Falk Recordings are a UK based record label that we are very much digging at the moment. We spoke to label owner Henry Oakley to find out more…
How did Falk come about?
Falk was started in 2008 by James A. Shaw. He named the label after Peter Falk, the actor who played Colombo in the TV series. The Falk logo is based on the glass eye that Peter Falk had. We met a year earlier (2007) at Bloom festival in the UK, I think him and his mate were in the tent next door to us or something. I was running a digital label called bristolDeep at the time, my second label (I had previously run Sinister Bleep, a vinyl only limited run white-label label up in London) and although we didn’t chat a huge amount that weekend, we kept in touch and occasionally sent each other new material we were working on.
Fast forward to 2011, I’d put bristolDeep to bed and by this time Falk had only had 2 releases in 3 years. I happened to send James a new track I’d just finished called Mellowmarsh, he loved it, we got chatting and I ended up coming on board to co-run Falk.
The result was a massively increased output which was really well received, being supported, charted and included in mixes by artists and DJs like Luke Solomon, Ralph Lawson, Master H, Silicone Soul, Martin Iveson, Brendon Moeller, Brothers Vibe, Tim Green, Rob Mello, Moodymanc, Minilogue…
Haha, this sounds suspiciously like name dropping! I don’t mean it to and actually I’m fairly adverse to hype and everything that goes with it… really we’ve just been incredibly lucky to have any support… that my family and friends like what I love doing is good enough for me! We did, and I still do, all of the PR and marketing ourselves and I think keeping it personal and down to earth really helps here… working in a more organic way rather than pushing it and shouting in peoples faces.
Towards the end of 2011 James decided he wanted to leave to do his own thing again, leaving just me at the helm and that’s where Falk is today, about to send its 10th release out into the world; Joe Europe ‘Idiot Box’, out 6th August in all of the usual places and available already for pre-order from our bandcamp shop.
What is the Falk sound?
The Falk sound, if Falk has a sound, has come about without intention and so it’s hard for me to pin down. Really I just release music that I like, sometimes it’s deep and melodic and sometimes it’s Berghain techno… that no doubt reflects my own taste in electronic music. I guess the running theme is that all of the music on Falk has integrity. What I mean by that is that it isn’t flashy or in-your-face, but it’s up there with the best either musically or in its ability to move a dance-floor. It can be quite subtle, slow burning without tricks and gimmicks and as a result, I think often overlooked… but if you take your time and let yourself become absorbed in one of our releases, they can really take you places that the run-of-the-mill deep house and techno labels don’t. I’m very lucky that over the past year Falk seems to have formed a great base of very talented regular artists around the label.
What do you have in store for us?
August see’s the release of Joe Europe’s ‘Idiot Box’ a deep and chunky slice of acid tinged house. Joe is definitely one of our more dancefloor focused artists, but the great thing about Joe’s music is that it works outside the club too. Later in the year we have deep deep house from Greg Sawyer, some very special pop-infused funk from Olefonken, a second single with remixes from the hugely talented and highly musical Shigeru Tanabu ft. akane del mar, all followed by some a couple of top-secret new signings with some really interesting new sounds. Oh and maybe an outing or two from yours truly along the way at some point!
Which other record labels do you admire?
Raster Noton are genius, one of my favourite labels (although my fiancee describes a lot of their music as sounding like insects trapped in a box!), Kafkatrax, Profan, Protest, Fright, Ostgut Ton, My Best Friend (mainly Riley Reinhold’s release on there I especially dig), Magazine, are all really interesting labels and get the most (if not almost exclusive!) play in my collection… I like tonnes of other more housey/techno labels for the club too… but albums released on the labels I mentioned get listened to a lot, particularly stuff by Wolfgang Voigt, Byetone, Signal, Riley Reinhold, Frank Bretschneider, Anne-James Chaton and the Berghain stuff on Ostgut Ton.
What would the Falk team do if they were kittens for the day?
Probably be quite boring… sleep all day curled up on a bed or comfy couch next to my beautiful golden lab, Barney (featured on the cover my Mellowmarsh release), who adores cats!
(Hehe we’ve ‘kittenized’ Barney above – cutie!)
Falks latest release ‘Idiot Box’ by Joe Europe is out on 06 Aug. Pre-order here. We massively love the artwork!
Listen to more on their soundcloud page here.