork and elbow grease. Basically just make something cool and hope that people share it.
Out of curiosity what online services have you found to be the most useful to keep in touch with?
I’d have to say facebook, more than other social sites, but moreso it’s great that sites like XLR8R and Boingboing post our videos on occasion. Unfortunately we don’t have scandal worthy of TMZ just yet.
What is the demo policy of King Deluxe?
I listen to everything sent to the site or via soundcloud, as long as it’s a personal message. We do get a lot of demos though and have a pretty strong group of regulars now, with many months worth of albums at various stages of completion. That said, anyone who thinks their music is Deluxe I’m always happy to listen.
To date how many release’s does King Deluxe have under it’s belt?
Year Two is our 17th. Our second compilation, and our first freely downloadable album. A quick experiment in non-commercialism. It’s a double album, but it’s stacked I think everything on it would be single-worthy. It comes with new artwork from HR-FM, and also later this month a video from Chichirik for Aleph’s tune.
Are there any other releases forthcoming that you are particularly excited about? There has been a steady stream of music videos coming from your camp.
Oh yes lots more videos for sure. We were going to put out the new Alphabets Heaven in November however our animator Renata, who’s doing “Birthday”, decided she’d like to hand-draw the entire thing so we decided it’s worth waiting a few extra months for. Salvador Herrera is teaming up with Muta, that will blow some minds for sure. As will what Max Friedrich (who did the last two Lorn vids) is doing for the next Aleph album. There’s also more coming up for Fancy Mike and Calvin Cardioid, and others that are probably too early to talk about.
And of course lots of music. I think all our guys are working on new stuff, it remains to be seen though what finishes first.
Also I spend a lot of time researching a sci-fi audiofilm set in the next century. That’ll hopefully come out on the label in 2014 some time, but who really knows. I want this scenerio to be peer-review worthy, good solid science. Even if it’s a bit speculative. And the audio will be very immersive, I’m going to build a dummy head for the recording.
Another thing we want to focus on next year is live visuals. There’s some amazing techniques people are now using for performances we’d like to incorporate on tours. Since our guys are starting to play out more and more.
Again, thank you for taking the time. Is there anything you would like to sign this off with?
Demand to see Deluxe artists in your town!