TimeSlave Recordings has just released their FutureSounds EP, a collection featuring artists on the label with proceeds going to benefit the Down’s Syndrome Association. Not only is the EP a must own for synthwave fans, the cause is a good one and worth donating to…the fact that you get this great set of tunes is icing on the cake! Speaking of great tunes, what’s on the EP? Why not check it out?
We had a chance to talk to the co-founder of TimeSlave Recordings, Enzo Van Baelen (EVB in the interview), and discuss the EP, what the label is up to these days, and how their brand is growing. Before we hit the interview, checkout the new video by Enzo Van Baelen. It’s fantastic and should set you up nicely for the interview that follows.
Echosynthetic: You’ve just released your Futuresounds Promo EP. How do you feel about the collection you put together?
EVB: I think you’re seeing the development of the artists on our roster and the evolution of our take on synthwave. I’m proud of my track Fireball, which is my take on the 80s hip-hop style electro I heard around my Step-Dad as a kid. And I think people will dig Kid Neon’s new track, plus the first release by our new signing: PsyKat
But the EP is a teaser for a much bigger project that we’re extremely proud of. Shameless plug here, but we’ve got a limited edition cassette run coming out in a couple of weeks and I’m like a kid at Christmas waiting for the finished product to drop through my letter box!
The compilation – FutureSounds Volume 1 – is basically the best of the label’s work so far, as well as some guest tracks by some of the scene’s bigger names.
I have to say that we are extremely grateful to Jordy (aka Timecop1983), Droid Bishop, Futurecop!, Vampire Step-Dad and others for donating their art to be part of something we think’s gonna be pretty special.
Echosynthetic: You’re donating the profits of the EP sales to the Down’s Syndrome Association. Can you tell us more about this partnership?
EVB: I’m one of three brothers, including Kid Neon and our youngest brother Jacob who has Down’s Syndrome. It’s a special cause for us and because most of the founding members are old friends it was an easy decision to make really.
I don’t want to bore people with an emotional pitch but I think having someone in your life with Down’s changes your outlook. He’s the happiest kid in the world and the most entertaining person I’ve ever met. Charities like DSA are helping to open people’s eyes to that, and I’m happy to say that attitudes have changed loads since I was in school.
Echosynthetic: Your roster has grown since I last covered TimeSlave Recordings. What can you tell me about your new talent?
EVB: PsyKat is an old friend who, like me, had a background in Drum & Bass and Garage of all things. His first track was the result of months of hassling by me but he’s got the bug now and technically speaking he’s gonna be right up there real soon.
Ethereal Delusions, who you’ve covered, is teaming up with us for the compilation and for a couple of small releases and we’ll see how that develops but he’s an exciting talent for sure. We’ve also got some new guys coming soon, and we’re talking to producers from Wales and Australia at the moment! Exciting times.
Echosynthetic: What are you looking for in artists that you sign?
EVB: If I’m honest, we’re making this up as we go along! That’s the ethos as much as anything, and we are looking for new artists who want to be part of something from the floorboards up.
Obviously a bit of talent and passion are vital, but people can see us doing this completely independently, almost like a collective, and they like that indie attitude.
Echosynthetic: Do you accept solicitation or do you prefer to scout out diamonds in the rough?
EVB: Some partnerships are emerging from the FutureSounds project, where people have donated tracks, but in the main people have approached us. We’re not ruthlessly scouring Soundcloud or anything like that.
Lars Lennarth is a case in point. He got in touch with us after hearing some of our early stuff and we just loved the darkness of his sound, which is the very opposite of what me or Neon do.
Echosynthetic: As a synthwave label, is it more important to push the genre envelope or stay on course with what fans currently enjoy?
EVB: This is a genre with so many variations and styles so there’s plenty of space to explore. Just look at the difference between Timecop1983, Carpenter Brut and artists like Com Truise. It’s like night and day.
There’s no strict rules for us, but I am suspicious of anyone who doesn’t like the film Drive. In fact, that’s gonna be the first question we ask new artists!
Echosynthetic: How did TimeSlave Recordings start? What is your foundation built on?
EVB: I can take some credit for this. I made my first track Rogue after years of thinking about getting back into production. But the idea for a label came after that, and the true founder members are myself, Cybertronix and Kid Neon.
Its official starting point is probably a drunken voice message to our whatsapp group last summer. It was a passionate, incoherent rant and I’d like to say it was as inspirational as Martin Luther King’s famous 1963 speech… But I’d be lying.
We’re old friends going way, way back and this whole thing is built on those foundations, and the passion and obsession of old mates.
Echosynthetic: What does 2017 have in store for the label?
EVB: Exciting times hopefully. A vinyl release, another album, and plenty of big new tracks from all of our artists – including the launch of FutureSounds. But there are some other projects we’re looking at, including dropping some merchandise and we’re also in talks about doing a soundtrack for an old school shooter on Steam.
Above all, 2017 will be the year of progress. We’re going to grow and grow. This time next year we’ll be millionaires… in Vietnam.
I’d like to personally thank Enzo for taking the time out of his busy schedule to chat with us. I can personally vouch for the products they’re putting out and I happily paid to help support DSA with my purchace. Be sure to check out the TimeSlave Recordings Bandcamp for all the latest news and releases by their artists! You can also follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.