Our brand new interview series ‘Behind The Scene’ is dedicated to finding out more about the platforms at the forefront of the UK Bass scene and how they got there.
If you’ve played or listened to a set centred around bass music or been to a bass event in the last 6 years, it’s more than likely you’ve heard a track released on Project Allout Records, aka PAR. Releasing music across the bass spectrum, they consistently deliver a combination of hard hitting, high quality music.
PAR have released tracks from some of the hottest names in garage, grime, bass and bassline, including the likes of Notion, Moony, Dubzta, Tuff Culture and Deadbeat. Not content with relying on the established names, Project Allout also put out a steady stream of content from up and coming producers.
Having been such a mainstay in the scene for 6 years we caught up with PAR label head Skillz to get an insight in to their success:
You’ve told the story behind the creation of PAR before but for those that didn’t already know, remind us briefly?
Basically me and a friend set up PAR in 2011 with the aim to push Sheffield based artists out independently to the Grime and Bass scene and get them the recognition they deserved.
What was it that made you change up from releasing zippy’s full of tunes to becoming a fully fledged label? Was becoming a genuine label always the aim?
The aim was always to become a independent label, we just didn’t realise how far we would get with it. We knew we needed to go Allout, so thats why we gave away massive zips at the start; to build our label and our artist’s profiles. I can see that’s what’s got us to where we are now though.
Did you ever have worries that with such a broad sonic output, people wouldn’t get what you were trying to do?
My perspective at that time was that people love free downloads and if the quality is 10/10, they will see what our aim is. Like I say, we started just pushing Sheffield based artists first. That was the PROJECT and with that we were going to go ALLOUT.
Do you have any advice for anyone in the process of starting up a label?
My advice would be to take your time. Explore all avenues, make sure you are good at networking and make time for all your artists. Ive made a lot of new friends in this game and at PAR its more of a family. We all push the label together. #PARGANG
You’ve released music from artists who are now major influences in the scene. In a previous interview you said you handpick the talent, so what’s your process like now?
Well a lot has changed from when we first started. A lot of music is still handpicked but the PAR email receives around 50 submissions a week and we’re lucky to be in contact with so many aspiring producers who want to work with us. There’s also producers I want on the label and most of the time I just message them via their email or Twitter and be straight to the point; tell them I want to work on a EP with them for PAR. A lot of producers who already release with us also refer their mates who produce. Like I said, it’s a big family here
If an upcoming producer wants to release on PAR, what are 3 things they can do to do to catch your eye?
- Have a good attitude; we don’t work with rude people.
- Make sure the music is exclusive! I want to be the only person who as heard it and I hate when a producer sends 10 labels a submission. If I find out that has happened you can count me out.
- Finally: make Lengerz!
Speaking of eye catching, the cover art for your releases are always sick! Is there always an idea in your head of what you want or do you let the designer do their own thing?
Thanks. I always ask the producer what they want and we work from there. If they haven’t got a clue I let our designer go wild. All of our art is done by Danny G Designs, he’s an absolute boss!
You’ve got a few different series of compilations, including ‘Lengerz’ and ‘Krampus’. How did you come up with those titles?
‘Krampus’ was a Christmas Free Download so I was searching Google for Christmas themes and found the Krampus. It’s a Christmas demon and I found it reflected well with the label.
‘Lengerz’ is a term that me and Dr Cryptic have always said from since we started doing music 15 or so years ago. I’ve always had plans to do a release called ‘Lengerz’ but I wanted the right tunes on that EP
Your compilations are always massive, not only in quality but also in quantity. How long does the process take?
Thanks. It can take up to a year. I knew I wanted to do a ‘Lengerz Volume 2’, so straight after the release of Volume 1 we got to work. That did take a year, but I think it depends on what quality you want. I always aim for 10/10.
If you could release music from anyone, who would it be and why?
I’m going to give you 2 answers:
Firstly, I would love to release a Wiley 4 track Grime instrumental EP. The guy is The Godfather of Grime and I’d love to see how his mind works!
I’d also love to release a Todd Edwards Garage EP. I grew up listening to Todd Edwards and his production is so unusual that the kids of today would be amazed.
How do you feel about bass music right now? Is it in a better place than it was when you started back in 2011?
The scene is in a solid place at the moment. You have the new guys like Darkzy, Skepsis, Dr Cryptic, Tuff Culture and Mr Dubz all smashing it in their own way, and they’re all so different sounding. Then you’ve also got some of the legends like DJ EJ still leading the way. Its only gonna get better!
What do you think the next major step for the scene will be?
Well with the revival of Bassline, I think this time around the Bass scene will take the step into the mainstream. It only takes that one producer to make a big tune like ‘Heartbroken’ and it opens loads of avenues for a lot of people. I think there’s more people pushing together now and not as much a divide in the scene as there was back then.
Finally, what’s coming up for you and PAR?
Well, there will be a lot more releases this year; we’re 3 releases deep already. There’s gonna be more compilations too! Lookout for ‘PAR Meets Deeprot Volume 2’, that will be going out for free in Feb / March. Also, there’ll be more PAR Takeovers, and we’re merging with another established label so yeah,lots happening!
Listen to Project Allout Records’ latest release from P Jam below: