Swipesters interview with Paranoid Recordings
Swipester - 1. Explain the reason for choosing the word 'Paranoid' & the little fella in the hoodie as the label logo
RG - Gaffer is the man behind the label, so he's the best one to ask - I do know he wanted Paranoid Plastic, but as we started doing CDs, Recordings became the 2nd part of the name. And the logo is done by Gaffer’s friend (details on the back of the covers) - she also did Luna C's Kniteforce logo!
Gaffer - I had the original idea to start up a vinyl label called Paranoid Plastic about a year before I actually got my arse into gear and did anything about it, by the time I got around to doing anything and getting RG involved things in the hardcore breaks scene were moving in the digital direction so we changed the name to Paranoid Recordings and did CD releases instead. I picked the name as it wasn’t being used by anyone else at the time and I thought there was plenty of stuff you could do it in terms of label artwork and a logo if you called the label “Paranoid”. Plus I’m a bit of a worrier myself at times so it fitted in quite nicely. Paranoid Plastic is now up and running as an offshoot label as we’ve just pressed up our first vinyl release which we’re really pleased about. The logo itself was designed by an old mate of mine Becky Try, she did a few bits of artwork and logos for various people back in the day. The thing she did that’s probably best known on the rave scene would be the Kniteforce logo. Me and RG told her roughly what we wanted (think the hoodie bloke was RG’s idea originally) and she went away and did us that logo pretty much straight away which was absolutely perfect.
Swipester - 2. Gaffer, when & how did you two meet?
Gaffer - I dealt with RG for a few years before we actually met in person, we were both pretty active on the b2vos hardcore breaks forum and he used to send me his tunes to put into my mixes. We were both involved in the third b2vos hardcore breaks sampler (check those out if you haven’t already – they’re free!) so after dealing with him on various bits and pieces and knowing that he had far more knowledge of just about everything than me I asked him if he was interested in being involved with the label, otherwise I would have just been have harassing him with loads of questions anyway so he didn’t have a lot of choice really! We meet up on a regular basis now though to deal with stuff for the label, having met him I can confirm that Renegade Genius is a real person and he does exist!
Swipester - 3. RG, you're something of an Internet-land legend regarding oldskool and have aptly been nicknamed "The Prof". However, you're very discreet about yourself yet critical of (what were popular) tunes without causing waves – how do you keep a likeable profile like that considering the amount of idiots that log on every day?
RG - Where did that Prof name come from? LOL! I try to just be myself really - I'm quite a down to earth sort of person & get on with most people (bar the odd few over the years) & just try to be honest, but not in a belittling way (If I can!). For others making tunes, I try to encourage what I like about the track & what I think might work with parts that I don't really like & what might work to make it sound better - but at the end of the day, it's all down to personal taste so it can be quite tricky. Plus I'm not really an expert when it comes to making tunes - I can't even read or play music really - just pressing buttons and hope something nice comes out :)
Swipester - 4. Would you categorise your collaborations/albums as J-Tek or is it still a grey area to be defined yet? Tango says it will find its feet eventually – is the jury out on that one?
RG - I call my stuff New Old Skool (or as what the term eventually became - Hardcore Breaks). I wouldn't class my stuff as 'J-Tek' as for me that style is quite minimal, which isn't what I'm about. I try to make my stuff quite energetic without what I call 'long boring bits with just beats and bass' - I just like plenty going on. As for finding its feet, I think HCB has been going since around 1999 with various vinyl & the odd CD coming out which really picked up the pace early 2000's. It has died down a little bit these days, but it'll soon come round again full swing. Hardcore Will Never Die!
Gaffer - Officially I think we fall under hardcore breaks but you could say there was some J-Tekky stuff on the albums I suppose. I’m from the early nineties era of raving so it’s all just hardcore to me anyway! Most of what we put out is just new music made in the style of old skool hardcore, people can call it what they like and put it into whatever category they please at the end of the day as long as they are listening to it.
Swipester - 5. Who's the better vinyl mixer?
RG - Well, I don't mix so Gaffer wins this one :)
Gaffer - I would like to think it’s me but that’s not saying much because to my knowledge RG doesn’t own a pair of decks and has never DJ’d, ha-ha!!
Swipester - 6. What is the hardest sample you've worked with, either copyright-wise or general editing? Did it end up in a tune? If so, which one?
