How did you get into doing what you do?
When did the first idea to create the label come up? Well, the label game began for me with one called Voidance that I ran with a friend of mine named Hammy a few years ago. In around March 2019 +98 emerged however the concept had been in motion for a while before the first actual release. The label stemmed primarily from wanting to build on an idea with my own creative direction and to create something tangible I.e. Vinyl, merch, a brand etc To date we’ve had 4 releases with the 5th one planned for the beginning of 2022 Our first two releases were limited to 300 pieces and for the past 2 we increased it slightly to 500 but we will always aim to keep it to limited amount of hand-stamped vinyl that will be available.
From which country do most of your buyers come from?
The UK & Germany being our biggest markets atm Which release are you most proud of? I am proud of all the releases, they all each have something special and have taken the label closer to its objectives. Our focus is more on quality than quantity which is rare in a time where a lot of labels are lowering levels of quality control just to keep up volume and keep their business afloat
Can you describe to us what a typical day at the office means to you?
So, the main spine of my day consists of listening to music, making music or playing music. Once we have a release coming up than it will be layered with anything from picking colours, stamping records, distribution etc
Who’s in your team?
At the moment there are only two of us involved with the running of the label, myself and Krystal. She deal’s mainly with the day-to-day running of the label while I focus primarily on the music/artist side, however nothing is set in stone and we learn to wear different hats at different times.
Are you a Music Producer or DJ?
I’m both a DJ and Music Producer Which sales channels do you use? We supply businesses and directly to customers Which distribution channels do you use? Hitting Record stores direct is our main source of distribution with some vinyl going via KMA Records here in Berlin and of course directly on Bandcamp to our followers.
Did you use youtube and how strong / weak the impact?
We do upload the tracks on YT however we do focus more on the YT blogs who we enjoy the content that they upload. It’s a great source to find new music as the suggestions that it gives on listening history can really give you gems.
Have you ever helped yourself with buying clicks & plays on soundcloud?
Never and never should anyone ever do such things. Don’t fall for the traps of trying get to your goal faster than is intended for you, build organically. Where do you find young, hungry, and ambitious artists? Not sure about young but hungry and ambitious is what we seek usually. There are so may channels now to find new artists e.g. Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Youtube, Online record stores coupled with their online presence playing big factors in our searches. Also, I like to inspire the artists I have around me to make their interpretation of the sound of UKG & +98
When you look for new music to sign what are some key elements and factors you are looking for, aside from it being a great track obviously?
One of the pillars of the label is our focus on club culture so club orientated is a must, Relevant style, creative content, and levels of mixing are also important factors.
How would you describe the style and vision of the label?
I grew up in-between 2 different cultures as did Krystal and there are many others like us, mixed heritages, immigrants who have adopted a western culture as their own. We try to reflect that in all aspects of the label from visuals, imagery, artwork, colours, merchandise etc. We all have a unique way to see the world and we should all have an output. As it says best in our labels statement: We are about integration. We are about multicultural acceptance. We are about putting power back in the hands of the creators and the artists.
What are some sites or apps that you use to listen / find new tracks?
Online record stores mainly I.e. KMA, Hard Wax etc also Soundcloud and Bandcamp. Youtube is also a great source with those blogs I mentioned earlier and finally to some extent online streaming services like apple music, it has a possibility to connect dots which previously wasn’t possible.
For producers out there sending in their demos via emails, what are some tips you would give them on professionally sending in their track to you?
To ensure they send direct streaming links I.e SoundCloud private link and keep it short but sweet for any intro ;)
+98 was established with the goal of breaking downbarriers and promoting diversity within the electronicmusic scene.
The current face of the Electronic scene does notaccurately represent the ethnically and gender diverseculture of the modern day electronic scene. It is thelabel’s founding ethos that club culture isfundamentally about the encouragement of the freedomof expression regardless of background, belief, race,culture, gender or sexuality. We are about integration. We are about multiculturalacceptance. We are about putting power back in thehands of the creators and the artists.+98 is a belief. It’s a rejection of society’s existingdivisive values all the while creating a more inclusiveand multicultural one.