We only want sick stuff. We don’t want to sign someone and give them too much exposure when they should still be at the creative incubation stage in their bedroom uploading free shit to Soundcloud.
Two words: Quality Control
A motto that’s tailor-made for both Noisia and their Vision imprint. 10 years deep into their business as label owners, this week sees the Groningen trio celebrate a decade of heaviness with 10 Years Of Vision Recordings, a 22-track heavy best-of collection featuring some of the many Vision highlights plus two brand new tracks – Incessant and this epic tag team tear-up with Hybris and Mefjus: Reptilians.
“This was a lot of fun to write,” explains Thijs. “All of us were here in the studio as Hybris and Mefjus both played at one of our Noisia Invites parties. They stayed on for a while and we got busy. Who knows? Maybe we made more than one tune…”
Teasing us just like a precision-produced build-up, Thijs refused to confirm future new material. For now, full focus is on this week’s album dispatch. This is what we learnt about the release, the label and the necessity for premium quality…
Black Sun Empire pretty much ordered them to set up the label…
“Before we set up Vision there were several labels we wanted to release music on. Partly to make an impression and make sure people knew about us but also because we love the labels: Metalheadz, Renegade Hardware and Subtitles.
When it came to actually setting up Vision, Black Sun Empire and also Marco who runs Triple Vision distribution and store in Rotterdam were the key inspirations and motivations for us to set up the label. Marco was the backbone and helped with the infrastructure while Black Sun Empire were like ‘come on! You should be doing this already! It’s working well for us!’
We were on the phone with them a lot at the start. They were in a very similar situation – making the tougher style of music, trying to break into what was once a predominantly UK scene. They were very clear that it was a good move to do all your business straight, do it right now so you know where you are with paperwork or you’ll get caught up with your taxes years down the line.”
Besides collabs and remixes, The Upbeats are the only other act signed to Vision besides Noisia
“On Vision we haven’t released anyone else’s music… Yet. Except The Upbeats, of course. We just haven’t found the right artist who are album-ready. And when we have, they’ve already been snapped up by another label. The Upbeats make a lot of diverse material which is essential for an album…
Don’t get me wrong, I love albums that are 10-12 solid dancefloor tunes, but I don’t want to put that out as an album. The Upbeats have been the only ones who approached us with an album. A lot of artists we love are already on Ram or Critical – they have their place so we can’t release their music.”
This isn’t a big bass-for-bucks operation
“We’ve learnt that the way we’ve run a label isn’t the right way to become big. Or make that much money. The way to do that is to sign artists before they’re big, when they’re still a bit shitty. Put their stuff out anyway and realise they have talent in the long run. Wait until they’re really big and walk away with the profit. We don’t want to do that; we only want sick stuff. We don’t want to sign someone and give them too much exposure when they should still be at the creative incubation stage in their bedroom uploading free shit to soundcloud. It’s a risk you run with labels, it’s the risk the bigger labels take and they do it well. But we don’t want to be that label, we don’t have the right attitude for that. We have the staff to do it… But we don’t want to pick up talent too early. We only want to release premium goods.”
The tracklist for 10 Years Of Vision Recordings was a long and brutal process….
“It took us a long time to decide on the final tracklist. Some tracks we felt were outdated production-wise but we love them anyway. For example Lost Cause with Teebee is not done with a lot of subtlety. It’s a bit too much now. But The Tide sounds very controlled and restrained. I think Exodus had a little too much ugly, looking back, but there are so many elements that are unique and still exciting so we had to include it.
Essentially it was a long long process boiling the tunes down for the album and we did some polls online and asked our staff and friends. A lot of really good tunes have been excluded but that’s inherent to the principal of a best-of selection, right?”