For our fifth Label Spotlight, we catch up with Sven Swift, co-founder of 21st century mind-melting beats label Error Broadcast. Formed in 2008, the label has since become one of the “go-to places” for fresh, exciting “beat music”, bringing together an international roster of artists stretching the boundaries of hip-hop and electronic music.
EB: We started the label just as people were advancing from the sound of traditional Dilla instrumentals and beginning to explore kinds of electronic manipulations. When Shlohmo released the original ‘Shlomoshun’ EP, everybody was totally blown away. Kids went into Ambient and Drone, wrapping textures around their beats like a tight dress. Which is sexy, haha! Since then, beat music has seen many permutations… Dubstep, Ghettotech, Juke, Boogie and always R&B. At EB we try to keep it fresh and experimental.
Error Broadcast is a fine example of just how global and accesible music production has become in the 21st century, showcasing talented young producers from the West coast of the US to Russia.
EB: Every 16 year-old can download software onto his shitty laptop and start making music. There are almost no boundaries when it comes to equipment so it’s no wonder we have artists from all around the world on EB. Hotspots at the moment are Westcoast US, the UK, and in our case, Moscow.
Indeed, their 2011 compilation Fly Russia (Free DL) uncovered Russia’s thriving beat scene and led to further collaborations between EB and artists who appeared on the album such as DZA, Pixelord and OL.
EB: The ‘Fly Russia’ compilation came out in 2010 and made many heads turn. Early in 2010, G5 Music (weblog) approached us to ask if we would potentially be interested in hosting a compilation of Russian beat makers. The tunes they offered us were all top quality, and it was not a big step toward the final ‘Fly Russia’. We are happy now to see that powerful labels have emerged such as G5 Music, Jumble, Hyperboloid Records and how2make, each supporting and strengthening the Russian beat scene.
Error Broadcast has its roots in the netlabel community and continues to champion the idea of free music, offering up a fair amount of fine music online for free download. However, the label has also evolved into a fully fledged imprint with digital, vinyl and even casette releases. Key to the physical copy is the quality of the product, artwork and graphic design:
EB: Selling music nowadays is about creating something collectable, something special. I hope people realise we do not only care about the sound but also the look of all EB releases!
EB: It demands a whole different level of professionalism to deliver good looking, good sounding vinyl records and it is a risky business. Though the market is unpredictable, I have a feeling people want to see you take a risk. And of course, the joy of touching a brand-new 12” disc, fresh from the plant, is a drug!
2012 has already got off to a busy start for the label with the release of B-Ju’s well-received Prozac People EP and the label’s momentum looks set to continue with releases from Monolithium; “super sexy synthesizer music”, OL “sweaty and sick, seriously dangerous” (see his latest mixtape) and their next release from Romanian producer Montgomery Clunk.
EB: Montgomery Clunk is a young cat who appeared on the map in 2010 with his acclaimed ‘Superbus EP’, which is still one of our bestsellers. Since then he has constantly renewed his musical identity (see the output he has been uploading onto Soundcloud recently). He returns on the 9th of April with ‘Mondegreen’, a five-track EP available digital and on 12” vinyl. His beats are just mad, basically like nothing you have heard before.
If you move quickly you can grab the “Superbus EP” for free download until the 16th of April via Error Broadcast’s bandcamp, download new track “Faerie Fire” here (via XLR8R) and watch out for the full release later this week!
Thanks to Sven Swift from Error Broadcast for taking the time to answer our questions and for searching out constantly fresh sounds!