Spotlight: Uncanny Valley

A little while ago we caught up with Uncanny Valley.

If you’re not family with Uncanny Valley, they often describe themselves as ‘A record label from Dresden’. This doesn’t really tell you much about the label, but after listening to their releases it becomes apparent that its hard to pin down what sort of label they are. Its a wildly diverse and inventive label that has become one of favourites. There’s a tangible sense of creativity and belief behind their releases and we cannot recommend them enough. They celebrated their fifth birthday late last year but looking at their back catalog you would think they had been around for decades.

uncanny valley

 

Dancing Robot Music: You guys tend to be a more alternative, or perhaps diverse, label than most. Releasing future hip hop sounds, more melodic eletronica and then more dance floor focused tracks. Is there a reason for the varied output?

Uncanny Valley: We didn’t have a masterplan when we started the label. We just wanted to release music by artists we love. And of course, they have different influences and a different musical focus. So, it’s more like a spontaneous development that  made our output is so varied. Plus, the four of us love all kinds of music.

DRM: Could you explain the different imprints you have under the Uncanny Valley banner?  And what are you trying to do with Give N Take?

UV: Rat Life is pretty much the baby of Credit 00, who came up to us with the idea for the label. We help him with manufacturing, distribution and promotion and everything he came up with suited our taste. So there haven’t been any conflicts. Then, there is shtum which is our sub label for basement bangers and a more direct approach to club music.

We’re pretty happy with its development as we have exciting artists in the roster so that the label has made a name for itself. Plus, luckily we’ve all become good friends. It’s always a pleasure to work with friends. The idea behind Give’N’Take is to give one of our artist the opportunity to release a record with music he likes. It was Cuthead who was the main man behind the first Give’N’Take record. Time will tell if there will be another version of the concept.

DRM: Dresden seems to be at the core of Uncanny Valley. Would it be fair to say the label reflects the city?

UV: As you’ve heard maybe it’s not that easy to embrace the city these days. I’d say the label reflects the contexts we’re living in. Our friends, families, opinions, attitudes.

But there are artists who don’t live in Dresden anymore. So it’s definitely not a  “Dresden label”. The label is based in Dresden. Let’s keep it that way.


DRMThere is a strong aesthetic that accompanies your releases. How did this come about and do you think well designed artwork still has a place in the mostly digital music age?

UV: Carl is the man who is taking the lead in all things visually. But we decide together. Except for Paul Waak who is doing the artwork for our Various-Artists-compilations, we try to combine the works of visual artists and the music in question. It’s mostly stuff from friends or artists whose work we love. Sometimes the musicians do their own artwork like Credit 00 and Jacob Stoy.
 And yes, we think it’s very important. All the more, as so much music is coming out.

DRM: Do you have any favourite releases?

UV: We love all the music we’re releasing. To pick one would be like picking a favourite child. It’s more a mood thing.

DRM: Is there anything you wish you had known when you first started the label?

UV: There is a lot of basic administration stuff that we had to learn. For sure, it would have been helpful if we’ve already known that stuff before starting the label. But I think it’s not too bad to learn it the hard way. It gets you another perspective on certain things.

DRM: A lot of our readers are aspiring DJs or producers. Any sage advice for them?

UV: Don’t start with anything if you don’t have a deep passion for sounds and music.

DRM: Are there any non-musical artists you would recommend to our readers?

UV: We can entrust you the visual work of Credit 00 aka Alexander Dorn. He’s one of the key figures of our visual identity because he created our logo, a bunch of covers, flyers, stickers etc. In addition Paul Waak shaped our appearance with his adorable cutting edge illustrations.

 

A huge thanks to Uncanny Valley for taking the time to speak to us.

 

Find our more about them:

Uncannyvalley.de

Soundcloud

Twitter 

 

It’s hard to choose but here’s a small selection of our favourite  Uncanny Valley releases

ScherbeCollege Dropout

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7zOET0Jxs4

Sandrow M – Prayervan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=recFQf7nSuM

 

Do yourself a favour and and check out Cuthead’s Boiler Room

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81ETH8W7s0k

Jacob Korn & Break SL feat. Tabitha XavierYou & Me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kqqygTiy64