Friend of Seinan, Glasgow’s very own Mash chooses his top 5 labels that are back from the dead.
"Everyone used to bang on about Metalheadz, Ram and Logical Progression but for me, drum and bass meant Moving Shadow. It was a quality label that was overshadowed by its more media savvy rivals. Yeah the early artwork was a bit dodgy, but so was the fashion of the day. I for one was cutting about wearing a camo puffa coat.
The label brought us dark, moody, atmospheric d&b from Blame, Omni Trio, Dave Wallace, EZ Rollers, Aquasky and Calyx. One of the labels biggest successes was having EZ Rollers track Walk this Land perfectly soundtrack Guy Ritchie’s film Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Rob Playford, who started the label, was partners in the Goldie album Timeless, a genre defining album that was, erm ‘timeless’. I can’t help but feel that album should have come out on Moving Shadow and it might have given the label that massive cash injection it needed. Goldie went on to appear on Easties, then ‘Celebrity Cooking Singing Jungle Wife Swap Mr and Mrs on Ice.’
Moving Shadow – Dave Wallace – Expressions
Okay laterally it become style over substance with more effort going into the artwork and merchandise than the music, but let us not forget the amazing music that came out of Jim Lavelles label, Mo’ Wax (cannie belive they don’t even have a web presence any more!). Dj Shadow, Dj Krush, Rob Dougan, Luke Vibert, Innerzone Orchestra, Andrea Parker, Blackalicious, Psychonauts, Money Mark, DJ Assault and whoever Lavelle roped into working on Unkle that month.
Jim either liked broadening his horizons or kept falling out with everyone. Who knows. Whatever you say about the lad he captured an era perfectly in music and art and created something so collectable. It was a shame that in later years it escaped somewhere up its own rectum and was swallowed up into major label obscurity.
Mo Wax – La Funk Mob – Motorbass get phunked up (Richie Hawtin mix)
Paper Recordings was a great northern house music label. Without the pretensions of the London House mafia, they released quality, proper house! Excellent releases from people like Crazy Penis, Kenny Hawkes, Problem Kids and label owners Miles Hollway and Elliot Eastwick. They started the label when they were steering the boat that was Hard Times. A pre superclub house night. The night was ‘drifting’ in a different direction and Elliot and Miles, ‘jumped ship’ (ahem) to concentrate on the label. Don’t really know why my puns went off on a nautical direction there?!
Remember tracks like Miles and Elliot’s shuffley Downtime, or Salt City Orchestra’s The Book? (probably due a re-release!) The label grew arms and legs and an offshoot label in the shape of Repap. When the vinyl crash of the early 2000s happened, Paper folded (boom boom, I should work for the Sun!). The label is thankfully back now and releasing its back catalogue digitally! Update those dusty 12”s with shiny new mp3s.
Paper Recordings - Salt City Orchestra – The book
Glasgow Underground probably sounds more relevant nowadays with more modern artists such as Azari and III, Hercules and Love Affair and Maya Jane Coles all sounding like they could have been on this excellent label back in the day. They put out vinyl from people like Mateo and Matos, Romanthony (pre Daft Punk), DJQ, Milton Jackson, and Muzique Tropique. They also released some stellar down tempo stuff from Neon Heights, Daniel Ibbotson and more recently Williams. After a brief hiatus, GU is back releasing digitally and also putting out my single, Mash - Somebody’s Property with new remixes. Blatant self promotion!
Glasgow Underground - Mash – Somebody’s Property.
I have heard murmurings of Classic Music Company starting up again, I hope they return to the form of old. They really blew me away for a while with every release being of the utmost quality. They tailed off towards the end, but who can forget the releases from Derrick Carter, Herbert, Iz and Diz, Brett Johnson, Rob Mello and Freeform Five?
They also released one of my favourite all time house records in the shape of Isolee’s Beau Mot Plage. They were also responsible for introducing me to Jesse Rose, Dave Taylor (Switch) and Tiefschwarz all of which have gone on to be huge global stars. I can even forgive them for drifting into Doop style charleston house when I think of tracks like DC’s Where ya at?, Freeform Five’s ‘Perspex Sex’ and Sneaks’ ‘You can’t hide from your bud,’ all true ‘Classics’. I will stop making puns now. Isolee has a new record out..not on Classic!”