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14 apr. 2020

Interview met Cole van RetroReverbRecords

RetroReverbRecords is een Italiaans label wat al enige jaren meedraait in de synthwave wereld. Alex en Cole, de oprichters van RetroReverbRecords, hebben al vele artiesten geholpen met het uitbrengen van albums volgens hun eigen filosofie. Nu is het tijd om één van de heren in het zonnetje te zetten en te vragen naar de geschiedenis, het heden en de toekomst van RetroReverRecords. Cole, de microfoon is voor jou!

RetroReverbRecords is an Italian label that has been involved in the synthwave world for several years. Alex and Cole, the founders of RetroReverbRecords, have already helped many artists to release albums according to their own philosophy. Now it's time to put one of the guys in the limelight and ask about the history, present and future of RetroReverRecords. Cole, the microphone is for you!

RetroReverbRecords

Cole, can you please introduce yourself?
Hi I'm Cole, one of the founders of RetroReverbRecords (RRR). I'm from London originally, but I am currently living and working in Sicily. Thanks for having me.

You are a co-founder of RetroReverbRecords. Can you give us some background information about your record label?
Alex Vecchietti and I started RRR about two years ago. He approached me when I moved to Sicily, because he knew I had previously been involved with TimeSlave Recordings, but had to stop when I moved. He asked me if I wanted to do my own thing. I obviously said yes. We started out with a plan to represent artists in a fair way, because we had both been involved in music ourselves in the past and Alex in particular had been treated pretty roughly. This inspired us to write a core values section in the contract we drew up for artists, which we adhere to and is the basis of everything we do. It was also the inspiration for our slogan "Welcome to the family". The name RetroReverbRecords was inspired by a funny little cartoon I saw, where the punch line was ¨you should have added more reverb¨. Always good advice, lol.


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 the quote is pretty accurate. Nowadays you need to be a bit more than a traditional label as the world and the way music is produced have changed. A lot of artists prefer to try on their own, meaning there are a lot of releases daily in the scene. One of the things we try very hard to do and we hope is part of any success we have had, is being personally invested in the artists success. We do this by being available to talk to and support our artists. We have a lot of communication with the artists compared to some labels, I think. Even if they move on, we still try to help them out on social media platforms by sharing and liking etc. We did a live online festival recently, where The Goondock Saint returned to the fold to play. We were really happy to have him on board again, as we had a good working relationship while he was with us and I think it was his first live performance as TGS. We were really happy to offer him that opportunity so as to say thanks for all his hard work with us in the past. To summarise, yes, we have our fingers in a lot of pies to compete such as: releases, collaborations, events, artist management, podcasts and soon vlogs and a Synthwave Chart. Some of this is done in an effort to support the scene as per our core values. OK, we get exposure, but it's a lot of work and takes time and effort to do and supports the message of the quote. In terms of how it works for us in the digital world. We are just trying to keep on improving. We have a release policy to try and make sure quality and exposure are maximised, building both the artists and the RRR brand. Alex was the driving force behind this and does a lot of unsung free work to help this happen. We need to be active on multiple social media platforms, which takes a lot of time. If anyone reading this is looking for an opportunity to be involved with RRR, we are looking to take on a third member in the management team.

What can we expect in the (near) future of RetroReverbRecords?
This month we are releasing a Synthwave Chart voted on by fans. It will be supportive of artists in a few ways: They can share links and artwork with their fans. There will be a chat section, meaning they can interact with fans. Finally, the top three spots will receive a review of their singles. It's singles only at the moment, we can't handle the work load for anything else. We will be starting artist interviews on our YouTube channel as well. In terms of music we have another online festival planned, probably the weekend of the 8th of May. It is in collaboration with TimeSlave Recordings and will be called Flashback. We are confident of a few juicy acts for fans to hear, for sure Honey Beard, The Subtheory, Dark Smoke Signal, Delta Wave 82, Kid Neon, Alenis, Alex Vecchietti and The Goondock Saint will play, though there will definitely be more added. We will also be involved in a NeonRetroFest online event at some point. As for our artists, Eden Future, Honey Beard, Alenis, Delta Wave 82, le Groupe Fantastique and Level 86 all have releases due out, of which Honey Beard and Le Groups Fantastique will be on vinyl. Fans can also check out Dark Smoke Signal, The Subtheory and Alex Vecchietti for recent good releases.


How do you look for new talent to possible add to your label?
In terms of talent, sometimes we get submissions, sometimes recommendations or sometimes I just hear them on various outlets and reach out. Anyone wishing to submit can do so at retroreverbrecords@gmail.com, heading their email “Label submission”. We are particularly, but not exclusively, interested in female acts as they seem a tad unrepresented in the scene.

You have released music under the artist name Cybertronix. Can we expect some new music to be released soon?
To be honest I have almost no time to make music now as running the label takes all my time but I really enjoy it, well most of the time :) I make music for fun, but when I see how talented some acts are, I get more pleasure helping the world hear those acts. However, yes, I do have an album brewing. When it will get released, I have no idea.


What were your musical influences?
My musical influences are varied like everyone, I guess. As a teenager I was heavily into drum & bass and used to DJ. I even had a dodgy pirate radio station run out of my flat for a bit. If anyone has seen "People just do nothing" that is actually where I am from. I lived in those exact flats for a few years. My mum was my ´80s inspiration and used to play the likes of Peter Gabriel, Tears for Fears and David Bowie. My friends also had a big influence on what I listened to and through various groups of friends I also found I liked rock, metal and reggae. I'd say I like something from most genres except opera. The artist I most respect is Bob Marley. I never get tired of his music or lyrics.

What do you like most about the ´80s?
Well I was a kid in the ´80s so life seemed simpler and safer then. I think that's one thing. But probably the films are my favourite thing. Best film decade ever in my humble opinion. Of course there was retro gaming, which wasn't retro at the time :) and music etc. But I have so many memories of watching great films.

And finally, any last words to the synthwave community?
Yes, keep doing what you're doing, support the artists and people involved who are working hard (shout out to Nightride FM and the Foreversynth crew, they work really hard and are good people). Remember that the music is what it's all about.

Artists and people involved, if I don't answer you, bug me! It's hard to respond to everything and sometimes I forget or miss it, sorry :)) Be kind and polite. Stay healthy and safe, particularly now but always. Finally, thank you to anyone who has supported us and our artists in any way. You make the hard work worth it!

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