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 http://www.tsubarecords.com/ 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 weekendhttp://youtu.be/UxeE-pYzg0Y 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!

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