Beneath the Label: Scenery Records
Stu Robinson gives us the lowdown on his new house, techno and electronic imprint – and first Cannibal Run clubnight
Starting out as a drum and bass DJ in the late 90s, Stu Robinson rose to notoriety in 2008 with his Cosmic Boogie website, record labels and DJ moniker, later playing clubs across the world. As a family man already balancing a hectic career with his home life, he felt the need to re-evaluate, strip it back to the grain, and start a new chapter – hence his new multidimensional label, Scenery Records, which has released two EPs (Bantam Lions/John Heckle's One to One EP in 2012, and Deep Space Orchestra/Bantam Lions' We Held On this April). A third release, from producer Circular Rhythms (who provides an exclusive DJ Chart in this month's issue) and Andy Ash, comes in June.
Robinson's boundless energy is impossible to miss on the Liverpool scene, and he is already clearly invested in and committed to his new imprint. In his studio, we listen to the new music he’s working on, speak about future goals and eat several bags of bacon crisps.
The Skinny: You retired your disco-edged Cosmic Boogie guise and blog last year. What was it that prompted you to create Scenery Records?
Stu Robinson: I just love being involved in it all, putting music out there, meeting like-minded people. I first did that with Cosmic Boogie Records, releasing re-edits; the next step was wanting to operate an outlet devoted to releasing original music, which I did with Boogie Originals. I realised after a couple of releases that I had a label connected with a scene that, although it was hitting a decent level, felt restricted as ‘one sound’ – and in the long term, this was no good.
I had these brilliant tracks from [Liverpool producer] Bantam Lions for over six months but they didn’t fit the old label, so, after shedding skin, Scenery was born and Bantam Lions became the first release. At heart, what I was doing before wasn’t right, and now it is. I’d say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done – even after one release. I am really enjoying it.
What’s the ethos behind the new label?
It’s simple really. I just put out whatever feels good. The focus of Scenery is on friends and producers I know, a social extension really, and although the label is dance-based with house and techno as a general body, I’m flexible with it too. There’s no official policy as such. It’s not going to be a closed book, I’m always scouring around. I want it kept organic – to have a simple, interesting, matter-of-fact ethic.
What are your intentions for the future and who can we expect to see appearing on Scenery Records in 2013?
Right now we have the second Scenery vinyl release in stores with new tracks from Deep Space Orchestra and Bantam Lions (with a Cottam mix), and the Circular Rhythms and Andy Ash EP will be coming in early June. After that there's new music from ASOK, Liverpool producer Binny, more Bantam Lions, Other Worlds, System Status and Mituo Shiomi from Japan... with a smattering of perhaps more household names to remix them.
We are also about to launch Cannibal Run – a new night in Manchester. The first one is at Kraak Gallery on 10 May. Headlining is John Heckle with his amazing live set-up, and Neville Watson. Support will come from Deep Space Orchestra and me (under the ASOK moniker). Life is pretty good.