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Steve Conry: "Ten Lovers Music" records, a vinyl-only musical affair...

I met Steve Conry from "Ten Lovers Music" records for an interview. The great DJ and record producer tells us more about his vinyl-only record label!

 

1) Hello Steve! Thank you very much for joining me here on the Balearic Breakfast Blog! You launched the record Label "Ten Lovers Music" back in 1996. Can you tell us how that journey began? What triggered you to launch such a "Balearic" Label, full of funky, light, realistic and beautifully recorded music?

Thanks for having me, Artur. Back in 1995, I was still DJing and started to produce music. My friend Barry May ran a record shop in Warrington called Hott Waxx. I took a couple of tracks into him, and he wanted them for the label he was setting up. I then went to the Miami Winter Music Conference in 1996 and met a guy called Cziz Hall, and we discussed setting up a label upon our return. Around 2002 we decided to close the label as sales were down because of the move to digital.

Fast forward to 2019, and I was struggling to find music that I liked to buy on vinyl, so I thought it would be a good idea to resurrect Ten Lovers Music and release music that friends had made. That more recent journey introduced me to Mother Tongue in Italy and Patrick Gibin, who runs it. They have taken care of all our pressing since restarting the label. We were also introduced to Jose Rico (who masters all our releases) through Patrick too. It's a real kind of family feel to Mother Tongue as they are actually into the music they are pressing and distributing.


2) How do you choose the artists? What is "Ten Lovers Music's" editorial slant?

Most of the music is from friends, but, occasionally, I'll get sent a demo or hear a snippet of something on Instagram and contact the artist. The artists are always sensible and down to earth and appreciate the struggles of putting out music on vinyl these days. I always like putting together the Best Of Various EPs and having a broad spectrum of music that fits within what Ten Lovers Music represents (link to back catalogue since 2019 available here: https://www.mothertonguerecords.com/record-label/record-label-ten-lovers-music/).



3) The song Memories by Caruso (with Paul David Gillman) was featured on "Balearic Breakfast". I found out that Paul David Gilman is affiliated with Joe Claussell's Sacred Rhythm Label! How did that peculiar collaboration happen?

Paul contacted me in 2017 after playing his Red Earth track from the Colours Of The Earth EP (Sacred Rhythm) on my weekly radio show on MotionFM in New York. That led to him mixing the first release on Ten Lovers Music (TLM021) in 2019 and collaborating and remixing Memories later in 2019. We then discussed an album project (Secret Garden), which was released in 2020 (repressed in 2021), and he mixed Caruso - Souvenirs that came out in 2021. In 2022, we put out Secret Garden (Reprise), which was a version of the title track from the aforementioned album as part of yet another Best Of Various.



4) We exchanged a little bit when preparing for this interview, and you told me that you weren't a "Bandcamp" supporter. According to you, knowing that you don't sell digital files of the recordings you produce, what is the biggest challenge for a "vinyl-only" record label today?

I think the biggest challenges these days are things like Bandcamp or pledge schemes. I think it is fine for digital, but for vinyl, it's not a good idea, and it is also putting record shops out of business. The main problem with it is that you can only buy an individual 12", so you are paying shipping on every individual purchase, whereas if you buy 5 records from a shop, you only pay one shipping price, which affects sales 100%, in my humble opinion.


5) Can you tell us more about your forthcoming vinyl release? What's next for "Ten Lovers Music"?

The next release is a Best Of Various EP (TLM034-Link to preorder/Listen). It features Cumulative Collective (UK/Italy/Japan), Takahiro Fuchigami (Japan), Melchior Sultana (Malta), Fabio Santanna (Brazil), and The Robinson (Italy). As the name Best Of Various suggests, this is another mixed bag of music, which falls within our remit of music.

Beyond that, we have a further Best Of Various release (TLM035) featuring Stefano De Santis (Italy), Batavia Collective (Indonesia) Cormac Fulton (UK) featuring Floor Polder (Brazil), Mike Perras (Canada), Future Jazz Ensemble (Italy) and Takahiro Fuchigami (Japan).

Following that, a 7" from one of our favourite collaborators, TLM artist Takashi Nakazato (Japan), with his The Takashi Nakazato Set group. More is planned for later in the year/next year, too.

Last but not least, for the readers who would be interested, please find our social links and also a link to the entire discography on Discogs. Most of the pre-2002 releases are still selling on there, which I find amazing!


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