Beatport Hype: Moment Cinetique

We catch up with Dave Platts — the brains behind the captivating Sheffield-based label, Moment Cinetique — who hands over an exclusive mix and details the current sound and momentum behind his imprint.

14 min
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Jun 10, 2021
Cameron Holbrook

The warm and groovy label Moment Cinetique has been on a roll lately. With its jazz-oriented and sample-heavy approach, the Sheffield, U.K.-based imprint has become a surefire destination for deep, undulating house music since launching in 2018.

Run by Dave Platts, Moment Cinetique’s release roster includes names like Carlo, Last Nubian, Intr0beatz, Felipe Gordon, Sweet Fruity Brunch, Cassettes For Kids, and more. The label’s latest offering — a two-track from Parisian producer John Tareugram titled Nebulous Loveis a prime example of the label’s feel-good sound that has gained support from acts from across the house music spectrum.

We caught up with Dave Platts to learn more about his label’s catalogue, sound, overall vibe and aesthetic, and what the imprint has in store for the rest of the year. In addition, Platts has provided an exclusive mix that includes some of the label’s forthcoming releases and other noteworthy Moment Cinetique tracks that he believes flew under the radar. Listen to the mix in the player above and check out the interview below.

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Tell us about how you first got into the rave scene. What kind of role did music play in your household growing up?

Music played a huge role in my house growing up. My dad played keys and brass in a Soul/Disco band in the ‘70s with whom he played on Top of the Pops and toured with some decent acts such as Heatwave, plus he’s a huge fan of prog rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer, so my brother and I were bombarded with Hammond organ and Moog synth solos from an early age. I achieved grade five on piano before becoming obsessed with turntables and DJing in my early teens. I’m sure my dad would have been disappointed I stopped playing but he was supportive in setting me up with my first set of decks

You first started out as a hardcore DJ at age 13, correct? How did that eventually transition into your love of disco, house, and deep house?

We used to go to my mum’s friend’s house after school whilst she got home from work and her nephew Chris, who was older than me, had a set of decks that I found spellbinding. I grew up with a large group of friends in a small, Yorkshire ex-mining village where hardcore and the harder styles were all the rage; there wasn’t much house music knocking about. I became obsessed with the energy of it all and DJing from the first tape someone copied for me from the Xmas party local night called Uprising in Sheffield at the end of ‘95 — I’d never heard anything like it

I was pretty late to deep house after playing hardcore, hard house, then D&B at various nights over the years. I’d always collected house and disco records, but never played it too seriously. I was actually long retired when I designed a flyer for a Sheffield deep house promoter. We’d talked about my previous DJing exploits and then suddenly she’d put me on the line-up for the next event! I had no suitable music to play so jumped online to grab some tunes and fell down a rabbit hole of a genre I’d never really explored before but fell in love with. Intr0beatz’s ”Les McDee,” Art of Tones’ “Rainbow Song” and Leon Vynehall’s “House of Dupree” were some of the first tracks I remember buying

How and when did Moment Cinetique come into existence? Who are some of the people/artists that were integral in getting the imprint up and running?

I’d helped to run another label based out of Sheffield for a few years but wanted the output to go in a different musical direction. By this time I’d been mixing around in the scene and making friends for a few years, I thought I had enough of a network to make a fresh start.

The artists are just people I’d been talking to online for a while, playing their tracks on mixes, swapping ideas, etc. They’re mostly producers I’ve reached out to via SoundCloud after spending hours trawling through everything and finding something that caught my ear. Plus there are owners from labels with a similar vibe that are open to helping out, as I am if anyone wants some help or advice. Producers we’ve worked quite a lot with such as Sweet Fruity Brunch and Last Nubian are guys that were in a network of other similar labels who I just reached out to, most people are pretty sound if you just drop them a message.

DJ-wise, has supported us from day one on his UGS show and incredibly popular mixes, which we’re incredibly thankful for. I still enjoy hearing a “Jeesssuusssss” over a new track we’ve sent him for his Sunday show, haha. Other established DJs, such as Carlo, Art of Tones, Dam Swindle, and Fouk also picked up our releases early. Again, most people are helpful and easy to chat to if you’re polite and support their music.

