Interview: Karakter Records

Interview: Karakter Records

Interview: Karakter Records

by November 2, 2017

We had the pleasure to talk with Karakter Records owner Pedro Martins about life, music, label and future…

Q. Hi Pedro, Hope all is well, We are pleased to welcome you here. Tell us what’s going on with you these days?
A. Hi Shlomi, everything is fine thanks. These days, specially after ADE are quite hectic. We are closing our first year as label with our upcoming release K005, which is still giving us some work.
I am also spending quite some time in my studio, finally finishing some of my music and last but not least there are 3 gigs coming up this month, one in Amsterdam and two in Lisbon.

Q. Tell us a little about your label Karakter Records, how the idea to establish it was born and who are the people behind it?
A. Karakter was planned in 2014 together with a friend of mine, Daan. By then, we had already thought in creating a label to release music we would support, regardless a style or trend. It was never meant to be a label following a specific trend or style just because it now “the thing”.
We kind of just didn’t wanted to go and run behind a train that is just passing now, if you know what I mean. As long as we would feel and resonate with it, that would be most important factor to go ahead, make a release and reach the people who feel the same.However due to life circumstances, the plan was put on hold for almost 2 years, until last year in December, when I decided to go on with the label by myself. After that, Guido came aboard and we have been running the label together since then.

Q. It’s no secret that there are lots of labels out there today, what are your guidelines when choosing the music for the label and what are you going to innovate that we have not heard before?
A. Well like I told previously, I think one of the most important guidelines is: In first place, as long that we would feel and resonate with, something that we feel and fully support. Also, we don’t receive that many promos and from those we have only released one which was the EP of Olsvangèr from Tel Aviv. The rest was just not interesting but bear in mind we have only received four promos during this year, all the rest of the music is made by friends on closer circle who we already know for a few years now. I like different and daring and thats of course where want to be but its also a delicate place. I think I just be faithful to my values and vision for the label and go on, thats it.

Q. What can you tell us about the next release of Karakter Records that will soon be released with a significant reinforcement of remix by no other than SWITCHDANCE?
A. K005 Art In Motion & Panorama Channel – The Last Adventure of Voodo Houngan, started when my friend Vicente from Rio de Janeiro (Art In Motion) went to play in Samara, Russia two years ago. I was in the middle and asked Andrey Kinly (Panorama Channel) to help him with a gig Russia. So, Vicente went to Russia, met Andrey, played in a nice club and then after they kept in touch and made “Last Adventure of Voodoo Houngan”. When the track was finished they showed it to me already with the intention of releasing it on Karakter. I was very excited and immediately called Marco (Switchdance), showed him the original and invited him to make a remix and sent all the files, without compromise. A few days later, Marco sends me a video clip of him already working in the remix and everything felt in place. I also feel that we needed this release and it arrives in the right time. Something stronger and a bit faster its a good way to close our first year.

Q. In the five previous EP’s of the label we’ve noticed that you don’t have a preference for a certain musical style. Is it important to you to be varied?
A. I think our style is, imaginative and intense music. Or at least I like to call it that. And to be imaginative and intense we don’t necessarily need to do the same thing or style all the time. I mean, to constantly do the same (or almost the same), its already per default not imaginative. So I think this variation happens naturally, also because they maybe reflect the concept and moment of the release.

Q. Karakter Records are based in Amsterdam, one of the most important cities in the electronic music scene that regularly hosts festivals and the most important events in the industry. How do you think this is contributing to your label and helps it evolve?
A. Definetly, a lot. The fact that Amsterdam hosts regularly festivals is good, the city is already very multicultural and those events make it even more. Some of my favourite festivals are not the mega big ones but festivals like the Georgie´s in Amsterdam, either the Wundergarten (Summer Edition) and the Wintergarten (Winter Edition) are just amazing. Wildeburg and Into the Woods are also great festivals, Paradigm Festival in Groningen is also a really good one. For us as local record label, we are very interested in hosting or co-hosting a stage in festivals like these and that is something we definitely want to do in 2018. It´s in process…

Q. There are a lot of artists who are currently looking for a good label for their music, can you tell them what you’re looking for and maybe Karakter Records will be the right place for them?
A. We are looking for music made from the heart, not aiming to fit any of the current trends. Forget the hype, make your own thing, be imaginative and who knows .. you might find your home or place on Karakter.

Q. Give us 5 names of your favourite artists you’d like to work with and even sign next year?
A. These names are actually in our list for next year: Zombies In Miami, Inigo Vontier, Fairmont, Yor Kultura and Simple Simetry.

Q. Karakter Records is making it’s first steps in the big world, where do you see the label in a few years and what can we expect in 2018?
A. For the next few years and always, I want to look at it with the same passion and feeling as today, otherwise I am gone. 😉 Where do I see the label? In Amsterdam, better connected, more exposed and very active.
Plans for 2018, Switchdance – The Black Tape Remixes and we are also studying the idea of starting to release vinyl.

Q. You recently visited Israel with your good friend Marco Antao AKA SWITCHDANCE, you had two gigs in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. How did you feel in Israel and its nightlife?
A. Yes, I loved it. Israel is very warm and welcoming, in my opinion. Eyal (Olsvangèr) and Lee Osi (Oska) brought us to Jerusalem, which is peculiar and haves a completely a different vibe. We were so well received by their crew at the Pergamon, I mean everybody, Haggai, Ran, the restaurant staff and Ilya were very nice and it felt like being with family somehow. Back to Tel Aviv for our night at the Bootleg and again we were extremely well received, this time by Lior (Bootleg) who hosted us and brought us for dinner at the Santa Katarina with the rest of the crew. Later at the end of that night, we left the Bootleg tired but with a good feeling and for that we are thankful. I would like to leave here word of appreciation to Ilya Margulis, Lior and the rest of the team at Bootleg, thank you for everything guys, from the heart. What more can I say, the nightlife in Tel Aviv is amazing, during 3 days I have visited to the Piano, Alphabet, Breakfast, obviously Bootleg and The Block already by morning, was always good fun. I think I made friends and I have good reasons to come back. 🙂

Thank you for having spent the time to let our readers know more about your label, music and thoughts!