If you have been keeping an eye on our socials, you may have noticed that we are turning into quite a bit of Gergaz Netlabel fanbois. And, given the consistent quality of their releases it is not surprising at all.
Founded in 2008 by three young Slovakians, Gergaz Netlabel has been quietly releasing fantastic music by artists coming from a diverse background. Their Beat Garden Compilations are to die for! We highly recommend to grab one of these if you want to get a great overview of the Gergaz sound and artists, of course. Even if you are familiar with chunky exprimental bass music styles, many of the artists on their roaster may not ring bell at first glance (not that it matters though!). Best would be grab a nice drink, sit back and start exploring their music, and you will soon find that they touch upon more than just your usual bass/beats music tips. There’s glitch, there’s trap, there’s some dub, and there’s abstract hip hop…and then there’s something more!
We were lucky to have a small chat with one of their label heads about label’s story and everything that goes into running a DIY experimental music label.
Keep an eye on our pages for next few days, because we are about to throw an exclusive Gergaz Netlabel showcase for our next DE:HYPE session.
Could you please walk us through Gergaz philosophy and artists? How did you discover them, and why you decided to sign them up?
There always were quite a lot of artists and projects around trying to introduce their music to public. Many of them were unsigned and struggling their way up. This was our case at the time and that was why we decided to create GERGAZ, a platform that would allow and help artists in that situation to show their talent.
That is how it started. It’s 3 of us behind GERGAZ, each of us looking for music that may fit the label or simply, the music we like. When we find interesting stuff we get in touch with the artist and take it from there. Some of the GERGAZ artists were recommended by friends of ours, some by other artists. The decision to sign them up was always based on our music taste at the time. Some of the EP’s or albums that we have released in past are quite different to the music we release these days but perhaps in 2 – 3 years time we might sound completely different again.
Our main source for finding new music is, for sure, Soundcloud. All the artists that we follow are following someone else, comment on and recommend tracks. If you keep checking that you will find huge database of quality music.
What are the metrics for the kind of music you decide to put out on the label?
There are no metrics really. We are into electronic music and that is pretty much it. We do not wish to be labeled as for example “beat music label”. We are very open to anything and will release whatever we like and find interesting.
Do you tend to be highly selective with the demos and A&R?
The way we work is that each of us should like the demo since we have similar taste in music. We have little “pros and cons” talks about the demos if one of us got different opinion, and then it’s either we go for it or we don’t.
How challenging is it to run an experimental music label such as Gergaz? What kind of challenges you have faced? And, how do you tackle them?
Since GERGAZ is DIY label the main challenge is the time and the finance factor. We work on GERGAZ after work, mostly nights and weekends. With some delays it’s still manageable. Finding the funds for physical releases, merch, etc. that we are planning to do is bit more difficult. We mostly cover the expenses to run the label from our own pockets. Stuff like buying the Bandcamp downloads gets covered by the much-appreciated donations from our fans and supporters.
Are the releases only in digital format? Are you planning on the physical releases in future?
So far digital only but we are about to change that in near future.
So what would be your advice or tips for those who might be considering setting up such a record label?
Be patient and allow enough time to build up the audience. It’ll cost you money but don’t give up. Follow those unsigned artists you like. Sooner or later they will upload something worth releasing. Compilations tend to be great source for new artists so do listen as many as you can. Don’t be shy to get in touch with known artists as well, you might get lucky.
There is so much experimental movement going on in the bass music subculture in Europe (also in North American scene) for the past few years. Where do you see this heading in a couple of years?
Difficult to say, the music is changing rapidly. It’s tough to even keep up with it. There are many factors affecting the music. It’s like a fashion. People are bringing back clothes from 80’s lets say, mixing and matching them with something current and adding other elements in order to create new look. The same is happening with the music. I guess we would just have to wait and see.
What is planned for 2014 for Gergaz roaster?
We’ve got a lot of plans for this year, some already in progress. Most of them we would like to keep to ourselves for now. I can say that we are about to release Slovak project Fallgrapp that you might know from our latest compilation. It would be something new for us since it’ll be our first release in Slovak. This may not work for everybody, but since we have considerable amount of Slovak and Czech fans now, and we really like Fallgrapp’s music, we are going ahead with it.
Then, it should be Jimmy Pé’s debut album. Something I am personally really looking forward to. Stratasoul is also working on his album for GERGAZ. Originally his EP should have been released last year but later on he decided to go full length. He is pretty busy guy so he is not sure when the album will be completed, but it should be this year. To summarise it, it looks like most of the releases this year, and we are proud that say this, will be by Slovak artists.