We here at Symphonic have the unique opportunity to work with amazing artists and record labels around the world, and we like to take the time to reach out to learn more about these special clients. This label spotlight interview takes us all the way over to New Zealand with the fresh startup 4ORT.NIGHT. Let’s take a closer look to learn more about the label started by 2 DJ’s – Third Law, and Optimus Gryme.
4ORT.NIGHT is a fresh new label, can you explain a little bit how it was started?
The idea initially came about after Charlie (Optimus Gryme) and I had spent an afternoon in the studio going through an old hard-drive of his, and we found a lot of unreleased music from ourselves and our friends that we thought needed to be heard. Some of the stuff was a little leftfield and we thought we might have problems getting it released on other labels, so we thought the best thing to do was to release it ourselves.
The idea of doing a new release every full moon and new moon is very creative and definitely stands out in terms of branding for a label. How did this concept come about?
After the initial idea to start a label, we spent the next few weeks brainstorming. We agreed that we wanted to release tracks individually allowing them to stand-alone on their own merits. This meant a fast turnaround between releases, so we could have a tune out consistently every two weeks. We decided to sync the releases with the lunar cycle, which is where the name 4ORT.NIGHT came from. A fortnight is actually the time between the full moon and new moon, which is 14.77 days.
The label is based on Waiheke Island in New Zealand. Are you featuring and releasing artists only from New Zealand or also worldwide?
The first string of releases have all been local producers. We definitely want to focus on home-grown talent and help our friends get their music heard, but our first priority is to release quality music. So regardless of its origins, if we like a tune and feel it fits the vibe of the label, we will definitely give it a release.
Can you explain a little bit about the electronic music scene in New Zealand, primarily in Auckland?
The scene in New Zealand is probably a lot similar to any other country in the world. Loads of new producers popping up, given the ease of producing these days, which means loads of new talent. A lot of our new artists are from small towns in New Zealand that the rest of the world hasn’t even heard of, which brings a fresh angle to the music.
How did Third Law and Optimus Gryme start collaborating?
We have been mixing drum and bass together for few years now. It became pretty apparent that we were both drawn to the darker more technical side of the genre and had talked about collaborating in the studio for a while. Midway through last year, Charlie was taking a bit of a break from touring so we caught up to work on a tune. We quickly found that we work really well together so have been linking up weekly to work on beats since.
The artworks in your catalogue all have a cohesive direction to them featuring a moon in the center and some sort of organic imagery within the moon. Who is coming up with these concepts and designs these?
We do all the artwork ourselves. Because of the quick succession between releases, we needed to create an artwork template that looks polished but is also easy to rework for the next release. Now its just finding an image that captures the feel of the track that has nice depth and movement.
How does the label feel about all the free streaming today and the challenges that the industry is facing to monetize music?
I think it’s great for the ease of getting music into the ears of the public, but it’s pretty cheeky when the companies claim to pay the artists. Yes the artist does get paid, but it’s like one cent per play or something ridiculous like that, which means the artist loses out on a potential album sale. But it also means the artist gains a wider audience, which means they can make that money back on touring.
What can we expect to see over the next year at 4ORT.NIGHT?
You can definitely expect a release every fortnight. Other than that, we’ll just do our best to continue to bring the world quality music from this side of the globe.
Interview by John Waltmann, Symphonic Distribution (05/29/2015)