South London is a creative hub that’s been spitting out talent for years. Seb Wildblood (soundcloud) is a product of this bubble and may even be considered a pioneer, as his Church party series and record label were established back in 2012. As someone who loves discovering new music, one record label was obviously not enough. Last year, Wildblood established the Coastal Haze imprint alongside good friend and fellow DJ, Hollick, with a focus on full length cassette tapes. Even more recently, Seb launched another project called All My Thoughts and it has seen it’s first three releases already.
Outside of his phenomenal knack for being able to find music from emerging as well as established artists, Seb Wildblood has made quite a name for himself on the production front as well. With a number of EPs and singles released over the last several years, Seb’s managed to craft a distinctive, moody, percussive sound that has caught the ears of many a listener and DJ alike. Last year’s ‘Jazz Vol.1′ EP on Church really catapulted him into the spotlight and he’s managed to go from strength to strength, recently releasing the spectacular ‘:~^’ mini-LP on Omena.
We managed to catch up with the busy man of the moment and ask him some questions for the latest instalment of our MIXED BY/ series. Read the full interview below:
You run three record labels: Church, Coastal Haze and All My Thoughts as well as self-release music from time to time. How do you manage your time? You must be pretty busy in between running the labels, touring and producing your own material.
I think when you’re doing something you love, you just make time. Nothing feels like a chore. If I’m feeling creative I’ll head into the studio. If not, I’ll maybe focus on some label bits. I’m constantly digging so finding music to release is the most natural part of the whole process. Currently, I can’t tour enough, I love it. This job is sometimes very insular, having the chance to get on the road feels real as you’re connecting directly with the audience you generally only perceive through a computer screen day to day.
All My Thoughts is your newest project. What prompted you to start yet another label and what’s the inspiration behind this one?
For me, Church has a very distinct sound that almost goes without saying. However I wanted to break the boundaries I’m working within. I guess if you wanted to put it in a box, AMT is deeper, maybe more heads down business at times, and also a chance to explore some more ambient textures. There will also naturally be cross over here and there. Next up is a downtempo LP by an artist called U-I. I’m really excited to work with him, a completely new untapped / unheard talent from Germany.
The South London scene lends the impression that it is a constantly growing, very close-knit community of labels, artists, shops, radio stations and peers where everyone seems to know and support each other. How much of your success as an artist and label would you attribute to your surroundings?
Peckham in particular is special for that reason. London’s a big city with a lot of strangers but Peckham’s a whole different bubble. You could head out on a Friday evening by yourself and be sure to bump into friendly faces. Staples such as Rhythm Section, YAM, Balamii and Rye Wax encapsulate this. In terms of how this relates to my success as an artist I’m not sure, I think this is something only someone with an outside perspective could answer…
How do you go about finding new music to release? I assume your current release schedule is filled to the brim even with three different labels to supply us with new music?
I’m constantly exploring. The majority of stuff that’s signed is found. There’s a lot of great stuff being sent in however I need that personal connection with an artist. Sometimes you can hear it through the music right away and other times you’ll meet, get on and work towards something. There’s no set formulas and I’m often surprised.
Are there any artists whose music you passed on in the past that you maybe regret not releasing? Who are some artists that you’re currently really enjoying?
I wouldn’t say so, I’m always eager to make it work one way or another, hence the three labels. If I’m into something, odds are it could fit on one of the three. Some artists I’m really digging that aren’t on the labels… Peach, Telfort, Jon Sable, Tell, Khotin & Sofatalk.
It seems like you’ve managed to find your sound fairly quickly, in relative terms. The moods conveyed in your music as well as the percussion tend to make your productions easily distinguishable as Seb Wildblood material. What does your creation process generally entail? Do you usually come to the table with an idea in mind?
Thanks! To be honest I don’t see myself as a great musician or producer. I have ideas, and I think that’s what counts. I remember when I first starting making stuff on my own, I was just so hungry to do it so I made it happen. I also can’t sit down and make a track based on functionality. As cliche as it sounds, it needs to come from a place within. I guess you could say I try and communicate through my music by creating a feeling or a mood.
What kind of gear do you use? There seems to be a lot of organic sounds. Do you play and record the percussion and instrumentation yourself? How much do you tend to sample?
Over the years I’ve had loads of different bits. The last few records have been made with a Juno 106, Casio CZ50000 and a bunch of crappy keyboards. Also a couple of drum machines and lots of sampling. I’m currently working with a lot more live instrumentation so that’s the next step for me.
Finally, with so many projects ongoing at the same time, we have to ask if you can share any forthcoming details with us regarding upcoming releases, tour dates, etc.?
Timely question, there’s a bunch of stuff ready to pop…
Laurence Guy LP (Church)
Folamour EP (Church)
FYI Chris EP (Church)
U-I LP (All My Thoughts)
Coastal Haze is now distro’d by Clone in Rotterdam with all tapes being pressed :~) plus some original heat going straight to wax, watch out for the HAZE’s!
+ a remix package of both my Omena LP & Jazz Vol.1. Some of my favourite producers involved with these so super excited about them!