What have been some of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of running an independent label in 2021? What are some of the other labels that you work with closely?

The last year has been a test. A combination of Brexit and the pandemic have delayed and hampered the vinyl market so we probably won’t be releasing on vinyl in the future until it’s sorted — the prices and delays have gone through the roof. Digitally I think the biggest issue is just the sheer amount of competition. There can be 300-plus releases a week in your genre alone, so it’s tough to get noticed, but we don’t do too bad. We only put out five or six EPs a year, so have time to give releases decent exposure and promotion. I don’t know how labels that put out a couple of EPs a week have the time.

Our artists do seem to all work with a small pool of labels, plus I do talk to other label owners to share ideas and tracks but we don’t really work that closely with any. Maybe Flat White Records from Leicester but we mostly talk about what a pain it can be with various aspects running a label rather than anything constructive, haha.

Tell us a bit about Moment Cinetique’s vibe and aesthetic. How has the artwork evolved over the years?

Musically, the vibe is more or less anything I like personally that’s a bit different, and I just hope someone else will too. There’s bits of everything from deep to disco, dusty/twisted hip-hop influenced tracks to straight-up house music.

The direction of the artwork has changed a couple of times. Primarily we had simple science-based black and white sketches but noticed other labels had started to doing similar, so we then moved on to a series of sketches we scanned out of a 19th-century French encyclopedia we’d found online but eventually, we ran out of them so that was the end of that.

When the pandemic came at the beginning of 2020 I personally had more time on my hands so for the new releases I decided to put together some brightly coloured compositions of random images as I thought it was a bit more eye-catching and different. They’re supposed to all have some relationship with the release’s title, but for some reason they all turn out a little dystopian. I guess that’s just been the general vibe of the last year.

What are three Moment Cinetique tracks that hold a special significance in your heart? Can you tell us the stories behind them?

Intr0beatz’s “Mandolinio” was our first release on vinyl, which out its first run and got a lot of support from DJs such as Kerri Chandler, Dam Swindle, Luke Solomon and many more. It was the first release of ours that really got talked about and has got a big reaction the few times I’ve played it out to crowds all around the country.

Sweet Fruity Brunch’s “Disco Spider.” I held back the release of this EP as lockdown was on and I thought it should be played at big, happy, summer parties, but they never turned up. It ended up doing pretty well anyway with lots of support from DJs such as Dave Lee and Melvo Baptiste, who are DJs in scenes we’d never connected with before. It never fails to make me smile with Nick’s incredible live keys creating a pretty unique feel-good track.

Last Nubian’s “I Left” (Carlo Remix). I love every track on Last Nubian’s Crying on Jet Skis EP — both originals are great examples of Tre’s high-quality productions, but this is the first time we’d worked with Carlo, who I’d met DJing down in London, and he’d supported us for a long time. It didn’t do too well on vinyl as it was released the week the UK went into lockdown and all the record shops shut, which was very frustrating as half the stock sat in a warehouse. However, because it came out then, it featured really heavily on streams from people’s kitchens, basements, empty clubs, bathtubs, etc. We were constantly getting tagged, which cheered us up knowing our music was getting out there in such a dark time.

What can we expect to see and hear from Moment Cinetique in the near future?

Things are a bit all over at the moment. We don’t plan too much ahead as things change, but we do have a couple of releases coming up this summer that we are excited about.

Andy Ash is a producer we really love and he makes his debut with us, including a remix from up-and-coming London Producer Kristy Harper, plus one of our favourite regulars, Tiptoes, returns with a really interesting five-track EP.

Tell us about the mix you’ve put together for us.

There’s a few tracks from forthcoming releases from Andy and Tiptoes plus some of our best-sellers alongside some tracks that we feel unfairly went under the radar when they came out. It’s a mash up of several styles we push through the label.

Cameron Holbrook is Beatportal’s Assistant Editor. Find him on Twitter.

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