RG - I find most vocal samples tricky due to the fact I've no idea what key they're in (or how to check), so when I use vocal samples they tend to be quite short ones or from films. As for the hardest samples I've done something with - they'd probably be stuff like that Definition of Living remake I did (I'm sure you remember that one? 'Swipezster had harassed RG endlessly to remix the classic DJ Trace track!!!' Loading the original file up & then adding beats over the top & trying to keep them in time was very tricky - suppose it came out OK in the end though..... Copyright wise.... what's that?! 'winks'
Swipester - 7. There's a lot of competition out there regarding this New Skool Breaks business – do you think your label's a little bit better than the rest or are you going to go down the diplomatic "we're slightly different" route?
RG - Ours is the best - please buy now LOL Seriously though, anyone that undertakes talign="center"he enormous task of putting tunes out on a physical medium deserves praise & hopefully some sales. You wouldn't believe the sheer amount of months it takes to get it done. The tune picking is the easy bit. Getting the actual stuff designed, printed up & burnt takes a huge amount of hours that most people wouldn't realise. Some may get it done by another company, but due to those extra costs, we do all that side of it ourselves - it's a big old task. To be honest, it's much easier releasing vinyl! (although a tad more expensive).
Gaffer - Our labels much better than everyone else’s what kind of question is that!! Na there’s loads of good stuff out there, everyone’s doing their own thing and it’s all good. The people I’ve come across on this scene that run other labels have all been really friendly and helpful without exception, in fact we wouldn’t have come this far without the help and advice of others. Yeah lets just say that were slightly different to everyone else I like that!
Swipester - 8. Quickest and longest time to produce a track, and why please!
RG - Quickest - well to get a basic tune done without proper mixdown etc, maybe half a day (back in the mid 90s on my old 486!). Longest has probably been a good 6 months plus (due to family commitments & my constant tweaking of stuff as I'm a right fussy bugger). It was also probably quicker back then as I used to tinker with the tunes on my days off from college, so had the whole day to myself.
Swipester - 9. When was the last time you went to a club or event? What was it?
RG - The last 'event' I went to was a live show of Peppa Pig a few weeks back..... it wasn't as good as I was hoping for, but the little'un liked it. The Bing Bong song was good though. As for an actual club... so many years ago I've no idea - wouldn't have been anything old skool though. Probably just a new years eve thing.
Gaffer - Last event I went to was Sanctuary Flashbacks in November where I DJ’d, last one I went to as a punter was the 88/89 Raindance Warehouse party last summer. I went out at least once a week for most of the early to mid nineties but you cant keep up that pace forever so I just enjoy the odd outing these days, plus having two kids makes the day after a night out a bit more challenging so I couldn’t do it all the time any more even if I wanted to!
Swipester - 10. Your house is on fire. After making sure your families are safe, you are only allowed to retrieve one hardware item from your studio, excluding hard drives & laptops. What is it?
RG - Hmmm, presuming 'laptop' would also cover the pc (complete with drives inside) then it'd have to be my record deck - gotta have something to play my records on!
Gaffer - I would try and save my decks although I suppose technically that’s two items, not that it matters as I would have already been burnt alive by that time trying to get all my vinyl out!!
Swipester - 11. What’s next on the horizon for Paranoid?
RG - Well I'll be taking more of a back seat now as got very little spare time any more. I'll still be involved with the cover designs & helping find the tunes. I also want to try and finish a couple of tunes which I really wanted to put out on vinyl, but again - need to find the time & the money for it - also really depends on how this current vinyl sells whether I'll risk that or not.
Gaffer - Well if people put their money where their mouth is and buy the first release then there will definitely be more vinyl to come, we will have to wait and see on that one. The third CD release is out tomorrow and we already have about half a dozen tunes signed for the forth CD so that will be out at some point in 2011. Other than that more DJ gigs (hopefully), more of Gaffer hijacking the Renegade Radio airwaves with guest shows, maybe try and sort out a live PA gig somewhere so that RG can jump about a bit whilst pretending to play the keyboard, ha-ha! More of trying our best to bring hardcore breaks to the masses and eventually world domination!!
To check out GAFFER and RENEGADE GENIUS and all the latest news and releases from PARANOID RECORDINGS, visit http://www.paranoidrecordings.com/
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