Ritorna la rubrica dedicata alle etichette discografiche che più ci piacciono e questa volta, senza fare torto a nessuno, ci è riuscito un colpo davvero grosso. L´occasione ce la da l´imminente uscita del quarto volume della serie di compilations “Selected Label Works”, showcase pressapoco biennale delle releases targate Permanent Vacation. Al suo interno… il bendiddio. John Talabot, Pional, Mano le Tough, Tensnake, Roisin Murphy e tanti altri. Insomma la crema della crema. Per saperne di piú abbiamo intervistato Benjamin Fröhlich, assieme a Tom Bioly fondatore della label.
The name of the label may be a little misleading, don´t you think? According to it, one gets the impression that running a record label is like living “la dolce vita” 365 days a year. I´m sure you were just ironic when you chose it, right?
No No it’s not ironic, it’s a 24-hour party in our office. You know life is a beach.
The name Permanent Vacation actually derives from the Jim Jarmush movie of the same title. When we started the label we were -and kind still are- heavily influenced by the bubbling Balearic and Cosmic scene and so we just thought “ Permanent Vacation just really fits to the music and it’s just a nice utopia”. Of course, running a record label is work, sometimes stressful even annoying, but what isn’t at times, so overall we are not complaining.
How did you get to found the label and, did you already have a sort of masterplan in mind, soundwise? Were you inspired by other labels?
Tom and I started the label during the tropical summer of 2006. Tom had worked for another label and I had a record shop and we both had individually the idea of running a record label. As we share the same taste in music it was kind of natural to do it together. Our first release was the compilation “Permanent Vacation“ , which was luckily very well received and encouraged us to go on , but I guess there was not really a master plan. With Electro-clash and Minimal being very popular, we were going a bit through a musical lean period at that time, so when Balearic and Cosmic -which was quite popular in Munich in the beginning of the 90s- we felt very happy and excited about it and tried to create our own vision out of it. I guess we were more inspired by the whole movement than by a certain label. But also people like Lindström, Prins Thomas, Todd Terje and Dj Harvey were and still are an ongoing inspiration.
Take this question as a playful one: If you should be forced to explain to somebody that never heard of you the Permanent Vacation sound in just one word, which adjective would you use? Mine would be “melancholic” (I´m expecially thinking about Mano Le Tough and John Talabot now).
Ha really melancholic? I mean it’s for sure partly true, but it would probably not the first thing that it comes to my mind to describe our music. Uhh I always have troubles describing our music and now I only have one word… Uh that’s really tough. Maybe the word that describes the music best is…
Which is your most successful release so far, in terms of sales?
When it comes to 12” vinyl release it’s Antena “ Camino Del Sol “ -Joakim & Todd Terje Remixes- but back then you just sold more vinyl so it’s a close call between this one and 40 Thieves “Don’t turn it off “, Tensnake’s “ Coma Cat “, Azari & III “Reckless With Your Love“ and Midnight Magic “Beam Me up“ I guess.
And in terms of albums it’s John Talabot’s mighty “ Fin “ .
And which were in your personal opinion the highlights of the label so far?
Ah that’s like asking which one is your favorite child. Impossible to answer. We love every single one.
Can you tell us something about the forthcoming “Selected Label Works pt. 4”?
The “ Selected Label Works “ series is always about summing up the highlights from the past one or two years from the label. It’s always fun for us to browse through our catalogue and select about 20 tracks. There are some obvious choices, some personal favorites and some lost nuggets. Overall the compilation gives a good overview what Permanent Vacation is all about.
You release both digitally and on vinyl. Is vinyl still the medium to go when it comes to dj culture from a record label perspective?
Growing up with vinyl and having had a record shop for six years makes vinyl still the mac daddy of formats to me. I also really like the size of a record and the space you have for the artwork. But on the other hand I´am also not a big fan of the format discussion. Although you are perhaps a vinyl only dj you can still play shitty music. Sometimes I think people confuse it with a sign for quality, which I don’t think it is.
Which are your ways when it comes to discover new music and fresh talents? In your opinion sending demos to record labels is still the way to go for unsigned acts?
When it comes to finding new music and artists I really miss Myspace. It was just great to browse through and that you immediately could listen to the music. We find a lot of people there. These days I usually go through Soundcould when I want to contact somebody. Sending demos is fine, but if you do please take two minutes and consider whether your music really fits to the label you send your music to. Most of the time we receive very uninspired emails like “ here is my new deep house track for you to release I think it fits perfectly “ and in the header you see 20 email addresses of different labels. If you write a nice email why you send your music to this certain label, you increase your chances that people actually listen to your music.
Are there any musicians, DJs or producers who inspire you particularly at the moment and, that if money and time weren´t an issues, you would love to have on your label?
Oh there is so much music out there. More then ever before probably. Everyday you can discover new exciting music. I recently bought everything from Auntie Flo, also everything Axel Boman or Genius Of Time. I also really like Orgue Electronique and of course, our own artists such as Talabot, Mano le Tough , Pional, Lexx …and you will not hear a dj set by us where we don’t play music in which something of Phillip Lauer is involved.
If time and money weren’t an issue I would like to release a Lee Scratch Perry album produced by The Dfa. I think that would be a nice combination
Can you tell us something about the next Permanent Vacation releases and your plans for 2014?
The near future of Permanent Vacation will see a lot of 12” releases. Since we had bigger album projects with John Talabot and Mano Le Tough, we now have a lot of dance 12”s lined up. The next ones will be from Lord Of The Isles, Lake People, Walter Jones, Candyblasta and a good few surprises. Also in 2014 there will be the third issue of “If This House I Want My Money Back“, a new Woolfy vs. Projections album and many many more 12”s.