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It's not often that an imprint with only a handful of releases grabs a slot on the Scene Selection, but an exception has to be made for Deadplate. It's a label that's only a few records old but one that is driving underground club music in the UK forward on a very steady course.
With a stable that counts Artifact (second below), Hackman (below), Randomer, Lung & Maxx Roach, Deadplate is the place you ought to be going if you've got a taste for the emergent sounds coming out of the ongoing collision between house, techno, garage and dubstep.
Label boss Synamatix (above) has an ear for splintered dance music and his operation offers tunes that are slightly nasty, a little warped but full of dancefloor bounce. Apart from Hackman & Bluto's 'What Matters', which is a certified summer smash.
Get the low-down on Deadplate by checking the exclusive mix of label tunes and the Q+A with Synamatix below.
AN INTRODUCTION TO DEADPLATE
01. Artifact - Deserted (Synamatix Intro Dub) [Unreleased]
02. Hackman & Bluto - What Matters (James Fox Remix) [DPL003]
03. Hackman & Bluto - What Matters [DPL003]
04. Artifact - Archaic Line [DPL002]
05. Lung & Maxx Roach - Booty Call (Randomer Remix) [DPL001]
06. Artifact - Deserted [DPL002]
07. Artifact - Archaic Line (Graphics Remix) [DPL002]
08. Lung & Maxx Roach - Booty Call [DPL001]
09. Lung & Maxx Roach - Crisbuit [DPL001]
I started it in early 2011, I guess. To be honest, it had been an idea in my head for a while before that, so the start of it all is quite blurry. We mastered the first release in March 2011, so I guess we started working on that a month or so before.
I've always dreamed of having a label since I was about 13-years-old, and that's only got stronger over the years. The biggest influence on why I started Deadplate is years of appreciating the influence that key labels have had on me personally. I really have a lot of respect for a label that can influence me musically, and to be able to do that for other people is the goal. I'm much more interested in Deadplate being influential than putting out the hype bangers or shifting loads of records.
What makes the perfect Deadplate release and how do you find artists?
I don't know what the perfect Deadplate release is really. I hope I never feel like I've found it or I will have stopped growing and looking to do better. I guess the recurring themes within Deadplate and my taste as an A&R are definitely percussive. I've always swayed towards the darker, more percussive side of dance music in whatever genre and I think that's really evident in Deadplate. At the moment, I'm happy to say that I've become a lot harder to please as a label head. An artist has to really be doing something interesting to be added to the Deadplate fold now.
In regards to finding artists, it can come from anywhere really. Sometimes it's a referral from a mate, that's how I met Artifact, sometimes it's just a case of scouring through SoundCloud for hours on end and getting in touch with people, or sometimes the right tunes just end up in my inbox. Whatever works.
Deadplate features new, emerging artists like Hackman, Artifact and Randomer. What's exciting you about new, underground UK music right now?
I think it's really important to be pushing new talent and I hope we can always do it. I'm loving the influence that techno is having on new underground UK music right now. There's a lot of great young producers taking inspiration from techno and early electro and the rhythms that are found in a lot of those tunes. They're putting their own spin on it and referencing their dubstep roots as well. It makes for a whole realm of percussive-lead tracks, which is my heaven! It's interesting to see how much younger producers are these days. Artifact made a good point recently: being a producer/DJ wasn't cool when we were teens, it was all about being in a band. These kids are starting so much younger now and by the time they're 19-years-old, they're already pretty damn good on the buttons. It'll be interesting to see what effect that has.
What's the best situation in which to listen to a Deadplate release?
On wax, in a very dark, small club, on a damn good system with the right people. That's my favourite place to listen to any release and especially a Deadplate one. I think that kind of environment sums up the whole label really.
What's next for Deadplate?
Next up we've got a really strong release which I'm really excited about putting out. We've been keeping this one really tight and not showing anyone until the time is right. It'll be worth it. Just wait until you hear it.
We're focusing on keeping things organic in regards to the growth of Deadplate, so as much as I'd love to make up a load of merch and start dropping full artwork EPs and whatever, it's all about timing, and I won't be rushing to do anything until the time is right. It will come, but I won't rush into it.
If anything, we're probably slowing down as I realise that point more, and focusing on keeping the quality control really high. Deadplate has always been about keeping a really high quality control, be it on the vinyl or the tunes and I'm always looking to push the bar further on that.