Electronic producers Ikonika and Optimum have teamed up to form London-based electronic label Hum + Buzz, where they have been releasing their own tracks as well as those from Dro Carey and soon Glamfranklin, whilst their new release comes from NY's Brenmar. Here we speak to the label honchos about what's to come from their fledgling imprint and the array of r'n'b to techno influences that shape it...
Dazed Digital: How do you pick the artists you release? Is there something in common that runs through all your signings or a sound you’re looking for?
Optimum: Just really strong, original, interesting dance music is the common theme. We've approached artists that we like so far, but always listen to demos.
Ikonika: I think the pattern emerging right now has got something to do with our love for ‘unobvious’ club tunes. I’m into tunes that don’t necessarily make you wanna jump up around and hit someone as you wait for the drop, but more so those that create an eyes down kinda vibe. Tracks with elements of R&B, House and Techno.
DD: What were the reasons behind starting the label?
Optimum: Wanting to contribute to the scene within our own aesthetic, to help push new artists as well as having a home for our own productions.
Ikonika: Yes, it’s really a place to give light for artists we feel should be recognised for their auteur tendencies. Guys like Brenmar and Dro Carey to us are making very unusual dance floor music.
DD: How do you feel your own sounds (productions/DJing) has changed or progressed over time?
Optimum: I’m adding the final touches to my next Hum + Buzz release. It’s still exploring similar themes to ‘Max Power’ (Planet Mu) and ‘Light Year’ (Hum + Buzz). I made DS10 using the Korg DS ‘game’ for Nintendo. I’m really into creating tracks with limited equipment and basic sequencers.
Ikonika: I’ve had a fairly quiet year, I’ve been exploring different styles that are much to do with older house and techno. I think it’s because I explored electronic music at a later age, so I am trying to now to live it. It’s a bit like being nostalgic in a dream.
DD: Who/what are you listening to at the moment?
Optimum: Glamfranklin (whose EP we’re releasing soon), A$AP Rocky, Omar S, Jhene Aiko.
Ikonika: Mosca’s tunes are literally invading my sets. Old Joey Beltram trax, Jam City yes definitely and the Rustie album.
DD: What are you most excited next for Hum + Buzz?
Optimum: We’ve had a great year releasing my 12”, Dro Carey’s ‘Candy Red’ and Brenmar’s ‘Let’s Pretend’ EP. The Ikonika ‘I Make Lists’ EP is up next, something we can’t wait to put out.
Ikonika: It’s really intense being in total control of your next release. This EP was supposed to be released in the beginning of 2011, but I was a little indecisive. It’s finally complete and it should start our 2012 nicely.