Tracking Imprints: Taapion Records
We highly appreciate conceptional integrity of labels that have a clear vision and the courage of pursuing their initial values with consistency. Paris-based Taapion Records convinces with an artistic approach to sound aesthetic and artwork that eventually amalgamates to a piece of art that evokes emotions. We are big fans since the niche label’s inception in 2013 and thought to catch the founders of Taapion for our Tracking Imprints series just before the imminent release of catalogue number four.
Hi! First I would like to ask who is behind the Taapion label and what are their respective musical backgrounds?
Taapion is composed of Shaun (Shlømo), Adrien O (AWB) and Adrien G (PVNV). We all have different musical background. Shaun comes from electronica and used to listen a lot of movie soundtracks. Adrien O has a new wave, indie rock and hip hop background but also movie soundtracks as Shlømo. Adrien G has a hip hop, dub and indie rock background.
When did you launch Taapion? Can you tell us a little bit about the vision of the label?
Taapion was born in September 2013 after one year of thinking about what we really want to express, about the vision we want to provide. The label aims to give an emotional and cinematic vision of techno. This expression also involves the visual, that’s why we work as hard on the artwork and sleeves as on the sounds we want to provide. We are kind of manufacturers, producing something sensory through the touch and the sound.
How would you describe the label’s sound aesthetic? Should people be able to associate a certain sound with a label?
There is no specific sound but one specific atmosphere. We want to give a shape and an atmospheric texture for every track we release and try to mix it with visual texture through the artwork. Are people able to associate a certain sound with Taapion? In fact, we aim for that people are able to associate each release with the same emotion.
You had a quite successful debut with Shlømo’s The Harvest EP including mixes of Edinburgh-based Stephen Brown and Rotterdam’s Conforce. How did you choose the first tracks for the EP and why did decide to include remixes at the very beginning?
The selection of the first tracks was a long reflection between us because it defined our personal vision of electronic music. As for the remixers, we chose them because we booked them few months ago at different parties. Conforce is one of the favourite producers of Shlømo, and now he’s a friend of the Taapion team. Concerning Stephen Brown, we all love his work and we think that it was important to have a techno master at our debut project.
What kind of stage performances (DJ/Live-act) can we expect from Taapion artist? Do you plan label showcases?
We play all DJ sets, sometimes together under our alias Taapion Soundsystem. Shlømo & AWB got a b2b project and they played a lot together. Concerning live acts, only Shlømo and PVNV have one until today. Yes, we are planning some label showcase recently, it’s actually easier now because AWB & PVNV just joined Shlømo in Rising Management for bookings.
We read recently a provocative quote: “…when u release ‘vinyl-only’ you aren’t actually only releasing vinyl. You’re just letting someone else release it digitally.” What influenced your decision to have only physical releases and how did your international fan base respond to it?
We totally agree with this quote but when we decided to create Taapion records, we wanted to set up a global artistic project. This is why we choose to launch a vinyl-only label, associate a handmade sleeve or a graphic and design artwork with the music of each EP that defines our vision of Taapion in this period. Taapion is not only about music; it’s more about feelings & emotions, listening and visuals. In spite of many demands about a repress of the TPN001 (approximately 2 requests per week during 1 year!), we didn’t want to repress it because of the difficulty to made the handmade sleeves and inner sleeves. Therefore, we’re showing our will to define each EP as a piece of art. We think that our fan base understands this concept.
What is your approach to sleeve design and artwork?
When we started to think about creating a record label, the visual side was as important as the sound aesthetic in our reflection. Sleeves, artwork and music are deeply linked with each other.
Pierre Boisson is the visual artistic director of the label and we are working closely with him in order to be as precise as possible on the artwork creation. As we said earlier, it’s first of all a question of feelings and emotions created by the sound that is eventually translated into an image. The idea is to create a unique piece of art that you can hold and listen. For us, sleeves are the first step of the artistic process when you grab it at the record store, release after release it mirrors the different chapters of the story.
Do you have a preferred mastering studio?
Not really at the moment. We followed advices from our mentors of Dement3d Records. They are working with different mastering engineers and pick up the right one according to the sounds we propose on our releases.
How important is video, social media and the selection of the right distribution company for promoting the label’s output nowadays?
Well, video has always been a way of talking about music and developing a musician’s ideas. Its one of the only media tools which has survived the digital tsunami. Videos are evolving time after time with the possibility now of making it. Getting a superb video clip nowadays is not only reserved to major artists anymore!
Social media arrived with a new generation of artists, who are growing up with these new tools for talking with people behind a computer. It became a new way of sharing. But now we discovered the professional side for social networks especially. It’s really intense or more precisely, it’s kind of stressful sometimes. Honestly speaking, however, almost all the promotion comes from our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that are like satellites.
Talking about distribution, it could be a really deep conversation, because it depends how you want to deal with getting your records known from all over the world, or if you want to keep an eye on the selection of records stores where your products go. Sometimes label director prefer working with small distributions, keeping the relationship really close but somehow it also closes some doors from getting out of the elitist circle.
What’s next at Taapion?
As you know, The fourth release will be released on March, 24th. The following one will be the first solo EP of AWB, co-founder of Taapion, and is planned just before Summer 2015. And then, Shlømo will be back with his debut LP before the end of the year. Lots of good things coming up, so stay tuned.
Taapion Records 004 by various artists will be released on 24th March 2015.
Taapion Records on Soundcloud