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Delia Recordings: The Horizon Is On The Horizon

Updated: 5 days ago

I met Delia Recording's crew for an interview about their brand-new Vinyl compilation and the quality craftsmanship accompanying it on its new musical journey.

 

1) Thank you so much for joining me here on the Balearic Breakfast Blog Simon, Matt, and Huw! It's an absolute pleasure! One of the first questions that came to my mind is, how did you guys start this whole adventure? We know that very often, a project comes from a dream, something we want to do. Can you tell us more about yourselves and share what drove you to launch Delia Recordings?

Matt: Why? So that the music doesn't just sit on a shelf in our studio.

Huw: And we realised all the music is coming from the same place – our community in

Nottingham – with Matt mixing all the tracks and producing a lot of the music, too. It has a

shared sound, a texture, and we wanted our records to be out in the world, filed alongside the records we love the most.

Matt: Delia Recordings is actually named after my mother, who sadly died while we were recording the Torn Sail album (a future release). While she was ill, she'd said I should "do what I want to do", which was permission of sorts to risk a pile of money and time on a wildly romantic venture. Not for the first time either, I ran a successful drum and bass label called Baltic in the late 90's.

Simon: There’s also a small nod to Delia Derbyshire, the electronic music composer, and TV chef Delia Smith; we’re very much a kitchen-table operation at this stage.

Huw: I’d been working with Matt over an extended period on the Torn Sail album and introduced friends and now label-mates Brown Fang, whose second album Matt has mixed. Simon had managed my old band, Earth The Californian Love Dream. He came in to create the label identity and push us well out of our comfort zone with ideas like our live Happenings and the idea of launching the label with this compilation record.

Matt: It started as a sampler with two tracks each from our upcoming Torn Sail, Brown Fang, and Shrinkwrap double albums, but as I curated, edited, and remixed it, it evolved into a record in its own right, an imaginary soundtrack more like The KLF’s ‘Chillout’.

Simon: It’s way more cohesive as a project than most compilations or mix albums, and I think people are listening to it as a whole record, if that makes sense. It’s definitely a label statement of intent too, an answer to any question about Delia Recordings.


2) With the resurgence of vinyl in the last few years, it seems you started at the "right moment". I loved how, on your new compilations' Bandcamp page, you stated " Entitled The Horizon Is On The Horizon (referencing both fastidious craft, attention to never-ending detail, and vinyl production schedules) it’s released on 26th April 2024 on heavyweight vinyl and old-school CD", laughs! Yet, it also seems that vinyl is going through many changes lately. Production facilities and producers are trying to be eco-responsible and produce less polluting records, just like you do. What are the pros and cons of such a decision?

Matt: The pros are it’s a little less damaging to our environment, which has to be a good thing. There’s no cons really, unless you want to do a small run of less than 300, then it’s really hard to use an eco-aware company.

Having said that, you are right – there is a move away from the polluting process of vinyl production. Some manufacturers are moving slower than others, which is why we’ve chosen to make our vinyl with a company in the Netherlands called Deepgrooves, which appears to be spearheading new eco-friendly processes and not just engaging in greenwashing talk. Their factory in a former prison in northern Holland is powered by 100% green energy, and after many years of research, they are now offering ISO ISCC-certified bio-vinyl with a 90% reduction in CO₂ emissions, the harmful heavy metals taken out of the manufacturing process, and no detriment to sound quality (in fact it is arguably better in the top end frequencies than old school vinyl production techniques). We were fortunate to be shown around their production facility by CEO Chris Roorda, and his warmth and enthusiasm for ‘making vinyl the right way’, as he put it, confirmed we had done the right thing.

Of course, there’s still the transport issue of moving the stock to the UK – vinyl is heavy! The boxes of vinyl just about fit in the boot of my friend's car – his mum’s new hybrid ‘family car’ that is very efficient on fuel – so we like to think we brought the stock back to the UK in the least fuel-consuming way!

We hope that the records we make ultimately end up on people's shelves, lovingly played, and not just thrown into the sea. Thanks to that charlatan, Mr Johnson, Brexit has made working with partners in Europe a bit of a bureaucratic nightmare, as we found out on our road trip to Holland to pick the stock up earlier this year.

We love the ethos Deepgrooves demonstrates, and they did a brilliant job pressing ‘The Horizon Is On The Horizon’, so, on balance, it was worth the drive to pick them up. We also spent a couple of nights in Amsterdam on the way back – so what’s not to like?!



3) Colleen played Nine Voices' "So it Goes" during the "Balearic Brunch" show aired on NTS every last Sunday of the month. I took the time to listen to the other tracks from your

forthcoming compilation and I was taken into a modern (yet light) sounding musical trip. When reading the credits, I saw you are working with Mastering engineer JP Braddock from Formation Audio. Another important decision while launching a Balearic record label, laughs! Can you share with us the sound you want to achieve within Delia Records and how important JP Braddock's work has been on this first release?

Huw: I don't think we're really trying to achieve a specific sound – it's a natural combination of each artist's aesthetic, with Matt's mixing and production bringing just enough consistency. We're lucky to work with really experienced musicians who bring deep craftsmanship, which wasn't the plan, but it's definitely a factor in the sound. Mastering is a small but vital part of that, making sure every detail is given full attention. I do think 'Immersive' is a relevant word. We have no chart aspirations. We're into the art.



4) We talked about vinyl and the sound, but now it seems we cannot go on without speaking about the artists! As with every great record label, Delia Records must have its editorial slant! How do you choose the artists who will join your label? The Balearic musical scene is pretty wide, so where does Delia Record's soul lie?

Matt: We only have the time and money to work with a small family of artists at any one time, so the emphasis is absolutely on quality, not quantity. Torn Sail, Brown Fang and Shrinkwrap are all connected, both through the individual musicians and the Nottingham scene, it’s a genuine family. We’d like to grow the family – the artists featured on 'The Horizon Is On The Horizon' are all part of that family.

Huw: Our soul is in trying to represent the humanity of the musicians and artists and respect the lifetimes of energy they've dedicated to a vision – it's about people we know, here, in just another grey city in the UK, and about trying to share the beautiful pictures in these people's minds and spread a kind of love of something better. When you're playing, you're not fighting, right? It's inspiring.


5) Delia Recordings is a team effort it's pretty obvious. The three of you are even involved in the creative process, working together, for instance, on the sleeve of your first compilation and even bringing up the experience to propose musical events and a magazine! Can you tell us more about the importance of the visual aspects of your record label and its projects? I feel like you guys are proposing something unique here...

Simon: We want to bring the same level of care and consideration to everything that supports the music – the record sleeves, the words we use to talk about the label, social media, and our Happenings, events where people can experience what we’re all about. As with music, it’s more than collaboration; it’s co-creation where the magic happens because of the combination of people in that particular place and time.

We respect each artist’s visual identity, but Delia is the golden thread that connects everything together, more of a feel and attitude than a specific visual look. We’re warm, we’re open, we’re genuinely optimistic and welcoming… I guess this is the heart of the Balearic connection for us.


Thank you so much, Simon, Matt, and Huw!



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