Flask Records: Loops Haunt and Samoyed

Kinsmen in sound releasing the generically undefinable through their home-grown label.

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Although in its infancy, the Dundee-based, grassroots label Flask Records shows a mature passion for the nurturing of Scottish electronic musicians. The founding figures of Flask are Samoyed and Loops Haunt; two producers who are cut from their labels ideological template of offering experimental sounds that are at once serenely effortless and technically provocative. Loops Haunts' sold-out, visceral 'Rubber Sun Grenade' EP is well timed for his support slot on the May UK tour of math-rock outfit 65 Days of Static, whilst Samoyed is busying himself with a PhD in Product Design and an Architeq remix for Tirk Recordings in March.

Dazed Digital: Describe your sound.
Samoyed: Loops Haunt has variously described my sound as "like monks picking up leaves with warm towels", "like an old person slowly forgetting something" and "like Enya having a warm bath." I'll leave it at that.
Loops Haunt: Like being punched by a friend - painful and complicated - but I'm working on it.  

DD: Describe your live acts to us.
Samoyed: I make music using my own software, which doesn't save anything.  There's only so much I can prepare, so each time I'm starting pretty much from scratch and improvising, and it's always completely different. So it's very intense and involved for me, but visually from the audiences side, it's just a lad looking a bit confused, pushing flashing buttons on his monome and adjusting knobs. Sonically, though, I hope it's more interesting. I love volume and bass just as much as more beat-driven producers, and I try to affect people really viscerally when I play live.
Loops Haunt: I play slices of loops and ideas from loads of unfinished tracks mixed together.  I also remix my finished songs jamming on the sampler and effects - it keeps me on my toes but it's good fun to play, and I've managed to play a different show every time, give or take a few of the same parts.

DD: What made you begin a record label?
Samoyed: It never really felt like starting a record label to be honest. We're a very close-knit wee family.  We all make music or art or design and it just made sense to get something together to put our work out in a format that we were happy with. Everyone's good at different things;  I'm a product designer so it's natural to me to try to do something interesting with packaging, Scott [Loops Haunt] is the talented one, DJ Shortbread has ADHD and forces us to get up early and do stuff, Sam Mast is beatifically calm, the Ghillie does the best ET impression, etc.

DD: How will Flask Records develop this year?  
Samoyed: We've got a cracking record called 'Grouse Beat' on the way from The Poacher and The Ghillie, which sounds like three Victorian Angus crofters tele-ported to NYC circa 1981. That's going to come with some beautiful screen-printed artwork by Nicky Stewart, and a screen-printed Mast book and album set called 'Saturday'.

DD: What do you gain inspiration from?
Samoyed: It maybe sounds tacky, but Scotland really inspires me. I spend a lot of time in the Highlands, and I think my music's a bit of an attempt to catch that weird, contradictory counterpoint between wildness and warmth that so much of Scotland has. It's the best place in the world.

DD: Do you feel it's important to support Scottish artists on Flask Records like yourselves?
Loops Haunt: Absolutely.  It's such a nice home-grown label; you know there isn't going to be any bollocks, we're putting out hand-made, beautifully printed, limited edition releases.  Releasing on Flask is something that's going to be a real treat for people, and because it's tiny but well respected it's always going to hold its values.
Samoyed: I think it's important to support artists from our part of the world that wouldn't really get an outlet otherwise. I count myself especially in that bracket. I think it would have been really difficult for me to get a release with another label since my stuff's not that immediately accessible, but probably not out there enough for the real experimental heads.

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