Techno music zones in an out of our music playlist during the year until summer arrives and your flights and destinations are booked. For those sure fire ravers, bent on hitting every club and being so inebriated that the only time they will sleep is on the flight home, then techno and electro are the ultimate clubs to hit essentially being the sounds of your summer. And there is no other person that knows techno music like label owner Daniel Gavilán going by the moniker Greencross. But with the summer now at an end and the more sober versions of yourselves begins to resurface as you now drown in the reality of that back to work syndrome, you may have wondered what it takes to run those clubs or own those labels and those great bands and build great artists? We interviewed the label boss as he talked us through building his dreams and the dreams of others.
You’ve DJ’ed in some notorious venues, do you think that your industry has become more soft and more commercialised?
DG: I think there are still places where you can listen to good music. However, yes, the actual scene is more commercial-oriented. I don’t see this as a set-back though. This opens the ears of many young people who will eventually become fans of underground music.
You’ve also worked with some incredible names and travel to some of the most exclusive destinations was there any point where you felt like that this could not get any better or was there the desire to achieve more?
DG: There has been always a desire to achieve more. Over the years I’ve got used to the achievements reached in a very fast manner, therefore the need for getting to higher milestones is always there. Always planning the next moves, in silence.
How long have you officially been a label for?
DG: Different Is Different was founded in 2010 and it’s active since then, with over 130 releases, 100+ artists and with 24 references yearly.
As the label’s head what have been some the major challenges that you have faced?
DG: The main challenge was launching the label itself, almost all by myself (but with a little help from my friends) The second biggest challenge to keep it still running after seven years. Everyone knows how hard is to maintain a digital record label nowadays.
Could you tell us about some of the new artists you have added to the label and about their sound and new material?
DG: There are many surprises in the pipeline for this year.
We have a Ken Ishii original dropping very soon, with a remix by a veteran of techno we can’t disclose at the moment. Ken’s style emerges from a techno realm where the elements used to construct the music are atypical, leading to more cutting edge sounds and an overall feeling of the music that is like if you were inside the Technodrome.
New originals by our friend Sascha Zastiral with his signature Detroit techno sound, are to be out very shortly. He uses mostly analog synthesizers. One of the highest quality producers we are happy to be able to release.
Also new originals by the Icelandic duo TRPTYCH, after their recen release “Obsession”. They have this huge-sounding dark style of techno that is just wonderful. Mostly modular and analog gear, and other external synthesizers. You can check out some great videos on their website http://trptych.com
For next year we are pondering the question of releasing original music from techno ladies only. There’s a certain unbalance on the scene, and we would like to contribute towards the balancing it by signing new tracks from women.
In the next 5 years what do you want the label to be remembered for?
DG: If the label is still running in 5 years from now I’d be grateful someone still remembers it (laughs). Now seriously, I’m doing this because I’d like to remember about the great artists and producers that have worked with the label, all the traveling, meetings, parties and everything that involves running Different Is Different Records. I don’t know how the people will want to remember the label, but I certainly hope they will remember it as a great source for new music of established and up and coming artists.
How do you select who you sign to the label? How do you know who’s the one?
DG: There are three main factors that have taken electronic music one step further, in my opinion: Social media, digital music production tools, digital DJing tools. Social media have given artists the chance to reach a wider audience, while keeping a more direct approach to their followers. Digital music production tools have brought the opportunity to make people to create their own music. While this (together with social media) has contributed to the overall amount of “noise” (not so great music) to reach unprecedented levels, I also believe we have never seen such an amount of great music being created. Digital DJing tools have brought the next level of live performances, while many DJs prefer to stick to the good old two turntables setup (with timecode or plain vinyl), others have opted to embrace the new technologies, bringing their performances to the next level. For example, Aphex Twin’s latest setup is very simple, while at the same time complicated. He uses Traktor DJ hooked to a portable modular synthesizer, marrying both the analog synth world with nowadays cutting edge DJing environment.
Will you be touring or any of your artists this year?
DG: Ken Ishii has just confirmed his USA tour for December 2017. Tom Hades will be coming to our Different Is Different Records Label Showcase in Austria where he will be sharing the line-up with my partner in life Martina Krassnigg aka Miss Electric, and Different Is Different Records’ newest roster addition Christian Braun aka Braunton. I will be performing in this showcase as well.
Building a label is no easy feat, so looking back on it now, would you say it was worth it? And what advice would you give to someone if they came and said “Daniel I want to build my own label?”
DG: It surely was worth it, however, some sacrifices needed to be made. As an artist, running a record label requires performing management tasks that might take all of your time, and creativity in the process. It certainly drifted me away from music production, or mowing the lawn haha. This is why I recommend that if you are thinking of starting your record label, ask yourself: can I dedicate 100% of my time to it? If the answer is yes, then go for it!. The world does need more people curating and releasing great music! If on the other hand you think you will not have too much time for dedicating to your record label, then there are companies like alma.audio (http://alma.audio) who will help you with everything related to launching and managing your record label. This way you only have to select the music and keep doing the important things, while your label is ran by a team of experts.