Pure House Music


interview by Ollie Brooke

Deeper Motions is a new Australian Deep House record label based in Melbourne run by Mike Gurrieri. With releases from CPen, Deep house Soldiers, Matt Bandy, PC Synergy and Karu already out Ollie Brooke decided that it was time to get the low down with their newest release from Fresh & Low...

Hi Mike and thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us.

My pleasure mate!

Let’s start at the start, info and background on the label is pretty scarce on the web so would you care to fill us in on the basis and set-up of the label, why did you set it up?

As a DJ, I was finding it extremely difficult to find the tunes I was after. A lot of my favourite producers all seemed to be releasing records quite scarcely, and many of the record labels were disappearing at an alarming rate.

As the digital revolution started to really take shape, I decided this was the time for me to get involved within the house community on another level by starting a label.

The idea was very simple: release tunes that reflect my taste in music from artists I have a lot of respect for, and share them with the rest of the world. Its quite similar to DJ’ing really, just in a more business-like sense I guess!

Hopefully by getting the music I love out there to other DJs around the world, the artists chosen to work on the label will be able to both maintain & grow their fan-base and continue to produce the great music they do.

Interesting, so how did you go about securing such big players in the deep house scene? How did you get them to take you seriously, especially since you run a digital label?

It was just a matter of getting in touch via email or Myspace & taking it from there really. I guess you would have to ask them why they took me seriously - I suppose they can see where I'm coming from with the label just as much as I can see where they're coming from with the music. And that's why its working so far!

As an Australian based label one might be forgiven for thinking that you’d have a bit of an uphill struggle existing in the market you do, i.e. Deep house, which is traditionally an US/European, centred sound.
What are the main disadvantages you’ve had to overcome to get the label to the point it is currently at?

I suppose the main disadvantage would be not being able to meet & deal with people in-person. When an artist gives a demo to a label, or a DJ gives a demo to a promoter, its always best when done in-person, and with running a label its no different. I try & make up for this as much as I can but it is very difficult.

And can you tell us about some of the advantages of your geographical location?

I think the main advantage is the instant surprise people get – which I think gets people excited! When I travelled to the Winter Music Conference in 2006, so many people freaked out when they found out where I’d come from! “Deep house in Australia?” Yeah, it sounds a bit strange, but I think it just shows how universal the music has become, and that is a sign of growth, and that can only be a good thing for the scene.

Obviously the Internet has had a pretty big role to play for you in this whole project. It’s effect on the music industry in general is well documented and receives pretty mixed press, what are your thoughts on it’s pros and cons and where do you see the dust settling in the future?

There are still quite a few people who don’t respect a “digi-label” and blame it as a reason for why the dance music scene is in the state that it is. Some people love vinyl, and everything about it – I have nothing but the upmost respect for those people. I am one of those people – I still go record shopping, and will update my collection for as long as I can. Working in various record stores & distributors over here, I witnessed the sudden demise of vinyl – which was not a good thing. However, I believe dance music needed to embrace change in order to grow.

As far as purchasing music is concerned, the DJ-market is so well advanced ahead of the average consumer I don’t think this is a massive cause for concern. We are the guinea pigs in this new way of purchasing music, and you have to take the good with the bad. It is constantly evolving, and always will do. The formula is not perfect right now, but I don’t think anyone is saying that it is either. If everyone plays their part by supporting the music in the right way (i.e. legally obtaining it), artists will continue to make music, labels will continue to release it, DJs will continue to play it & everyone will continue to love it. The music should be everyone’s primary concern, not the format it’s played on.

You’ve had some pretty big players working with you from Cpen to Matt Bandy and PC Synergy; tell us a bit about your selections for the label and what it is about these guys’s sound that sees them as candidates for Deepermotions?

They are all artists whose music I have thoroughly enjoyed over the last few years who I wanted to work with basically! I think its safe to say all of them go under the radar, I think a lot of that has to do with how deep their sound is. Matt Bandy is really starting to get noticed now I think, and I think you can expect big things from him this year. Artists like Cpen & Karu just do their thing, and that’s why they have such tremendous reputations amongst the underground community. They concentrate on making great music, not disposable music, and that’s something a lot of producers in this scene could take note of I think. I want people to feel that these tunes weren’t knocked up in a day, that there was some love and some purpose as to why they were written.

So to the Fresh & Low release, an outstanding one I might add, arguably their best single to date, tell us the background on this particular project if you will?

Well Calum Walker is someone I wanted to get on the label from the get-go. His productions as Fresh & Low and Solar House are some of my favourite records to play still to this day – they are timeless records.

I got into contact with Calum via another record label he has worked on, and it all went from there basically. It is very exciting to have such an artist on the label roster, and hopefully there will be more Fresh & Low releases on Deepermotions to come in the future!

With the increased penetration of the Internet into House Music how do you see the Australian deep house scene developing? Who for you are making big enough waves internationally that will put us on the map and what advantages do you see them as having over their northern hemisphere counterparts?

I think on a production-level we have never been in a better position. We have so many talented producers on our shores doing great stuff. The Random Soul boys in Sydney are topping the Traxsource charts with their Salted Music release and have a truckload of more stuff on the way. Also you have Lamanex, Ralphski, Ricardo Rae, Nathan G, aNyO, DJ Freestyle, the list goes on.

As a scene, there are some great parties going on too. In my hometown Melbourne, the HoolaHoop parties have been going on for just over 12 months now, and they are the best parties in town by far. Crazy Penis played live in front of over 900 people two weeks ago, which was great fun! Up in Sydney, the Monkey Tennis parties have always been on the money too.

Although the scene here is relatively small, I don’t think a lot of Aussie house-heads realize how small the scene is overseas – so by comparison, I think we have got it pretty good over here, and I only see it getting bigger & better right now!

Finally, can you tell us what the future may hold for you and the label?

I’m just going to take it as it comes really. I have no ambition to set out a monthly release schedule with this label and turn it into something its not. I’ll release something when something catches my ear and when the time is right. I want to focus on quality over quantity – and most of all, I hope people enjoy the music when it’s released.

Thanks for taking the time again and we’ll look forward to the next instalment on the label!

Thank you!