This month, London born record label Serialism release the second volume of ‘London Cuts’. The first VA came in 2009, comprised of five tracks produced by an at the time, London strong collective. Two years on and not only have the Serialism crew dispersed across Europe in search of cheaper climates and more concentrated creative hubs, but the labels profile has risen by considerable measures with some of the electronic music scene’s most high profile acts releasing and remixing for the imprint. The once 100% London run label now shares it’s Head Quarter’s between here and Berlin where Cesare Marchese and Federico Benedetti look after the labels growing A&R duties, record pressing and distribution and showcase nights. The labels London ears and eyes come from Federico who despite working with the label for the last few years makes his artist debut on ‘London Cuts Volume 2’ alongside Queen Atom with their dark and powerful “Nameless 303 Dub” track. Federico has done this month’s MEOKO podcast which he says is for those “loopy, hypnotic moments when you’re not in a hurry” – (I can’t personally recall one of those in this city but I’m sure as hell gonna attempt it find one within this mix) – under his artist name Onirik which alongside some deep house gems offers a few sneaky insights into Serialism’s upcoming works. From A&R to artist and from London root’s to Berlin’s blossoming future, I caught up with Federico to ask how the last two years have affected the labels working processes, collective approach and the future of ‘London Cuts’…
Photo Credit – GoodMoodz
Hey Fede thanks for taking the time to talk to me and also for putting together a Meoko podcast this month – how and where did you record the mix?
Hi Hannah, I recorded it with my two rusty turntables, good old vinyl and Traktor Scratch.
What were your thoughts and ideas behind the trip you want to listeners to feel through your mix?
I really wanted to transmit the London afterhours vibe we share with our group of friends. I chose a very deep selection of house and techno, dubby atmospheres, long mixes…loopy hypnotic trippiness…very linear but not in a negative way, for those moments when you are not in a hurry. It’s what I like best, morning sets when you can take your time, when there’s no urge to stomp the dance floor with bulldozer tracks (although that can also be enjoyable…) and you can drift away in elegance.
I’ve featured some of the tracks I’ve been playing in the last three months and a few personal classics on some of my favourite labels: Serialism, Vakant, Underground Quality, Perlon, Trelik, Hartchef Discos, Smallville, Vakant, Safari…and more. I haven’t included anything from MEAN (which is the sister label of Serialism) but I’m working on a more “experimental” podcast for that. This time it was more about the vibe of Serialism…
As well as you’re dj’ing you run Serialism records alongside Cesare Marchese – When and how did you come to be running the label?
I met Cesare in 2007 when I moved to London from Brussels. I met him through my soul brother Pablo Tarno with whom I’ve been friends since childhood in Belgium. Cesare was hanging out with a group of people that were all deep into electronic music. They were making music together, deejaying together, partying together, everybody had his little style. It was very inspiring and it really played a big part in the evolution of my taste. Regarding the labels…step by step I started helping out and learning until we got to the actual state of things.
Does the mix feature Serialism music heavily?
Yes…you’ll find some released and unreleased material.
You’re based in London and Cesare in Berlin – is that not difficult to run the label like that?
It’s not. Obviously sometimes it would be easier to be in the same city but like this we keep a foot in both cities and scenes which is quite useful.
Any thoughts for you to join the trend and move over?
It’s been on my mind for a while…I don’t know…I really love London, I’ve been here for four years and I can’t get enough of it. Berlin is very attractive for some aspects, I definitely see myself living there at some point but for now it’s London. We’ll see…it will be a gradual process.
Serialism has gone through some really strong moments over the past two years with the label artists and remixer’s becoming more high profile producers – why do you think that is?
I think that some of the artists that were with Serialism since the beginning have grown with the label and you can easily witness their parallel growth (like Rainer who has just released an EP with us.).
Do you think that Cesare’s re-location to Berlin has had a hand in the rise of the labels profile and artists?
Cesare’s move to Berlin has been a turning point, he’s met some really talented people over there that became friends and started working with us. We are in a sphere where boundaries between friendship and work is constantly blurred, it has pros and cons but it’s really great when you manage to translate what is born during fun times over the weekend on to a record, a collaboration or anything that stays tangible in time. The entirety of the artists on the label are close friends or have been really close at a certain point.
Over the last year or so we’ve seen a video for nearly every single Serialism track that’s been released from a duo called False Manners – tell me about the collaboration?
False Manners are Fernanda Mattos and Federica Marchese – Cesare’s gilrfriend and Cesare’s sister – it’s a family thing! Hehehe! They curate the visual side of the labels, from artwork to video. They are growing a lot every day and have wrapped up many cool videos in a short amount of time, like the one for ‘Nameless’ (my track alongside Queen Atom) which is really kaleidoscopic and fits the track perfectly. I can see a very bright future ahead for them and I’m quite excited to watch what they will create for the labels in the future. They are working with a lot of great artists in Berlin like Ninca Leece, Bloody Mary (for her label Dame Music), Jeremy Caulfield (for Dumb Unit)… My favourite video is the one for the upcoming Benjamin Fehr’s Ep on MEAN so….stay tuned.
Upcoming this month is the second Volume of London Cuts that Serialism has done – the first back in 2009 – explain to me why the label wanted to do compilations specifically based around London?
Because the label was born in London, created by Cesare and Stefano Pellegrini (who has now moved to Australia) as an output to release friends’ music.
The initial idea ‘London Cuts’ was because the majority of the Serialism collective were based in the city – that was certainly the case in 2009 but things have moved on a lot since then – the artists now spread between London, Berlin, Paris and Barcelona – how do you feel about the dispersal of such a strong group of people?
I miss a lot of those that have moved out of London but I think it’s very important to move around, try new places, and change your horizons for a while. There’s only a limited amount of things you can learn in one place, depending on your personality, luck or motivation so it’s good to keep moving. It feels good to watch your friends grow in different locations and bring you something they probably wouldn’t have if they had stayed in the same place all the time. I think the link really gets stronger with those that are far if you still manage to connect with them…it’s crazy…with some people it doesn’t matter if you see them every day or once a year, it feels the same straight away – you know those are friends for life.
Has the shift in location and evolvement of peoples careers affected the labels ‘collective’ ethos and bond in anyway?
Yes it did…because originally everything was based around London and the crew was all here. I only arrived after it all started so I’m not completely accurate but that’s the vibe I understood. Now it’s more around both me and Cesare – he brings artists into the roster from Berlin and while travelling. At the same time I keep an eye on London and create some bonds on my side, like with Robin Ordell and Monika Ross. We still have some of the original spirit but we evolved accordingly to the context.
Do you guys plan to continue with the compilation – maybe a Berlin cuts will be more suitable next time!?
Yes, not sure when, but we want to do a Berlin Cuts and a Paris Cuts.
You feature on the upcoming comp alongside Cesare as Queen Atom – tell me about the track?
It’s the result of the first time that me and Cesare sat down and cooked some beats together. It’s a very particular track, not the usual deep stuff I’m into at the moment or like any of Cesare’s previous releases. We both have very wide taste in electronic music so why not? Acidy and breaky…why not? I don’t expect it to be massively played as it’s not an easy track but if you like it a bit dark it’s a very powerful one.