An interview with Joe Blind Prophet' Burns, head of Southfork Sound. You can check Blind Prophet's feature mix here.
Percussion Lab: Does Southfork Sound focus more on a particular sound, or on a physical scene, or well, neither? If it's a sound, what is that sound?
Blind Prophet: I want SFS (South Fork Sound) to be more about the overall vibe rather than a certain sound. When it comes to signing music to the label, it doesn't matter what the genre is, or the bpm. Usually what happens is I'll hear something and something inside me goes "I want to release that", it could happen with a house tune or a dubstep tune.
PL: Does the internet help of hinder a small label like yours? Can a label build a community online?
BP: The internet has helped out tremendously when it comes to SFS. I had been pretty active on all the major social networks prior to launching the label so I was able to form strong relationships with other producers, DJs, and label owners - swapping tunes, giving / receiving feedback, and just talking about music. Now that I run my own label, I'm beginning to reach out to numerous blogs and music websites, which has proven to be a bit more difficult. Since SFS is in its infant stages, we might get lost in the shuffle. This is where going out to gigs and events and meeting people face to face will always be better than DMing someone.
PL: We went from dubstep to juke and now to trap. What's next? Has something replaced 'bass' music? What is 'bass' music?
BP: I'm not sure what will be next, I don't really follow trends in music. Although, I do hope something replaces Trap because I've never heard a more boring genre of electronic music in my life.
I know some people don't like the term "bass music" since all or most music has bass in it, but I feel it does describe certain songs quite well. Take early dubstep for example - when I first heard DMZ in 2008, the bass was the first thing that jumped out to me. That had never happened to me before, I never heard a rock or jazz tune and went, "Damn that bass!"
PL: How and when did you get into this music? What was the process behind deciding to start a label?
BP: I first got into electronic music after I heard "Untrue" by Burial. From there, I started scouring the internet for similar music. For the next two years or so, I listened to nothing but 140 and garage. Lately, I've gravitated away from dubstep, as the scene is being flooded with unlistenable garbage, and I have gotten really into house, techno, and juke. My own productions have followed suit.
I started SFS because I felt there were many producers who I thought were creating amazing music that weren't getting the attention they deserved. Most of the artists I have on the roster are people I have been communicating with for the past three or four years. I've even been fortunate enough to meet some of them in person, which is always a nice thing in this computer age we live in now.
Starting the label wasn't an overnight decision though, I had been thinking of it for about a year before I decided to act. I did some research, seeked the advice of other label owner's, got in touch with producers I was thinking of signing and here we are now.
PL: Does a DJ have to start producing to have a career in the current world of dance music?
BP: Yeah, I think so. With the rise of computers, anyone can be a DJ now, so if you're not a host of a popular radio show or a resident at a big club night then my guess is that it would be difficult to become somewhat established. Playing unreleased tracks / dubs is an important part of being a DJ in my opinion and being able to swap tunes with other producers can help build your arsenal. I would rather listen to a DJ whose entire set consisted of tracks I've never heard of than see someone play songs I can buy online.
How that set is presented is a whole other story.
PL: Dream lineup?
BP: If we're talking only DJs / electronic acts then I'd have to say Pinch, DJ Shadow, Tim Hecker, and A Made Up Sound.
PL: Can you tallk about your local scene/the NYC scene and where it's going/who is moving it forward?
BP: The scene out here on Long Island is lacking. I think it has to do with how spread out everybody is, it's difficult for people to get together and build something organically. Although, in the past few years it has been getting better. I have been involved in putting on shows at a place called Neoteric, which is located in Amagansett. We had the launch party for SFS there and were able to bring out Policy. The turnout was quite good too. This summer I hope to have other NYC-based DJs thru.
Even though I'm not immersed in the NYC scene I feel it is thriving at the moment. Acts like Archie Pelago are making waves, which is awesome to see because they're friends of mine. It's been great watching them grow as a group. Another one of my favs is Policy. His sound is so unique and quirky, it's refreshing to hear. I'm also a big fan of kuxxan SUMM and the Styles Upon Styles label has been releasing some great music.