UK techno has never done so well with Decoy
Fred CARBONE | 14th February 2018
Decoy is a UK label launched by DJ and producer Rebekah in 2012. Initially intended to promote mainly UK artists, the label quickly turned into a classic label by prolificly releasing artists from other countries. Rebekah and Rich Shafe, her label partner who manages Decoy now, have been since the start looking for good quality techno with a proper effect on the dancefloor. Hence the music is tested and approved in the field before signed on Decoy.
With 49 EP in its catalog, Decoy positioned itself as a major ambassador of the UK techno scene, with a strong taste for the Birmingham Techno esthetics, reminding the sound of Surgeon or Regis. In fact, several artists from the Birmingham scene like Jake Conlon, who made his debut release on the label, Chris Colburn, Chris Finke and Chris Page. Alongside this, the catalog includes remixers like AnD and Ansome, rather known for their saturated techno, and the Croatian Insolate with her Miss Sunshine project. Sometimes groovy, sometimes industrial, Decoy's Techno interests and surprises, and manages to maintain its initial artistic line and own values: UK techno has never done so well with Decoy.
LABEL BOSS: RICHARD SHAFE
You have started Decoy 6 years ago. What was the reason for starting the label and where does the label name come from originally?
Well Rebekah and I actually started 2 labels that year. The other label “Parlez” was intended to be the main label, (in the deep house & tech genre). I forget exactly how the name happened but ‘Decoy’ was intended just to be a ‘sub’ label with maybe a couple techno releases a year. It was around the same time as Rebekah’s signing to CLR and her move to Berlin and I guess the techno just took over… we were being sent a lot more techno music than anything else – so all the focus then went to running Decoy…
Do you listen to all the demos that you receive? Do you also take into account the person and their ambitions as a producer ?
I think ive listened to 99% of them. It makes no difference who the producer is. Its the music has to deliver.
There are only EP's releases on the label. Is it a deliberate choice or you had already thought about releasing some LP's ?
I think when a release has like 4 or 5 original artist tracks it can be considered a mini LP – we have had a few of them i.e the Skaliger EP ….also the Tom Hades & Irregular Synth EP . If someone sends me a full artist LP tho, id definitely consider it
What has been the release that has been sold the most, and have you expected such a success for it before releasing it?
The Blawan Remix of ‘Corpus Delicti’ (Chris Page) has always been the best selling track, but recently the Flug Remix ‘Dystopia’ (Tom Hades & Irregular Synth) has been catching it up fast
What is the most challenging thing in running a label ? And the most exciting one ?
The answer to both questions is similar ….Sourcing material is the most challenging thing I found – its also maybe the most exciting thing when you know you are about to release a really big EP. Its also nice tho to receive positive feedback from the really top DJ’s in the world , which were doin a lot more often lately
What’s coming up next for Decoy ?
Atleast 10 releases planned before April this year , some slightly deeper techno and a little minimal aswell mixed into the usual style.. and we’re planning a monthly podcast soon that will be available on our soundcloud page.
"NOT TO MISS" RELEASES ON THE LABEL
Jake Conlon - Danica (Inigo Kennedy Remix) [Decoy 05]
Birmingham born Jake Conlon signs his very first EP on Decoy in 2013. Resident DJ at Resonance, Jake is inspired by artists like Surgeon and Jeff Mills, very palpable influence in this EP. The original title "Danica" hits by heavy kicks and a swirling atmosphere, the remix of Innigo Kennedy sublimates it by adding ghostly dark synths.
Chris Page - Corpus Delicti (Blawan Remix) [Decoy 02]
London-based Chris Page, DJ and producer, signs the second release of Decoy with two reverberant dark industrial sound tracks. Blawan's Cropus Delicti remix remains truer to the original than Finke's remix of the track "Counterfeit Innovator",
He nevertheless restores the percussive elements in a smashing mess.
Rebekah - Central Hall [Decoy 017]
Just this once, Rebekah loves percussion and this can be noticed. Her track "Central Hall" (also remixed by Ansome in a more stripped genre), is a charactesried by a firm rhythm by kicks coated claps to give an intense dynamic, fast and heavy. The back and forths sinister synths matches the whole thing to create a dark and powerful atmosphere.
Liza Aikin - Knife [Decoy 047]
This Berlin-based DJ and producer released her first EP on Decoy. An artist discovered thanks to his quality as a DJ and techno lives very percussive. Coming from from drumbass and breakcore, Liza Aikin focuses on a little more binary rhythm with her track "Knife". An excellent sound design work with the rhythmics that makes it very quite distinct.