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15 aug. 2019

Interview met Future Phil van Outrun Records

Outrun Records is een jong platenlabel uit Canada wat zich richt op Modern Funk/Boogie muziek. Een stijl die, net als synthwave, inspiratie haalt uit de jaren ´80. Ik ben sinds korte tijd in contact gekomen met deze muziekstijl en ben er groot fan van geworden. Het is dan ook fantastisch dat ik met Future Phil, oprichter van Outrun Records, een interview heb mogen houden om meer over deze muziek en zijn platenlabel te weten te komen. Ik kan iedereen aanraden om na het lezen van dit interview meer van deze geweldige muziek te gaan beluisteren. Get funky!!!

Outrun Records is a young record label from Canada that focuses on Modern Funk/Boogie music. A style that, just like synthwave, is inspired by the 80s. I have recently come into contact with this style of music and have become a big fan of it. It is therefore fantastic that I was able to hold an interview with Future Phil, founder of Outrun Records, to find out more about this music and his record label. I can recommend everyone to listen to this great music after reading this interview. Get funky!!!

Outrun Records

Phil, as founder of Outrun Records, can you give us some background information about your record label?
I started Outrun Records last year in August (2018). We are a Modern Funk label out of Calgary, Alberta, Canada and we primarily focus on physical releases (7-inch vinyl records, cassette tapes, 12-inch vinyl records). Prior to starting Outrun Records, I was working with Inner Ocean Records, a Hip Hop label. I had been listening to Modern Funk since the early Omega Supreme Records and Mofunk Records releases, but didn’t realize how popular it was until I took a trip to Los Angeles in December of 2017. That trip opened my eyes to the fact there were a lot of people like me who loved modern funk. After that trip I started reaching out to a lot of Modern Funk artists to release their music. Since the sound was so different from that of Inner Ocean, I decided to start my own record label.

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 think there is truth in the quote on 2 fronts:

First, most of the things mentioned in the quote are about cultivating an audience. This is important especially for independent labels like Outrun Records. Some of the artists that I release might not have an established audience prior to their release. But if I curate my releases so that people can trust in the label and know that, even if they don’t know the artist, they can trust that it will be a good Modern Funk release. I believe that is important when you are first starting a label, to build that trust in your audience through the consistence of well curated releases and a consistent aesthetic so that your brand is easily recognizable too and in time people will gain trust in the label.

Second, being an independent label in the digital world, it’s important that you have the ability to function in many different roles. Every independent label has to be good at promotion in the Social Media age and with a smaller staff size, you have to be able to do whatever is needed of you. My first 5 releases I did all of the artwork myself. There have been times when I've functioned as a public relations agent by booking my artists interviews as well. You have to be able to adapt and do whatever is needed to continue to grow the brand.

What can we expect in the (near) future of Outrun Records?
In the past we’ve focused on 7-inch vinyl releases. Going forward will be working on some full length LPs and compilations released on 12-inch vinyl records. If you’re into the Modern Funk scene you may recognized some of the names of the upcoming releases, but we will also continue showcasing some talented up and coming artists as always. There may also be some collaborations with other records labels.

To people who never heard of Modern Funk/Boogie, what can you tell them about this music style?
It’s much like Synthwave in the sense that it’s very synthesizer based. Synthwave sounds are more drawn out and dramatic, Modern Funk is more upbeat and playful. Much of Modern Funk/Boogie pays homage to the synthesizer Funk/Boogie and P-Funk of the 80s with heavier Hip Hop influenced drums. You can typically expect a lot of synth ad-libs and lead solos as well.


How big is the Modern Funk/Boogie scene these days?
The scene is flourishing in the west coast of the US, in Japan and in France right now and it’s constantly growing. It’s starting to enter the mainstream with artists like Tuxedo, Chromeo, Dam Funk and Bruno Mars’s 24K Magic, so I think it’s only going to grow from here.


What were your musical influences growing up?
I was fortunate enough to have an older brother with eclectic musical tastes growing up and when I was younger, I would steal a lot of his cassette tapes and listen to them. So I would listen to a wide variety of music from Cyndi Lauper, to Paula Abdul, CeCe Peniston, Ace of Base, NWA, Heavy D, Black Sheep, New Edition, Mariah Carey, and Technotronic to name a few. When I was old enough to buy my own music I started to gravitate towards Hip Hop, especially G-Funk and west coast Hip Hop. In my late teenage years, when raves started to happen I got into House music. Daft Punk was a huge influence on me as well as the French House sound in general. I also got into Detroit and Chicago House music.

What is your favorite movie of the ´80s and why?
What I love most about 80s movies are the soundtracks. They have some of the best soundtracks around. I think I would have to go with Blade Runner off of the soundtrack alone. Masterfully put together. Vangelis is one of the best for scoring movies. Vangelis and John Carpenter are 2 of my favourite main stream movie composers from the 80s but "Love Theme" from Blade Runner just give me such a warm feeling inside.


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