Hype Label of the Month: Slightly Sizzled
Hype Label of the Month: Slightly SizzledSeptember 17, 2021
An up-and-coming champion of the bright and buzzing US West Coast dance music scene, LA-based DJ/producer Kricked has been turning heads over the past three years, serving up hot slices of tech house and micro house that have yet to disappoint.
With releases on labels such as Hottrax, Rawthentic, Rawsome Deep, Kultur, Purveyor Underground, and more, the main vehicle of Kricked’s immense production output is his own imprint, Slightly Sizzled Records — a tech house outfit born out of his weekly Los Angeles underground party of the same name.
Featuring releases from established and up-and-coming tech house acts alike, including Redux Saints, Papa Marlin, DJ Dan, Andre Salmon, Fritz Carlton, and more, Kricked and his Slightly Sizzled roster’s productions are gaining widespread support from dance music powerhouses worldwide.
And the tunes don’t stop there. Kricked’s sister imprint, Slightly Sizzled White, has locked into a fresh minimal deep tech sound that flawlessly compliments the bombastic beat and nature of his original Slightly Sizzled label.
To learn more about the Slightly Sizzled sound and the close-knit community that supports it, Kricked has handed over a phenomenal exclusive mix, and we caught up with the man to get a taste of what he and his label have got cooking in the studio.
Thanks for joining us, Kricked! How has the Summer of 2021 been treating you thus far?
Thanks for having me and featuring my Slightly Sizzled labels as Beatport Hype’s label of the month! I am incredibly grateful and humbled for the opportunity. I’ve been a fan and customer of Beatport’s for over 13 years now, so it is truly an honor to have our labels showcased in such a positive way on the platform!
This summer has been honestly quite tricky to navigate. As you know, the music industry and the pandemic haven’t been the best of friends and so trying to figure out what to do as far as deciding when it was the right time to accept bookings, when it was the right time to stop accepting bookings, was it acceptable to relaunch our Slightly Sizzled event series in Los Angeles or if we should hold off until the conditions of the world change for the better. Trying to find the balance between the morality of the situation and the legality of the changing environment has definitely been challenging, especially since everything seems to change on a daily basis.
Overall, things have been good despite all of the craziness this summer. For instance, I got married to my highschool sweetheart in May and explored some really cool parts of Mexico with my wife on our honeymoon.
How did you come up with the concept behind your label Slightly Sizzled in 2018?
I designed the Slightly Sizzled logo, which is a piece of meat that is getting grilled on the top of CDJs. The idea was that the tunes are hot enough to grill a steak to medium rare perfection. I started the Slightly Sizzled Records and Slightly Sizzled White labels because the polar extremes of house music that was being played out in clubs felt either “overcooked” (banger tech house) tracks or disengaged, “uncooked,” deep, 116 BPM “playa tech” tracks.
This was especially true for what was being released in the United States at the time and it didn’t seem like there was a whole lot in between those extremes, and so we aimed to bring our Slightly Sizzled minimal tech sound to light. The concept of a steak being “slightly sizzled” to perfection seemed to accurately represent what we were striving for with the label sound and so Slightly Sizzled Records came into existence.
Can you tell us about the relationship between Slightly Sizzled and its sister label, Slightly Sizzled White? We’d love to learn more about the difference in sound and your overall sonic and aesthetic approach to each imprint.
Slightly Sizzled Records, our minimal tech brand, houses modern-day acid tech, minimal tech house and maintains a bit darker vibe in comparison to its sister label. Slightly Sizzled White focuses a bit more on lighter, funky minimal house, but we still aim to showcase producers that fall in the scope of our signature Sizzled sound. You can tell the labels apart from the release artwork — if the Slightly Sizzled logo is black it is a Slightly Sizzled Records release, and if the logo is white, it is a Slightly Sizzled White release. I design the album artwork myself for both labels and I tend to use a bit more pastels for our white label artwork and a bit more contrast for Slightly Sizzled Records as far as aesthetics go to try, and align the visuals with the sounds that are coming out of each of the labels.
When going through demos, what are some of the key factors you look for before picking up an artist or track?
When sorting through our demos, we look for unique tracks that fit into our signature Sizzled sound. We like raw, well-balanced, minimal tech tunes that aren’t too overcooked and that bring a new edge to the label. We will at times go through thousands of submissions in order to find the next Slightly Sizzled release as we aim to showcase only talented producers inside the space that are creating their own unique twist to the minimal tech genre. It’s all about the music for us and we especially love to bring undiscovered talent to light in a big way!
What are two tracks on Slightly Sizzled and Slightly Sizzled White that hold a special significance in your heart? What is the story behind each of them?
“You Turn Me On” by Vales was our first Slightly Sizzled White single to break out and climb to the number one Minimal / Deep Tech single on Beatport. This was a huge milestone for not only our labels, but also for our artist, Vales, as this contributed heavily to establishing a well-deserving name for themselves. We release music from a lot of undiscovered producers that we love and so when our label successfully brings an artist into the spotlight and helps their growth, it is especially meaningful to us.
Another artist that holds a special place in my heart is Reber. His recent Slightly Sizzled White track titled, “As She Walked Into The Room” was one of my absolute favorite signed tracks that we have been able to release all year long. Reber not only sang on the track himself, but also delivered some of the freshest minimal house production that I have heard in years. I play it out every opportunity that I get and it always gets the room moving. I highly recommend checking it out and giving it a rip, the tune never disappoints.
What can fans expect to hear from Slightly Sizzled later this year?
We have some killer releases coming up on Slightly Sizzled Records from Gettoblaster, Chris Larsen, collab EPs from myself (Kricked) and my buddy Papa Marlin and another one with Jey Kurmis, as well as Will Taylor, and Steve Gerard. We also have some really amazing remixes dropping later this year from Junior Sanchez and Piem. Lots of exciting things to come on SSR!
As far as Slightly Sizzled White, we have sick releases coming from Paul Haro, Gabriel Evoke, Franco Villaflor, Cristian Merino, Sascha Sonido and Diego Lima as well as fire remixes from Nukem & Acid Kids. Tons of top Slightly Sizzled tuneage is on the way from both camps so stay tuned!
Can you offer details about the mix you recorded?
I wanted to showcase some of my favorite Slightly Sizzled tunes from both of our labels in the mix to give you a taste of what we are all about. The mix features music from Davide Mentesana, Relativ, Elinov, Gabriel Evoke, Gettoblaster, Chris Larsen, Papa Marlin, myself (Kricked), Vales, Vidaloca, Reber, Brown Vox, Steve Gerard and GUMP (UK).