Friday, December 6, 2013

Q&A :: Heath Looney [Warm Communications]

With the release this week of a new single from forward thinking American label, Warm Communications, we thought we'd get hold of owner, Heath Looney (also known as EHL), to find out how his year has been and what's up next for the label.

Hi Heath, thanks for talking to us. Warm Communications has been running for thirteen years now. What made you start the label back then? Are you happy with the label's progress over that time? 
Back when it started there weren’t that many independents pushing what I was into other than Good Looking, Moving Shadow and those kind of musical, atmospheric styles. So I figured I would take a shot at putting out my own stamp on things. Over the years it’s progressed into just a more wide array of styles representing what I’m into .

Do you feel like you've kept in touch with the values you set the label up on? How much has changed with regard to the way you run it? 
I still feel I’ve kept a really good grip on what I initially set out to do with the label. Provide music that is different with each release. I’ve never wanted each release from one to the next to sound the same. I want each release to sound different from the last and keep people on their toes. Regarding how I run it, I’ve just always tried to be as professional as possible and treat people fairly. There have been some bumps in the road occassionally, but that just comes with dealing with so many people. It happens and hopefully we all understand and come to a happy agreement. I love the relationships built within running the label. 

2013 has been a fairly prolific year in comparison to the past few. Was this planned or did it just happen organically? Can you see it carrying on into 2014? 
Yeah in terms of releases and the quality of those it has been one of our best. 2014 is set to be another great year. We have even more great releases coming by some of what we feel are amazing artists…very exciting to see what’s coming. Extremely humbled by everything that is happening. 

You've released a pretty diverse array of music this year, with the likes of Mako, Villem and Fields' Jungley banger 'Whatever Whatever' contrasting with Seba's smooth roller, 'Shades Of Me & You'. Do you have a favourite Warm Comms release from 2013? 
Yeah as I stated earlier, I never like the releases from one to the next to sound the same, so always doing a different 12" from the last is something I always strive to do. Regarding a favorite release this year….that’s a tough one and I’m going to give a horrible answer. I honestly have loved each one we’ve put out this year. They’ve each been so different in each other. Newly working with Mako, Villem & Fields was fantastic and we’ve become great friends. It’s always a humbling and great experience to work with Lynx (I just love his style and production). Seba is of course amazing and it was a complete honour to finally do something with Blu Mar Ten. Chris is a fantastic gentleman and very professional. 

We also saw the birth of the Umbra series this year which came with an interesting concept. Can you tell us a bit about that? Can we expect to hear more Umbra releases in the near future? 
The Umbra Series was just brought on by an idea of an anonymous series showcasing the music rather than “figures” as such. There is definitely more coming from that series, but in terms of the anonymity of it, it's hard to say. It’s really hard to sell records in this current market with unknown artists and digitally as well. 002 is coming and will still be vinyl & digital…so you’ll just all have to wait! 

You have another single on its way from Mako, who seems to be going from strength-to-strength at the moment. What can we expect to hear this time round? 
Correct and it’s out now on 12” & digital formats. This release is a stomper. A-side is a pure breaks fest being cut up, chopped and mangled into a growling dancefloor smasher. B-side is a sub bass half time number with rising pads and a very unique spoken word breakdown. Mako is always doing interesting things. You’ll see more from him on Warm. The guy is going to have an amazing 2014. Very happy to have him on. 

You've released music from some artists early in their career who go on to make big names of themselves; Mako, Resound and FD for example. Do you enjoy nurturing lesser known artists or would you say this is just a coincidence?
It’s probably more of a coincidence than anything. I just love a lot of different producers and what they are all doing. It’s always amazing to see them go onto do bigger things and hopefully one day warm communications will be the platform they are able to do that on. We gotta just keep on building, nurturing and putting out music we feel is great…[duh, isn’t that the whole point of a label]….you all know what I mean! 

What's next for Warm Communications? 
Don’t want to give to much away. Up again is the Mako release out now. After that sees a collaborative 12 by Need For Mirrors, HLZ & Mikal. Has a real tech step, late 90’s vibe to it. That’s about all I’ll give away for now, but trust me, we have some great music coming out in 2014 

Any final thoughts or shouts you'd like to add? 
Huge shouts to all the artists I’ve worked with and continue to work with. Always humbled by that. Massive shout to everyone at ST Holdings. Those guys are some of the most professional people I’ve ever worked with and continue to work with. They have true passion for this music and it’s amazing to be involved in that. Beau @ Masterpiece & Shane @ Finyl Tweek for always doing amazing mastering for our records. And big up to James @ Example, Jason Cook….you guys are a huge help to Warm! Lastly all the fans and buyers…you keep it all worth it and alive! 

No comments:

Post a Comment