West Midlands-based label Rotation Deep launched their first LP, Definitions of the Deep, a little over four months ago. Such was the success of part one, that coming back to the table with a follow up was a no-brainer! Despite only being formed in 2010, Rotation Deep has been in overdrive to bring to the fore singles and EPs showcasing some of the deepest drum & bass out there. Having initially introduced the label to Kmag readers back in September, it was only natural to sit back down for a catch up with the Rotation crew and chat about part two.
So, how did Definitions of the Deep go down?
We were truly blown away by the positive feedback received from DJs all over the globe. We were always curious to see how the LP would be received but overall we feel we achieved what we wanted to, and that was to introduce a new wave of perspective to the genre that is drum an bass. After the success of the first LP, we felt it would only make sense to continue with a series of LP's based on the same format. It's fair to say, if you rated the first LP, you will not be disappointed with the second instalment.
Since the release of Definitions Of The Deep it looks to have been a relentless three months on all fronts for the Rotation Deep crew; one EP, three singles and of course selecting and signing the tracks for Part II. Would you like to talk us through it all?
Yes, it's been a busy three months to say the least - five Weetabix and Red Bull for breakfast is the typical Rotation fuel to get us going at the moment! The singles and EP were already scheduled to be released. Signing the tracks for the LP seemed surreal, with all the tracks just seeming to come at once and fall into place. We asked Stunna if he would like to remix any of the tracks from part one. He agreed and did a big job on Deeper Connection's Hold Me Down.
So we knew that track was confirmed, but the rest seemed to come in week by week. 30 Tracks seemed a bit excessive, but I'm sure you will agree with us that there isn't a track not worthy of being on the LP. From deep liquid to deep minimal, there is something for everyone on there. We also added a couple of singles we had signed previously, to bring the diversity to the LP that Rotation is renowned for. I think it's fair to say we definitely went all out on this one - there is even a dubstep track on there. After the first LP, we knew we had to come up with something special and that's exactly what we did.
Last time round you advised we 'get out the diving gear'. What's the situation this time round, how DEEP is Definitions Of The Deep Part II going? Is it the sort of business that might require a submarine?
Part II is the deepest we've ever been. Trying to encapsulate extremely emotive, deep Drum & Bass took high priority for Part II. Naturally, there is diversity on the LP. But, yes, a submarine would be imperative!
The cuts we've heard from the Definitions Of The Deep Part II embody a spectrum of talented artists and tightly produced tunes. How did you go about locking down such an array of tracks for the album?
We had to decide on the content we wanted to include on Part II, to keep the series moving as a follow on, but also bringing something new to the table at the same time. With Part II, we definitely went down the lush route, with many soulful and emotional rollers. If you like your pads, then you're in for a treat… we're not talking about iPads either! Keeping the tracks locked is a task within itself. Even within a 24hr secure studio, tracks would still get leaked.
Good communication and positive attitude is the key. There is so much negativity in the scene and it's important to not get caught up in it. Maintaining the consistency of quality control is important to us. We have found, since the end of the vinyl era, there seems to be a lot of un-mastered, poor quality mp3s on the market. Whether this is a case of tracks being leaked early before release, is another story. You won't stop piracy. You just have to look at all the positives it brings , view it from a different angle.
Was it exciting to link up with the likes of Blue Motion and Slaine, with whom you have collaborated with previously, whilst also switching it up and giving some producers their first release?
We always try and point artists who send us demos in the right direction. We discover so many new artists daily from around the globe. We have many keen producers sending demos, wanting to get there foot in the door. We make sure we reply to all artist inquiries, whether by email, aim, fb, twitter etc... even if we are not feeling the demo, we always pick out the good elements of the track and get back to them with some constructive criticism. A bit of courtesy goes along way. It's time consuming, but it pays off in the long run.
It's important to encourage the next generation of artists. We see so many young artists progress quickly within the scene. We like to think if we can point them in the right direction from the outset, they will recommend us to others - it's all about maintaining a good reputation. We always enjoy debut artist releases. On this LP, we have Venture, Sharpenski and Ficci making their debut. All under 19 and amazing artists of the future. We know they all have bright futures ahead of them and it's only a matter of time before people start to recognise. If you look at many artists from the first LP, you will see they are now rolling on big established labels. Releasing new, unknown music is something that all labels should be open to, even if it means taking risks. It's all about knowing your beats.
We can only thank the likes of Blue Motion, Stunna and Jrumhand for having faith in us. After rolling on so many establish labels for so many years, it's nice to have them on-board. It is truly an inspiration to us and others. Part I was all about bringing in a different array of artists and maintaining quality production all round… this one will take you on a journey you won't forget!
You offered up-and-coming producers and opportunity to re-work Scenic & Advisory's track First Sunrise in a remix competition, with the winning remix being awarded the 30th and final track space on Definitions Part II. By the sounds of the entries on the Rotation Deep soundcloud, you've had no shortage of quality edits to choose from. Can you enlighten us as to who is the overall winner?
After many hours deliberation we agreed, with Scenic & Advisory, to go with Fracture Design's Remix of First Sunrise. It really is something else. Fracture Design managed to keep the original elements intact, as well as adding a beautifully simple, but quirky, splash of pizazz. The finished track really is out of this world. We didn't expect so many fantastic remixes from all ends of the drum & bass spectrum and, as the winner was so difficult to choose, we decided to release an EP consisting of the four runners up: Ficci, Submatic, LM1 and Fuse. This will be released on Rotation Deep in April this year!
What else has Rotation Deep got in store for 2012?
It's full steam ahead for 2012, focusing mainly on our website. But we also have got a stack of epic releases. EP's from Venture, Sharpenski, Ficci and singles from Bassflo, Tidal, JayleRoc and Pro Luxe. Quite possibly another instalment from the Definitions Of The Deep Series as well.
There is also going to be a weekly Radio Show featuring artists from the label. This will be available to download each week, via the Rotation Website. Were also looking at remix comps, making videos for releases and a possible vinyl release later on in the year, so I think it's fair to say it's looking good. Catching up with some of the artists from the UK out on the road would be cool… putting a few names to faces after all this time is something that must be done in 2012!
Where can people get hold of a copy if they want one?
Digitally from 35 Stores Worldwide from 29th January 2012, including Beatport, Itunes, Juno etc, and the double CD is exclusive to HQ Muzik, Birmingham, from 29th January 2012. Or Email us direct at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
If your local to the Midlands area, keep your eyes peeled for store exclusives at Hqmuzik. If you would like to submit a demo, contact us at AIM: RotationRecs. Also, a big thanks to Colin Hancock, Matthew Centonze, Richard Plotneck, Allan Cowie and all at Rotation Deep.
Words: James Paterson
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