Big uP Mix 65

Atlanta’s based Embassy Recordings just turned three years old and we convinced this healthy little toddler to put together a celebratory mix consisting of the label materials only. The mix turned out amazing as you can hear for yourself. And we spent a few minutes with Mike (Distal) and Ethan (Mite) to chat about growth of their baby, their parental responsibilities and reflect on their accomplishments.

What was one definitive moment, when you realized you wanted to start a label?

Ethan: The moment I decided I wanted to DJ and produce, I knew I would run my own label. I wanted to cultivate other artists and manage bringing a complete product to fruition: get a nice cover, press it to vinyl and organize a party or press around its release. All of this to me is fun instead of ‘work’.

Are you still as excited about music like you were 3 years ago, when it pushed you to start the label?

Ethan: Yes. Always. Without a doubt. If we weren’t excited, we wouldn’t be writing our own music and deejaying. And if weren’t doing that, we probably wouldn’t have the desire to run our own outlet.

Out of all releases you’ve had so far, which one was the most popular and did it affect the direction of the label?

Ethan: As much as I want to say “Cranberry Goose” by Clicks + Whistles, I think it’s Wheez-ie’s “EP, but not EP” EMB008 – Barefoot Billy EP. The Salva and DJ Assault remixes were unexpected and when both of them came through the release had turned bigger than initially expected. DJ Assault’s remix of “Barefoot Billy” was beyond epic. Not only does it have everything you’d want in a DJ Assault tune musically, he decided to sing over it which was a pleasant surprise as we’d not specifically said, “Can you add your signature vocals on this one?”

When Headhunter came to play for Atlanta Dubstep, Mike and I got everyone in the crowd to take their shoes off when he played Footcrab. So naturally the next time Mike and I played Assault’s remix we took our shoes off and now it’s become an Atlanta thing. While touring Wheez-ie is telling us even people not immediately familiar with the release or Embassy feel the overwhelming burning desire to take their shoes off and raise them in the air.

Any new beginnings for the label this year?

Ethan: Mike and I have our first solo EPs planned for the label. We’re releasing them as a dual EP, limited cassette tape and then to follow digital a couple months after dropping for the collectors. We also have a real exciting release with Broodlings. Their second release and first single for the label, “Rough Landing” b/w “Two, Three” set to drop on March 25th. Two tunes of stripped down heavy 808 funk.

What was the most rewarding moment/feedback you’ve had in the life of the label?

Ethan: For me it was having Shiftee introduce me to one of his former students and say “they are one of the most forward thinking labels in the States.” That was a great moment… and just watching our artists continue to grow.

As far as most rewarding for a release – in 2009, when we were putting everything with the label together we wanted to put out “All I Want” from Moldy. He said that unfortunately it was reserved for Deep Medi. Three and a half years later I’m proud to say one of Dub War’s anthems is getting its due as a physical recording. (It’s the next vinyl release we have lined up!)

Mike: For me it was going overseas and hearing our brand being mixed in with so many different cultures and countries. Definitely a good feeling seeing people with your wax in their collection. Also cool to walk around the club and hear tunes from your label and you’re just grinning! It’s definitely rewarding.

If you were to do a split release with another label, which label would you pick?

Ethan: we were supposed to do a split with Well Rounded as part of the United Slates compilation, but our schedules didn’t line up. I think doing something with our brothers over at Frite Nite would be fun and extremely rewarding.

Mike: I think I’d love to do a split with Night Slugs for Helix. I know they have him locked up, but it would be nice to be able to represent him on a Georgia label even if only for a moment in time. He’s a great artist with a lot to look forward to.

One advice from Embassy Records to an aspiring label owner.

Ethan: Always work within your budget to come up with creative products you know your fans will enjoy and don’t focus on seeking out already established talent. We took huge risks signing Mak and Theft’s tunes almost a year before they were a “sure thing.” It has also been exciting to see Clicks+Whistles and Wheez-ie continue to build their following even larger than us, as we’ve all grown as artists together.

Mike: Be true to yourself. Don’t care about if you’re in the wave, out of the wave, making one or drowning in one.

Name two already released tracks you wish you released on Embassy.


Kevin McPhee – It’s What She Wants [Naked Lunch]
Kevin McPhee – Who Loves You [BrainMath]
Mike contributed these two tunes from Kevin. It’s an interesting story because Kevin McPhee was one of the first artists we didn’t know of who sent a demo to the label. Although the first four tracks were great, we didn’t have vinyl deals in place yet and Kevin signed the majority of the first batch to Naked Lunch. Big ups to Kevin and Naked Lunch for doing great things. Send us a new one just for the Embassy camp for old time’s sake, Kevin! 😉

If you’re at SxSW this week, you’ve got five good chances to see Mite and Distal perform.

Distal:
WED Surefire after boat party w/ Jimmy Edgar @ LANAI
THUR Hot Tropics w/ Mike Q, Sepalcure @ Chain Drive
THUR Broken Teeth X LFTF w/ Nautiluss, Clicks + Whsitles @ Plush
THUR Stateside Bass Sessions w/ Salva, Clicks + Whistles @ Austin Lumber
SAT T&B Showcase w/ Wheez-ie @ Barcelona

Mite:
THUR at Broken Teeth X LFTF w/ Nautiluss, Clicks + Whsitles @ Plush

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