Bread & Butter Exclusive Interview With Kevin Griffiths (Tsuba / 8 Bit)

B&B: How you doing – what’s excited you most this year so far?

Kevin: All is good. I’m about to move house / office so its a bit hectic to be truthful! 2011 has been a really good one with lots of highlights. i celebrated 5 years of the label with a special two part release and parties at fabric and watergate which were great and i’ve been lucky enough to DJ all over the world, including my first time in Japan which was awesome for a sushi lover like me.

B&B: You launched Tsuba Records in 2006. How did it begin?


Kevin: i’ve been in music for the last 15 years running labels and working in music distribution so i entered into the music from that angle. i was running Tiefschwarz’s Fine label in the UK 6 years ago and was made redundant so it was a natural progression to launch my own label. i’d been thinking about it for a while anyway so the timing worked well and here i am nearly 6 years later. its great being my own boss and having a better work / life balance.

B&B: What is the music background behind your label? 

Kevin: musically i’ve always been a real vinyl lover so that part of things continues to be key for me, though these days its really just for collectors and vinyl enthusiasts. the best music is on vinyl and house music would be quite bland without it. i guess i’ve always been drawn to the deeper side of things and i like records that have a strong vibe or personality.

B&B: How have your tastes evolved since the start of the label would you say? Have their been any specific big shifts?

Kevin: there continues to be a tsuba sound, which is at the deeper end of the spectrum, but under that umbrella i’m able to release a variety of underground styles. so i can go from someone like tazz or a vakula mix on tsuba limited (my vinyl only label) through to more digital orientated releases like the sebo k mix of nina kraviz which was a big hit this year. above all though, its about releasing music of a high quality, with artwork to match. i really make an effort with the whole package of a release to try and make each one special.

B&B: What are your end goals when making a record?

Kevin: ultimately to try and make something that will stand up in 5 years time and still sound good. as a result i’m pretty slow and only produce when i’m in the mood and have a good idea. these days there is a pressure to have a high turnover of releases in order to maintain profile for gigs, but that doesn’t suit me. quality over quantity!

B&B: How do you consider yourself ..DJ/producer/label boss?

Kevin: ultimately the thing i most get a buzz out of is the label. its a dying art really as there isn’t much money in it, but its something i continue to feel very passionate about. i’ve recently updated the logo and artwork and relaunched the website including a shop, news section and regular podcast. the site is now the central point for all tsuba activity and is a real platform for the label. Of course DJing i continue to love as well. now i’ve been doing it 15 years its really relaxing and its great seeing reactions to new records (like this new one from mic newman i played in genova last weekend that kind of feedback really helps with the a&r process).

B&B: What does the future hold?

Kevin: I’m doing a series of Tsuba warehouse parties in London next year starting on 11th Feb with Gerd Live, sascha dive, spencer parker, ethyl and myself. its a great opportunity for a party with the roster! i’ve just finished some new tracks with my good mate justin drake which i’m really excited about. just really good underground house tracks, which will be released in the first half of 2012. i also have the first artist album on tsuba from canadian producer Tazz which is mind blowingly good. very melodic and analogue sounding with character in abundance. 2012 should be a good one!


Bread & Butter Exclusive Arnaud Le Texier (Safari Electronique / Cocoon) Interview & Podcast








B&B: Hey Arnaud, how’s it going?

A: Yes all cool… had a busy week last week and this one it’s not better… but I don’t complain better than to be bored!!!

B&B: How did it all start for you music wise?

A: Long time ago when it was nowhere between digital or vinyl because the CD didn’t even exist… It was a war between tape and vinyl… aahahahha

More seriously it’s a long story ! I found my passion for music when i was very young, around 9 years old. My parents and I often passed Christmas and New Year’s Eve at my uncle’s house and my aunt used to love music and going out. Most of the time my uncle was recording live from the club of his friend.
I was the only child surrounded by adults, i escaped from their conversations by listening music and asked constantly to my uncle, “what’s this track?”
So the next year, for Christmas i got my first turntable. I think, the most beautiful gift i could have!!!
Then I met a guy during my holiday in 1988 who made me listen a tape with some tracks from Frankie Knuckles and mix master. This is how I discovered House music! I just loved it and started to buy some records in this style. Then I had a good opportunity to work in records shop in the 90′s where I was selling house & techno for 8 years and started to play in rave parties and here you go.

B&B: In 2005 you founded your “infamous” imprint, Safari Eletronique. What is the thinking behind this project?

