Founded earlier this year, Terabyte Records are a record label based in Birmingham and Leeds that are featuring some of the biggest underground Drum & Bass producers of our time. SoapBox’s Max Necus caught up with one of the two co-founders over a pasty and a pint.
For those that don’t know you yet, do you want to introduce yourself and your team…?
My name is James Austin (Auzi, and alongside Sam Gartside, Altered Perception) I run Terabyte Records, a new Independent Drum & Bass record label. For now it’s just us two, Sam takes care of the musical aspect whilst I take care of the administrative stuff. I think I got the bum deal if I’m honest! That said, we both are involved every step of the way so there’s rarely any surprises. We’ve also got a team of lads who aren’t directly involved for now, but are consulted on lots of things.
How long have you been around?
The idea of starting a label has been around for a long time. In February 2010 I started a label without doing my homework and received a very grumpy email from Steppa telling us our name was far too similar to Audio Warfare’s! I’ll take the rap for that! In early 2012 the urge came back, and here we are now.
Where are you based and what makes it the right place to be?
Sam and I are both still at university, so it would be wrong to say we’re based in one place. Sam is up in Leeds, which is a great place for us to be making contacts and impressions. The scene is great up there. I, however, am at Birmingham where the scene is getting bigger week after week. Couldn’t be in two better places outside London really.
What made you want to start Terabyte Records?
It sounds like a cliché, but really the only thing it boils down to is the love of the music we want to be associated with. When you look at the big labels and the success they have brought to underground music, it only makes you want to emulate them yourself. Once upon a time emulating them was a pipe dream, but now we have the chance to make our own mark, we may as well jump at it.
Influences for yourself and/or the label?
As for me, I look up to what I call “the big three”: Andy C, Friction, and London Elektricity. They’re all so talented at DJing, producing and helping manage a successful label. I’m yet to find my own sound, as I’m not producing much at the moment. I’ve got a broad range of influences across the genre though. The sound we’re aiming for on the label is something similar to Dispatch and Shogun, that minimal sound that goes off on the big nights.
As a drum and bass label, there’s a lot of competition out there. What makes you stand out from the rest?
We like to think we’ve got some really brilliant talent about to come through. All the lads we’re working with are young talented boys and have plenty in the tank. We’re proactive in looking for the brightest new sparks. It’ll take us hard work to get a good reputation for ourselves, but hopefully people will start to recognise us after a few decent releases come through.
What artists have you got on the label?
Obviously Altered Perception had the order release with us, seeing as it’s his label too! We’ve got a few artists coming up with bits and bobs but I don’t want to reveal too much yet! One to mention I suppose would be Tephra, a new artist from Markyate who has our next release. I’m certain that he will go far, so watch this space! We’ve also got things in the pipeline from Zach Herer, AuT0maTE, and a few collaboration projects. That’s all I can disclose at the moment I’m afraid!
Any releases from you that people need to lock into?
All of them! Haha. No, seriously. If Altered Perception’s ‘Holographic Universe/Take It Back’ didn’t turn heads, I’m certain TB002 will. Keep your eyes peeled for the ‘Resistance EP’; it will definitely impress any doubters.
Highlight of 2012 so far for Terabyte?
The whole year has been wicked really. Been fortunate enough to be involved with some really great people already, we’re kicking on as a business; I couldn’t really pin down anything in particular. Other than the first release; it was nice to actually get the ball rolling after so much groundwork.
What can we expect from you in the near future?
Plenty more releases! Sam and I are working other jobs to put money into the whole operation so as long as we can afford to keep going we will. We’re looking into starting our own nights in Leeds among other places too, so watch this space really.
Where do you see Terabyte Records in 5 years time?
People often ask me this, and to be honest it’s really difficult to forecast these kind of things. Maybe that’s bad business? I don’t know. If someone said to us in 5 years we would definitely be on the radar of the club circuits, with our guys playing out and hearing our releases in other big artist’s sets, I’d take that with open arms! That said, it could all fall apart tomorrow. You’ve got to be optimistic, but losing a grip on the reality of the situation would be dangerous.
What are the hardest, easiest and fun parts of running a label?
The hardest is keeping on top of all the tasks. I find myself forever chasing up queries about different things. That’s part and parcel of management of anything I suppose. The easiest bit is maintaining a relationship with everyone that’s involved. I haven’t come across a bad person yet in all our interactions with distributors, designers, even artists! And for me, the fun bit is seeing and hearing the results. It’s nice to see other people’s work pay off, especially when it helps us too!
For any upcoming producers out there, what’s your advice about what they need to do to be heard?
Be patient. You may think your sounds are good, but labels (who’s jobs it is to release ‘releasable’ material) may disagree. By and large they will know what’s best so keep trying new sounds and ways of production. Rushing a track is the worst thing that can happen, Sam will tell you that. Also keep badgering people and promoting yourself. Undiscovered talent doesn’t discover itself. Shameless promotion may seem tiresome and frowned upon, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
What 5 tracks are on repeat on your iPod? [pullquote_right] “Undiscovered talent doesn’t discover itself.” [/pullquote_right]
At the moment in having a phase away from Drum & Bass (that doesn’t mean I’ve fallen out of love!) I’m particularly keen on ‘Pressure’ by Rusko, a few Huxley tracks, ‘Moments’ by Lorca, and – shoot me for saying this – but that club mix of ‘Call Me Maybe’ they play on the radio isn’t TOO bad.
Any shout outs?
To anyone whose supported us so far, a big big thank you. Thanks to Sam for how far we’ve got so far. Thanks to our little background team of lads that give a third opinion on everything. Thanks to our distributors Cygnus Music for making the releases actually happen. And thanks to all artists present and future! One last one is to my man Ed Buckley, who is still recovering in hospital after being hit by a cab back in January and going into a coma. Keep fighting Bizzle!
Twitter feed? Facebook page?
Terabyte Records releases can be found on all reputable digital download stores such as iTunes, Beatport, Trackitdown and Chemical Records.