In Conversation: Thirty Year Records
"There's a lot of trust people are putting into you if you're dealing with their art"
In today's electronic underground - longevity is scarce. Countless records are doomed to a quick shelf life, falling woe to ever-changing trends in the age of streaming. Vinyl labels come and go in a "___ 001" flash. Or, perhaps it is the opposite case; a digger's dream, finding that long-forgotten classic in the back of the bargain bin that has seen better days. Ralph (aka Rubashov) of Thirty Year Records (and sublabel Three Point Oh) understands this; the label name implying that each release shall stand the test of time. Not shy to explore different genres, TYR/TPO has gracefully curated its catalog, ranging from jungle to shoegaze, meandering through house, techno and it's refreshing variants along the way. Bobby Horton sits down with Ralph to discuss the origins of the label, and how passion for the community continues to drive the label forward.
B: "What inspired you to start the label?"
R: This is a hard one to answer.... I've been a record listener and collector since about 2001. At the time there was a lot of music I wanted to hear that wasn't on CD. Indie punk stuff mostly. I've always been a liner notes music geek. Back then it was how you found new bands and labels. Vinyl was also a big part of that.
I felt like I wanted to give back to a community thats given me a lot of joy over my life. Digging through crates and hanging out in record stores are two of my favorite things. Not only do you not know what you'll find, but also who you'll find and what you can learn from them. The inspiration for TYR is to give back and be involved.
B: What led to the first release?
R: I knew I'd heard a mix a couple of years ago by DJ Swagger and had DM'd him at the time for a track ID. I'd been following his output ever since and reached out to him. I wanted to start a label, but I didn't really know how. I knew I needed to press records...but no idea how or where. To make a long story short I went through some of my favorite records and looked at the liner notes and realized a lot had been mastered at the same studio. Did a google, sent an email with some stupid questions, and they were kind enough to point me in the right direction.
B: "Was there an aim when you started the label?"
R: I wish i could say yes, but that'd be a lie. I knew I wanted it to be as DIY as possible and to put something out there that people would enjoy.
B: "How do you go about selecting artists for the label or is there a particular sound you look for?"
R: "It's very, very organic. You sometime get sent great demos that just floor you - Louf was like that. But, I definitely don't select artists, i feel like they select me. I always listen to demos and make a decision before checking out an artist's socials/soundcloud. In fact there are a couple of artists that I have put out that have only ever corresponded on email - wouldn't know them if I saw them at all. Its a real privilege to put artist's stuff out. It really is. There's always a little rush you get when people send you tracks and I consider myself lucky to get them. There’s a lot of trust people are putting into you if you’re dealing with their art."
"B: What's next for the label?"
R: "We've got quite a few things in the line - both from new comers to the label and some returns. Our next one, out mid April 2020 is a set of remixes from the Mile High EP. One of my absolute favourite things about running the label is to be able to interact with some of the legendary artists who have made electronic music what it is (as well as, obviously, newer artists). When Mile High came into my inbox I thought the vocal from the legendary Paris Brightledge just had to be give the royal treatment."
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