Hype Label of the Month: Monologues Records
Hype Label of the Month: Monologues RecordsDecember 19, 2021
Gomori started the imprint as a reaction to the issues he saw pervading the scene’s established imprints, and decided it was time to do things differently. By putting the artist first, Gomori has been able to support exciting newcomers like Laurence Guy, Leon Revol and Anna Wall, while providing himself a platform for his own music — released how and when he sees fit.
It’s been a winning formula so far, which is why we caught up with Gomori to find out more about running during the pandemic, his thoughts on crypto and the blockchain’s potential disruption to record labels, and what’s next for Monologues Records. He also provided a playlist, featuring some of the imprint’s biggest releases.
Hi Ben, how has your 2021 been?
Challenging, but rewarding. I was dealing with all the lockdowns reasonably well and then I got (long) COVID and had the four most awful months of my life. But since then I have been making up for lost time, loving life, making some positive personal changes, having a few great gigs, feeling very grateful and content and making some music I’m really happy with. Like Joni said, “You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone,” and I’ve felt extremely thankful for everything I have and life returning mostly to normal.
You established your label as a response to “frustrations I experienced releasing my music on some well-established labels,” with a mission to “support other artists I love where releases would be promoted properly and where we could all help support each other.” How is your mission going?
I guess it’s going pretty well insofar as I’ve definitely provided a good platform for all the artists I’ve signed and I’ve done everything I can to push their music, and hopefully given them the best experience of working with a label possible. In terms of my own music, it’s definitely refreshing to be totally in control of what I release on the label and how and when I release it.
What’s been the most challenging thing about running a label since the pandemic began?
Releasing music made for dancefloors when there’s nowhere to dance. I was pretty gutted about releasing two EPs from the amazing Manakinz during fallow periods but it’s just how the release schedules fell.
And what’s been the most rewarding or unexpected highlight?
Having a bit more time to think about ways to promote the releases visually and online has definitely been a positive.
Tell us about the A&R process for Monologues. How do you decide on what to sign?
It’s a mixture of people sending in demos and me going after producers that I like. I’m looking for something memorable — chiefly, stuff that makes dancefloors move. I’m trying to be as choosy as possible these days about what I take on board and make sure it really excites me.
Is there a new Monologues artist you’re especially excited about?
Manakinz (Sub Club legend Harri and Max Raskin) have been my favourite producers of the last few years. Every single time I play one of their tracks out, people go wild. They just know how to engineer tracks to make dancefloors go off. I can’t get enough of them. Devante Embers also has a very bright future ahead — his debut EP for us has had really great reactions, and it’s unusual to see an artist’s first release get the support it’s had, from Beatport to Spotify to BBC Radio 1.
Over the years, has there been a release that really surprised you in terms of how the public reacted, good or bad?
I was really surprised about how little our last vinyl sampler Dialogue Vol. 4 sold, to be honest. It had four really strong tracks from amazing producers — all of which I had thoroughly road-tested and continue to get great reactions in my sets to this day — but it just didn’t work out for some reason.
Do you think NFTs, crypto or the blockchain will change the record label model in any way?
No. No and maybe.
What’s next for Monologues in 2022?
I’m going to be focusing mostly on releasing my own music on the label, but we’ve also got another killer EP from Manakinz lined up. We’ll have our 50th release coming up and I’m trying to think of something special to do for that too.
Finally, tell us about the playlist you’ve made.
It’s a mixture of some of our biggest tracks from recent releases and my favourite tracks from our previous five years, showing the diversity of what we’ve put out over the years. Hope y’all like it!