The Imprints sound can be instantly recognisable as a unique blend of playful minimal techno and a fresh, never cheesy, old school. Founders Riccardo and Domenico Rosa take this combination of two fantastic styles to the next level with their modern sound design and hard work to create one of today’s most respected underground dance music labels. Since they formed Imprints in London in 2011, the two producers took turns to consistently create one impressive EP after the other. For their second release, they welcomed talented Isherwood on their Various Artist collaboration. With four brilliant EPs on the table so far, they have clearly chosen to focus on quality over quantity, a move that is appreciated in today’s musically abundant world. Demand for their music is quickly rising as the label continues to expand. In fact, for Domenico Rosa’s latest Things You Care About EP, the label’s distributor sold all the copies in a matter of days and it is now virtually impossible to find any of their music unless one would be prepared to pay offensive prices on Discogs. These two rising talents are certainly causing a storm. We are indeed delighted to welcome the two for an exclusive Imprints interview and podcast- the first of its kind. Read on to find out more, and tune in for a playfully sinister and a deeply atmospheric musical journey, as the two play back to back and prove that they are just as good at spinning tracks than they are at producing them.
Where is Imprints Records based?
Imprints records doesn’t actually have a headquarter because Domenico and I live in two different countries. However the label was based in London since the beginning.
How did you two meet and when did you start your musical partnership?
Our musical partnership was born in 2011 when we started the label. However, many years before that we met thanks to our common passion in music at our home town Benevento.
How do you manage the label while you two live in different countries?
We communicate and manage the label thanks to the technology, like smartphones, skype etc… during the last ten years technologies have completely changed world and abolished the distances.
Do you have any plans to live in the same country again?
We hope that…as you can imagine, living in the same city could help us to collaborate better.
You both blend old school house with minimal sounds. This is such a great union! How did you end up with this idea?
We just joined the genres we prefer. That allowed us to develop our own style with something slightly different from the trends in music industry today.
What makes you attracted to old school house?
House in general and all its different styles are the fundamental of what we like, buy and produce in terms of music.
Your podcasts on your Imprints SoundCloud show you both have two distinct styles of music. How do you manage to bring your two styles of music together to create one holistic concept?
This is our peculiarity! Our styles are different even if they are not so far from each other, however we are able to merge our music imprint. Thanks to our synergy we make a selection of what we think can go and try to look for a point that both agree.
Your latest EP was just released by Domenico, titled Things You Care About. Domenico, could you explain how you produced this record, and your inspiration behind it?
All my works are hybrids between analog and digital. When I think about an EP I choose tracks that are related to each other…the timbre, the groove etc.
I try to give a story to the whole EP. When I choose tracks I do it almost instinctively. It comes from a particular state of mind or inspiration. I just need to recognize them!
These last tracks represent what I felt during the last months of my life.
Behind the title there is a sentimental meaning… I think in this life, everyone should have something to fight for and believe in.
Riccardo, your tracks Galaxy Cat and Afternoon have been favourited by DJs across Europe. How did you produce these two masterpieces?
When I had produced those tracks I had recently moved to Berlin, where I started my “journey into myself”. The continuous inspiration that this city along with my new friendships, have contributed to my musical growth and to improve what I was doing in my life. Well, I believe that those tracks are the first results of my growth. I had just bought a drum machine rack that has given me the opportunity to give more character to my works and get stamps typical of the old drum machine. For bass, synths and pads I used digital software and rack synths.
In one year you have released just four EPs, but each EP never fails to amaze. Do you prefer to sacrifice time for better quality?
We believe in what we are building! We spend every day working on our project. Four releases in a year is a good result for us. Our intention is to give space and value to each release, dedicating the necessary time. Anyway the answer is yes! We spend a lot of time at work to always gain better results.
The only other artist featured on your label is Isherwood. Can you explain the story behind this musical partnership?
Riccardo met Isherwood in London at the Damaged party through a friend in common. He proposed to Isherwood to become part of our project because we really trust him and his talent. For us, he is one of the most talented young artists in the modern music scene.
Are you planning to welcome any other artists to your label?
We are planning to release with other artists in 2015, but now we can’t say more.
What are some future plans we can look forward to regarding Imprints Records?
For our future projects, we would expand our label and make collaborations with other talented artists. Our core goal is to always release good quality music in order to share with those who are following us a continuous evolution of our style.
Thank you for an exclusive Meoko podcast! This is the first time we have a special record label showcase as part of our Meoko podcast series. Can you tell us some of the podcast’s highlights? Where did you record the podcast together?
Thank you for the invitation. We recorded the mix in the garage / studio of Domenico in Italy.
We listened to some records together to come up with a style to give to the podcast and soon after we recorded the whole mix in one take.
We hope you like it.
Listen to Domenico Rosa and Riccardo’s exclusive MEOKO mix here
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