Kieren Williams Details Shall Not Fade's Six-Year Anniversary Compilation

We speak to Shall Not Fade label founder Kieran Williams about the label’s new storefront and plans for its six-year anniversary.

9 min
Shall Not Fade six year anniversary storefront
Nov 19, 2021
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By
Cameron Holbrook

Its been another breakthrough year for the Bristol-based label Shall Not Fade, and since we last caught up with its founder Kieren Williams back in January of this year with our Label of the Month feature, the imprint has continued to shower the underground with a torrent of cutting-edge sounds.

In 2021 alone, Shall Not Fade and all of its various sub-labels such as Time Is Now, Lost Palms, and Basement Tracks released over 90 various LPs, EPs, singles, remixes, and compilations. These records come from acts like Berlin house aficionado Cinthie, jazz specialist Felipe Gordon, breaks and electro wiz Kessler, and others like Meg Ward, Laurence Guy, and Subjoi.

As the Shall Not Fade’s ever-expanding catalouge continues to cement itself in the annals of electronic music history, another important development for the label is just around the corner — the opening of its very own storefront in its hometown of Bristol.

Ahead of the opening of this brand-new multipurpose record store and music workshop, we quickly caught up with Kieren Williams to learn more about the space, take look back at the past six years of his essential imprint, and catch a preview of the label’s annual and coveted anniversary compilation, Six Years Of Shall Not Fade — dropping December 17th.

Shall Not Fade six years

Thanks for joining us, Kieren! Now that we’re approaching the end of 2021, how was your year? Any highlights you’d like to tell us about?

The year has been difficult for everyone, but there has been some incredible music made and it’s been amazing for us to be able to work on so many exciting projects. We feel very blessed to have been able to continue working through this crazy year and offer a form of escapism for many through the music we’ve released.

This year for us has been mainly focussed around continuing working with our core family of artists, as well as welcoming new members to the family through our new Killer Cuts & Classic Cuts series, including artists like DJ Poolboi, Lis Sarroca and Marc Brauner, amongst others. We’ve also had the pleasure of welcoming some of my favourite artists to the label, like Cinthie, Kessler, Byron The Aquarius and Interplanetary Criminal.

The label is about to drop its annual end-of-year compilation with 6 Years of Shall Not Fade. How does this year’s record compare to previous years?

This year’s anniversary record is our first-ever triple vinyl package consisting of 24 tracks. It was probably the most stressful project to curate, but the one I’m the proudest of. Each record focuses on one of our imprints, with disc one shining a light on Shall Not Fade, disc two focusing on Time Is Now, and disc three on our series like Killer Cuts & Classic Cuts. It was amazing to bring together so many members of our core family, as well as inviting some of the artists we’ll be working with in 2022. Our in-house designer James Lacey (Pointless Illustrations) created a stunning piece of artwork and helped bring the project to life through his trademark characters for Time Is Now and illustrations.

What are three tracks on the 6 Years of Shall Not Fade compilation that hold a special significance in your heart?

Cinthie – Crystal Groove

We couldn’t celebrate our birthday without welcoming Cinthie to the party, her recent Free Fall EP on the label was one of my favourites of the year. Cinthie brings the jackin’ groove to “Crystal Groove,” bound to do some serious damage in the clubs!

Kessler – Pipe Dream

Kessler’s productions blow me away every time. His Ambivalent EP for our Basement Tracks series is one of my favourite records we’ve ever released. There’s so much emotion in his productions and so many different sounds. His productions seamlessly merge D&B, breaks, techno and garage, creating a truly unique sound.

Adelphi Music Factory – Come Back To Me

This track really reminds me of some of the older SNF catalogue, especially that of Adryiano — fun dance music that’s perfect for the clubs. I can’t wait to play this in the clubs real soon.

You just opened up a brand new record store in Bristol. Congratulations! How did this vision become a reality and how do you feel now that it’s about to open?

Being from Bristol all of my first musical experiences lie in this system, whether it be attending the weekly Dubloaded parties run by Pinch & Blazey or buying records at Rooted Records on Gloucester Road.

I’ve always felt a massive connection to Bristol. We left the city for one year and moved to London, which wasn’t really for us. We quickly came back to Bristol and set up our offices here. Covid and general gentrification hit Bristol’s art and culture scene hard — more and more venues are closing.

I’ve always dreamt of owning a record store having started collecting records at the age of 15. Me and the rest of the Shall Not Fade team wanted to give something back to Bristol and help to try and continue the growth of Bristol’s incredible supportive and welcoming scene. When this premises came available, right in the centre of town by the world-famous St Nicholas market, we instantly knew this was the space.

Opening our doors on December 4th, the space will serve as a record shop selling all the releases on our labels, plus some of our other favourite labels and artists. We’re also opening a plant shop – Plant Works — within the space.

Tell us a little about the music industry courses that you’ll be offering at the Shall Not Fade shop next year.

We’re excited to share that we’re starting two new three-month music industry courses, taking place in their new shop on St Nicholas Street, Bristol. Starting in January 2022, these will be in label management and developing DJ skills.

Sessions will happen twice a month on the first and third Monday of the month over a three-month period at Shall Not Fade’s new central Bristol store. 50 percent of each course’s places will be available at no cost for 18 to 24-year-old disadvantaged individuals. The aims of the courses are to give more young individuals the opportunity to work in the music industry and create a more diverse music industry for the future.

As a label, Shall Not Fade feels that the music industry has a responsibility to be a more inclusive and welcoming place. We hope that through these courses we can help shape a diverse and inclusive music industry of the future for people of all backgrounds.

How are you looking to kick things off for Shall Not Fade and your various sub-labels for 2022?

We’ve got a lot of really exciting stuff planned across our labels for next year, keep your eyes peeled!

Preview the ‘Six Years of Shall Not Fade’ compilation below — dropping December 17th.

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

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