After seven years in the game and a number of various side projects, Apparel Music has recently announced another venture. Apparel Wax, the newest addition to curator Giuseppe D’Alessandro aka KiSk’s lineup is one strictly for the heads with the focus being solely on the music. The artists of each release will not be revealed but will rather all be under the collective umbrella of the Apparel Wax brand. The direction of the music will be largely influenced by disco, funk and jazz. It seems that the new catalogue is already catching on as the first release is currently sitting at number 5 on the deep house best sellers list on Juno.
We were of course naturally quite curious to find out some more details about the new project and managed to get some further insight from Giuseppe himself, as well as a fresh mix with current and forthcoming Apparel Wax gems. Read the full interview below!
Apparel Music started off releasing vinyl then switched to digital only. Now with Apparel Wax you’re bringing back 12″ releases. Could you give us some insight as to why that is?
Apparel Music was born as a training ground, a project that wasn’t meant to be for “club use only” or just for DJ’s and vinyl buyers. Personally I’ve always been a kind of music collector without format limitations. On the contrary, I set myself free since the very beginning trying to focus more on the coherence and versatility of my path. I don’t think that vinyl always means quality especially if you look at the numerous ways quality music propagated in the recent past, for instance: the beginning of the mix/podcast culture created new targets, different type of listeners. Then living in a city like Milan, where so many arts fuse together, I had the chance to collaborate with directors and production houses that asked me to use Apparel Music’s catalogue for TV ads (Datch, Oxfam, Beast, Rolling Stone), films (Tutti i Rumori Del Mare), fashion movies (Misocromia) and documentaries; so, you know, music can go wherever it wants to and vinyl is just one possibility.
When did the concept for Apparel Wax come about? Have you been working on it for a long time?
After many years researching and opening many different catalogues (APL, APC, APLTD, APD, APDSPECIAL, APDEXTRA, APKISK, APLMINI) I ended up asking myself what could I do in order to put the main focus on music, just music, without having to fall into categorization which, at the end of the day, is way too predictable. Apparel Wax collective was born from this necessity!
It took me about a year to develop the concept, set up all the details and eventually share it with the industry insiders for the final launch.
Apparel Music is always somewhat jazz-focused. If you were to describe the sound of this new direction, what would it be?
Apparel Music’s idea is to put together “the black and the white”, the internationally recognized artists with the new talents: different souls but same aptitude playing on the same vinyl in a jazzy way. Jazzy for me is not just the interaction between jazz and electronic music, it is the outcome of this union. It’s a state of mind which helps to meet each other half way and hit the charts, being free from preconception.
How would you say Apparel’s sound has evolved since the first releases 7 years ago?
Apparel grew up under many aspects, not just the sound, and I hope its potential will keep increasing. Let me talk for a minute about the art-side which is functional to the question: the image of the label which I think is one of the most important things has all been a Work In Progress!
It started off from the pencil of an Italian artist (Luca Beolchi) who created the covers for the first 2 years, then little by little I managed to develop my own world staying in line with the past; for the 4th release of APLTD catalogue I created an art contest and the winning artwork was chosen for the cover. Within the first 300 released copies we put a little catalogue with all the artworks participants. Sound-wise it’s been the same research: I spent the first years looking for the perfect sound and eventually choosing Stefan Eichinger (aka LOPAZZ) and his studio as our designated exclusive mastering engineer.
Would you say that Apparel Wax is a completely new project or is it an extension of what Apparel Music stands for? Will Apparel Music be continuing alongside Apparel Wax?
After many years, Apparel Music risked not being understood completely, as not everyone sees the number of the releases and loyally follows the development of the sound, that’s why I’ve been working on possible alternatives for a few years.
So I decided to divide the Apparel world in three ways:
Apparel Tronic, the new sub-label started in February 2017 with Ludovico Schilling (aka SCHiLLiNG . A line dedicated to electronic music in a wider way; a kind of music expressed by experimentation and that could also be played live.
Apparel Music Limited that will keep delivering jazzy classics like last summer’s T.U.R.F. EP and Loure’s EP which will be released in 2018.
Apparel Wax, which aims to group anonymous artists with a more fresh and happy sound, mainly influenced by disco, funk and obviously jazz.
Photo credit: Nicola Cordì
You have chosen not to reveal the artists behind the releases, is this because you’d rather let the music do the talking?
Exactly. I believe that this form would allow the audience to focus on the music without being conditioned by the name. It is ambitious but far more satisfying for me, plus, I see it having a really good impact on the market.
Even though you can’t reveal the artists, could you maybe give us a hint as to whether or not some of these artists have released on Apparel Music before?
I prefer not to reveal the enigma behind the collective.
Let’s say it’s been a good way for me to keep myself updated on new acts but I also drew from the contacts that I developed throughout the years. Anyway you’ll probably discover yourselves who’s involved, due to the upcoming showcases.
The idea is also to give any event organizer the chance to get the nearest Apparel Wax member (who will play under the name of Apparel Wax) depending on where the gig is. It’s a collective, in every way!
The first release is out now on wax with the digital release to follow. Will we be seeing regular releases from Apparel Wax or will you take it slow and make sure you find the right music, that is if you don’t have a whole bunch lined up already?
I’m currently working on APLWAX002 and I really hope it will be in stores before the end of 2017. I won’t give myself any deadline as I’ve always been respectful about each artist’s production time, I don’t think putting pressure is the way. Let’s say I’m planning to release a couple each year.
Finally, can you give a bit of insight into the mix you’ve recorded for us? Are there many unreleased APLWAX gems in there?
Manman, of course i don’t know! :))
The release is also out digitally on Traxsource.