Label Focus: Viper Recordings - Culture - Mixmag

Label Focus: Viper Recordings

The label that's introduced some of the finest names in drum ’n’ bass

  • Dave Jenkins
  • 16 August 2017
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Label boss: Futurebound

If you had to sum up the source of the Viper sound, what would it be?

Film scores. When I saw ET, it was the music that grabbed me the most. And that’s the feeling and energy I’ve always wanted from Viper; nurturing emotions that really pull you in and blow you away.

What do you look for in a Viper artist?

I like to meet everyone we sign and look them in the eye. I want to understand their work ethic. Are they prepared? What’ll they be like when they hit a rut? They must know what they’re getting into. Musically, I’m looking for a creative spark. Technical skills can be taught; originality can’t.

When did things really take off?

With 2009’s five-year anniversary album ‘Acts Of Madmen’. We had Ed Rush & Optical, Sigma, Nero, Camo & Krooked, loads more. All huge tunes. I remember going to Fabric and hearing 20 Viper tracks from room to room. I was like, ‘Jesus!’. That was when I knew we were in it for the long haul, and that I had to do things properly: not bang out releases and hope for the best, but have a bigger scale and a strategy.

What’s the strategy for the future?

Artist albums. We’ve not done many, but we’ve never wanted to rush our artists – or ourselves. Everyone has to go that extra mile on an album. They’ve got to be something you want to listen to in all sorts of places and moods and still want to hear in 10 years’ time. After InsideInfo’s we’ve got another four from Brookes Brothers, Koven, Toronto Is Broken and Cyantific. I’m excited to get them out. It sounds like a fresh new form of d’n’b is about to happen. Neuro-funk has built over the last five years, there’s a big jump-up sound at the moment so now it’s time to bring in something new. That’s the future.

‘Drum ’n’ Bass Summer Slammers 2017’ is out now on Viper Recordings

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