RIP Digital Launch
RIP Records quickly became a widely respected label for quality house records over the course of it´s initial run from 1998-2005 and after somewhat of a hiatus is now resurrected and recommenced with a new direction and focus. While the ethos remains the same, RIP Digital is now it´s name and label manager Chris Bourne (Tarrentella) brings us up to speed on the happenings, hiatus and path ahead for the imprint.
- Progressive-Sounds: During its initial run, RIP Records became a label renowned for its impeccable ethos for delivering some of the best quality house music of the time and became a platform for the development of many artistic ventures and projects. What would you say was the main catalyst behind the labels success and what would you consider the best achievements made by the label before its hiatus in 2005?
Chris Bourne: There were many factors that went into creating a label with a somewhat unique sound. We, being Andy Holt (Redanka), Kelvin Andrews and Danny Spencer (Soul Mekanik) and I (Tarrentella) were all recording at the Cable Chamber in Stoke-On-Trent, in the UK. This was a multi- studio facility and we found ourselves around each other productions on a 24/7 basis. There was an air of relaxation down there that enabled you to hang out in other peoples studios and vibe off what they were doing. Everyone was free to suggest ideas and there were no airs and graces. The studios were also used by many DJs and producers; with the likes of Danny Tenaglia, Sander Klienenberg, Quivver and Lee Burridge bringing even more to the melting pot. It made it a fun place to be and making music is so much easier when youre having fun.
We were not really part of any major city clique not being from London or Manchester. Naturally this made us sound a little different because we were left to morph naturally and slowly we created our own unique odd ball sound. This made us wind swept and interesting to others because no one really knew who we were, and we were always influenced by the constant diet of the maddest records on Planet Earth, fed to us twice daily by Kelvin, who was so far ahead of the curve we were always conceded he may not actually be from this planet at all. Joking aside, Kelvin showed us the future and we loved him for it. As for our best achievements, obviously the main one is all the music that was created and played, all over the world by a multitude of different DJs and radio stations, which kept us away from the job centre. Chris and Graham Latham created Rip after their son Scott was killed in a car accident in 1996. All the people that were associated with the label were local and the original concept of Rip was to help and support local artists. We achieved this whole heartily with everyone still involved in music today.
- Progressive-Sounds: In the time that has passed since, the labels family of artists have seemingly gone their separate ways and seemingly stayed out of the spotlight until now. What have you all been doing during the labels 3 year hiatus?
Chris Bourne: When the studio finally closed, this naturally created distance between us musically, as we had lost our hub and also the games room where we quite often held FIFA football tournaments. We ended with Soul Mekanik releasing the long awaited debut album 81. This was a real labour of love for all involved and it seemed natural to take stock of what was happening in general with the music industry and with the way music was being brought and sold. The advent of the digital world was bearing down upon us!
Someone once told me if you have nothing to say, then dont say anything. Anyone who knows me well will know what a difficult lesson that is for someone like me to learn. So, I decided to move to Miami and finally Maui with my wife, Bethany. Andy went on to remix everyone from U2 to Snow Patrol and continued to DJ all over the world, while Danny and Kelvin had had an association with Robbie Williams writing Rock DJ with him a few years earlier and Robbie came a knocking asking them for their help with his new album which they took in their stride and continue to work with him writing and producing his latest album due for release in sometime in 2009.
- Progressive-Sounds: The resurrection of the Tarrentella project is long overdue, and the new material thus far seems to indicate a new direction for the project, compared to the older body of work? Would you say this is somewhat influenced by the break from production?
Chris Bourne: Well Im sure anything will sound fresh after 4 year adrift in the middle of the Pacific. I am energetic again and ready to try new styles of production. As ever and like anyone, Im inspired by what is going on around me, musically. Andy, as ever, is at the helm although I wrote the original demo of Jigsaw with Ben Grassini, who lives in Miami and has worked with the likes of Danny Tenaglia and Francois K in the past. I Hope to continue to surprise people who have always supported my music and most of all to surprise myself.
My own album project, charmingly named Me & Our Friends and which has nearly taken as long as Andys album project, is again very different to anything I have ever attempted. Aimed squarely at film and TV syncing this has enabled me to write from rock to pop to reggae tracks which if you have never written anything like that before is totally inspiring and loads of fun. As for when it will see the light of day...Ill be bold...2009!
- Progressive-Sounds: With the first handful of tracks on RIP Digital forming the first chapter in the new body of work from Tarrentella, can we expect new material from those misfits Soul Mekanik and Redanka to appear at some point? Also, are there any collaborative projects planned, or new excursions with people such as Satoshi Tomiie?
Chris Bourne: Redanka is next up on Rip Digital in early 2009 with his old Midlands Mafia mate John Quivver Graham on vocals. Under the Sun is Andys first release in 4 years. Soul Mekanik have created a new landing pad WONK for their new material. The brothers have promised a Balearic mix compilation for next summer with a new single to boot. Danny is also re- releasing This Aint Chicago 20 years after the original release catapulted him into the electronic music. Oh, and Derrick Carter is on the remix of that one. We will also continue to mix it up with anyone we feel can bring a new angle to our continued development as artists.
- Progressive-Sounds: Having re-established the label with a new digital image, can we expect the family of artists to expand as we move into the New Year, as well as new ventures which take advantage of the new format and technologies that exist, and how does the audio visual project of the new band Politeca fit into this strategy?
Chris Bourne: We are always on the look out for new talent but generally these days most people prefer to captain their own ship which we completely understand. We signed Politeca a year ago because we were blown away by what they have to say regarding what is going on in the world, right underneath our noses, yet we are to busy to see. Politeca.org is going to be a hub for creative folk and concerned people to express themselves and inform others that there are people controlling our lives and we dont even know it. We have in general become a little distracted by the perks of our modern society. This project is designed both visually and musically to create dialogue on how best to move forward in the 21st century. Politeca is a live act that is using many mediums, not just music to express itself. This is really the main focus for RIP Digital in 2009, and the album should be released somewhere around April 2009.