R&S The Best

The legendary record label hit London's XOYO with some of their finest signings, including James Blake, Pariah and Space Dimension Controller

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James Blake

Long championing the best in electronic music, R&S Records, recognisable for its distinctive Ferrari-inspired logo, made its name by acting as home to records from the likes of Aphex Twin to Detroit legends Kenny Larkin and Derrick May. Originally set up by Renaat Vandepapeliere and Sabine Maes in Belgium, British A&R Dan Foat and Label Manager Andy Whittaker then took charge of the label in the late noughties where the relaunch saw big name producers like Optimo or Radio Slave and crossover bands like Delphic grace the traditionally techno-dominated label. Releasing a surge of the more ambient and dubbier British artists, like James Blake's CMYK EP, Space Dimension Controller, and Pariah's album, has meant a broadened R&S roster, far from the earlier sounds of CJ Bolland or Joey Beltram. Foat churns out an exclusive mix for Dazed ahead of their party at XOYO this Saturday to showcase the best of R&S today. 

Dazed Digital: You've had a range of artists on R&S crossing a variety of genres, is there a certain sound you're looking for? 
Dan Foat: If we can come close to emulating Renaat's success of the 90s then I'm sure people will understand R+S' longstanding manifesto to release innovative electronic music. The roster over the years - Aphex Twin, Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Joey Beltram, CJ Bolland, Carl Craig, Kenny Larkin, Jam & Spoon et al, speaks for itself... The certain sound I'm looking for is a really good one.

DD: How do you feel your labels sound has changed / progressed over time? What triggered the relaunch over the last few years?
Dan Foat: I'd like to think that the artists I've signed to R+S this year are a continuation of the label's tradition of bringing through the best electronic artists on the planet. Irrespective of genres the current crop of James Blake, Pariah and Space Dimension Controller are breathing life into R+S much the same as the pioneers of the 90s. Lazy journalism will throw a million new genre names at what we're doing but the mission statement has been the same since 1983.

DD: The new night and compilation are called In Order To Dance, do you feel all the music on the label can be classed as 'dance music'?
Dan Foat: The In Order To Dance compilation has been around for years showcasing our annual releases. I've decided to bring it back in 2011 featuring exclusive tracks from James Blake, The Chain, SDC, Pariah and a couple of very high profile guests, it's the perfect way to round off a great year and the party is a chance for us all to get together in one place as everyone has mental DJ schedules at the moment. The XOYO gig features all of our artists and I also invited my friend Bullion to come and DJ as he's perfect for the upstairs room. In terms of our output, I feel that we release some of the best electronic music around at the moment, if people want to call it dance music or indeed end up dancing along to it, than that's great, as you can't beat a big room of people raving can you? 

DD: Do you feel XOYO line-up accurately represents your label at the moment as a showcase or more indicative of your personal taste?
Dan Foat: Well aside from Bullion the artists involved at XOYO are the core roster of R&S, so that's about an accurate representation of where we're at in 2010 as you're going to get in one night. Even new signing Blawan, yet to release what is going to be a big EP in 2011, is joining us for the evening. If it was about my personal taste then I'd invite DiY Soundsystem, Larry Levan, Frank Tope and Stevie Wonder along too.

R&S Mix by Dan Foat - Tracklist:

Pariah - Orpheus - R&S
Pearson Sound - Blanked - Hessle Audio
Kenny Larkin - First State (Catatonic Mix) - R&S
Blawan - Shader - R&S
James Blake - Klavierwerke - R&S
Pariah - The Slump - R&S
Model 500 - O.F.I (Bullion Remix) - R&S
Mount Kimbie - Blind Night Errand - Hotflush
James Blake - Postpone - R&S

Sat 27th November; In Order To Dance: James Blake, Pariah, The Chain, Space Dimension Controller, Bullion play XOYO, 32—37 Cowper Street, London EC2A 4AP

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