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24 jul. 2019

Interview met Bryan Kraft van Triplicate Records

Triplicate Records uit Chicago is een jong en innovatief label gericht op verschillende stijlen als synthwave, electronic en ambient. Bryan Kraft is één van de mede-oprichters van het label en maakt daarnaast ook muziek onder de artiestennaam BVSMV. Ik ben ontzettend blij en dankbaar voor dit interview met Bryan, waarin we het hebben over het beheren van een platenlabel en het maken van muziek.

Triplicate Records from Chicago is a young and innovative label focused on various styles such as synthwave, electronic and ambient. Bryan Kraft is one of the co-founders of the label and also makes music under the moniker BVSMV. I am very happy and grateful for this interview with Bryan, in which we talk about managing a record label and making music.

Triplicate Records

Bryan, as a co-owner of Triplicate Records, can you give us some background information about your record label?
Triplicate Records was started as an idea in mid 2017 at the end of the SoundCloud collective boom. Myself and two online friends deciding we wanted to switch focus from SoundCloud plays, reposts, networking, and focus on creating a low-key net label. The other two owners are Mike Southard, who makes ambient IDM/electronic under the aliases Supply Fi and Time Rival, and George Evans who makes genre-bending music as Suncastle. Mike had the idea of just the three of us (Triplicate) to have releases once a month for the whole year starting in January 2018 and see how it goes, and add people to the roster as we go. We've had two releases this year from other artists, and are still releasing once per month.

Maykel Piron, co-founder of Dutch label Armada Music once said: ¨A record label is many things: a talent agency, a tastemaker, a brand, a distributor, a trendsetter, an influencer - you name it.¨ What are your thoughts on this quote and how do you run your label in a digital world?
I totally agree with that! This is why we started with the three of us. George and Mike had collaborated together via the internet in 2016 and 2017 and built a close relationship. I met them through SoundCloud. Mike and I live only 90 miles away, and met up eventually and started collaborating as well. We all have our musical talents but then other interests like mastering music, making mixes, artwork, promo on social media, accounting, etc.. That has helped build those other avenues and keep us going into year two and (hopefully) beyond.

To anyone who is thinking about starting his own record label, what advice would you give?
Start small with people you can trust and have common goals with. If you have that, you'll all start to fill in the pieces of the puzzle as you begin to do the work. Don't overextend yourself and make small realistic goals for the first year.

What can we expect in the (near) future of Triplicate Records?
We have our continued releases for 2019 coming up. Supply Fi just released his huge collaborative album with different artists on every track. I have a post-rock/ambient EP under my other moniker, and we are hoping the stars align to get an EP out with tracks that all 3 of us are on under another name. Beyond this year, we are hoping to add some more artists to the roster and continue to build the catalog and expand our network. I'd love to get some releases on physical mediums in 2020.


Next to your work as a label owner, you also make music under the moniker BVSMV. Can you tell us something about your music style?
BVSMV was always intended to be an ambient/chill musical project with an emphasis on melody like a lot of my favorite artists, but it started out with me just figuring out how to actually make music. During that time, I found the synthwave scene and the 80s retro synth sounds started slowly seeping in. Right now I call it cinematic synth music/ ambient synth pop.


What were your musical influences?
My musical influences are kind of all over. I always loved post-rock like Explosions in the Sky and wanted to make a project like M83 with retro synths and soaring guitars. I listen to lots of Tycho, Com Truise, Neon Indian, Teen Daze, but also to current huge synthwave artists like FM-84 and Timecop 1983. Then I love the actual 1980s New Wave, Synthpop, First Wave bands: New Order, Depeche Mode, OMD, Tears for Fears, Yaz, you name it. I grew up in the mid/late 80s and early 90s and I love the nostalgic feeling I get when watching John Hughes movies. I want to evoke those feelings in the listener!

I have asked this question also to other artists from the USA, but how do you think the synthwave scene develops on a national level?
It's crazy how it's blown up. I think a lot of it has to do with the internet of course, and musicians connecting on social media and promoting each other. Then Stranger Things happened and it opened the floodgates for tutorials on YouTube, sample packs, etc. and more people started making it. It only makes sense that with that, certain acts would get really big and now acts like FM-84 and The Midnight are on the front pages of Spotify, Billboard New Release charts and touring over the US.

Where do you get your inspiration when making music?
My inspiration comes from the other artists I work with, and ultimately that feeling I said before. When I get a melody that makes me feel like I am watching a movie unfold in my head, that's what keeps me going. I like to jam in clips in Ableton, and when all the pieces start to come together and I hear the shell of the song, that is probably one of the most rewarding feelings for me as a musician.

And finally any last words to the Dutch synthwave community?
First of all, I want to say thanks for the opportunity to answer these questions and to anybody reading this! I can't believe the power of the internet and this amazing scene. It's super cool and sort of mind-blowing to see that people have listened to my music in The Netherlands, Australia, the States, Russia, and everywhere in between. I thank everyone who has listened and enjoyed/supported the synthwave community in general. Finally, I hope people check out other artists on the label and don't just stick to the "retro" genre. I consider myself lucky to have worked with such diverse artists, and there is something for everybody on Triplicate. Thanks for reading!


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