A: You just need to read the name, it’s as simple as that…. I am doing a Safari in Electronique and trying to find new talents always!!! No style in particular as long as it’s good with soul inside.

B&B: You’ve been around a long time, what are the biggest changes you have seen? Also where do you think the ‘industry’ is at right now? Is there an industry or just an independent scene within a scene? 

Biggest changes? To be honest I don’t see them… The only change I see is how people judge music actually… No matter if you have real talent it’s all about if you are fashion or not!!! If you know how to promote yourself… Makes me sad because if we react like that we are gonna miss future talents… believe me! Even clubs start to react in the same way… booking only big names and labels do the same by signing only safe names… Everyone can do that you just need money :-) I think electronic music now is a real business and really lost its innocence since long time… The only thing positive for me is the quality of music is still high and there is still some people trying to push the boundaries and some promoters too… So hopefully these ones will get bigger soon and will change the quality in a good way!

B&B: Tell us a little bit about the track selection, there are a wide variety of genres in your sets and not all of these tracks come out recently.

A: First of all I don’t like to repeat myself and always play with the vibe of the dancefloor. I like to play new tracks but I like also to select old tracks but never the same old ones… When I do my podcast Safari Electronique radio show, I do a selection of music that I like at the moment or in the past but not specially dancefloor… Electronic music is not only dancefloor so it’s the right moment to play some tracks a bit more personal :-)About the podcast I did for you it’s a selection of new & old music… mostly house – techouse. It was the mood of the day I recorded it…

B&B: 2011 has been a very important year for you. How would you describe it?

2011 was a great one… In production & djing! Really happy to sign an ep on Cocoon. The EP was no specially a big dancefloor one but I was happy to sign something ambient & deep. It shows another side of music and happy it worked. Then I had amazing gigs this year alongside D’julz for some Bass Culture nights… last one a Goa Madrid was a blast. Loved to play for Fabric’s birthday too as you might know one of my favorite club to play!

B&B: What else can we expect from Arnaud in the near future?

A: A lot of productions as I am in studio every weeks. Working on tracks I would like to put in an album and some collaboration with some friends… At the moment I am working a lot with Antonio De Angelis on a techno project and really love it.

B&B: Analogue or digital?

A: Digital in the anus…. Honestly I don’t care about the digital or analogue war… I used both and for me what matters is what is delivered at the end as a whole package… If you are all analogue and you know how to use it… perfect!!! But it’s not because you have analogue that you will make better music either… the talent doesn’t come from the machine you used but from your soul… I will always remember one day I signed a guy who was musician and he played some rhodes on his track so I asked him is it a real one? The guy told me NO, he just used the software Reason… lol.
So I took the demo and made it listen to a jazz musician who worked with the finest musicians in the world and he didn’t see any difference…. Since this day I just realized that whatever you use if the guy behind is a genius even with a bongo you can make a techno track… ahahahah

Party: Bread & Butter with Kevin Griffiths & Arnaud Le Texier

Bread & Butter says bye bye to 2011…

For the last appointment of the year the line-up will feature 2 label bosses: Kevin Griffiths founder of Tsuba, one of the world’s key player label in underground house music and Arnaud Le Texier owner of the eclectic Safari Eletronique.

As a producer, in addition to several high profile Tsuba releases in 2011 Kevin Griffiths has released EPs on 8 Bit & Fear Of Flying with good friend and ex-Peace Division man, Justin Drake. Kevin is a regular at Fabric in London & Watergate in Berlin and in 2011 has racked up the air miles with gigs in Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Paris, Vienna, Zurich, Turin, Genova, Valencia and the Canary Islands.

Musically you can expect a set filled with deep & hypnotic house, classics and many vinyl only releases, all geared towards the dancefloor and creating a killer underground party.

French born artist Arnaud Le Texier started Safari Electronique in London, 2005. An artist with plenty of knowledge and substance behind him, Arnaud had been on the electronic music scene for over 10 years before commencing with Safari Electronique.

Arnaud is a perfect blend of natural talent and raw flare with very distinctive music. He produced different EP’s & remixes for Bass Culture, 2020 Vision, SCI + TEC, Cocoon, Climatic Sounds, Children of Tomorrow etc… Through his focus on music quality and originality, as well as his performances on an international level, Arnaud Le Texier is becoming one of the leaders in electronic sound.

Line up is complete by Luca & Felipe D, Nice1 residents (one of the best 2011 underground party in town) + B&B residents Jamma & Max!

Tickets available on Resident Advisor.