Lewis Lowe on five years of Redstone Press

We discuss Redstone Press’s future, and notable memories, with co-founder Lewis Lowe ahead of their huge 5th birthday party at Civic House

Article by Heléna Stanton | 07 Nov 2022
  • Redstone Press

DJs Lewis Lowe and Ethan Harfield (Pseudopolis) founded Redstone Press five years ago, after forging a life-long friendship while growing up together in the Northeast of Scotland. Lewis and Ethan lost contact after primary school but reconnected during their late teens attending local free parties in the Highlands.

Lewis tells how he was really into dance music in 2016 and was DJing as a hobby. Ethan was massively into early and post-dubstep while producing tunes. Post-dubstep pioneering labels like Hessle Audio hugely inspired the pair. However, Ethan’s productions weren’t making as much progress as he’d have liked. So, the idea of Redstone Press was born. The pair got ten dubplates cut by Precise Mastering, who’s worked with labels Warp and Hemlock Recording – huge names in dance music.

The dubplates were distributed to the likes of Joy Orbison, Ryan Martin, Optimo and Hessle Audio. One fateful night Lewis was in the Glasgow nightclub La Cheetah, where he bumped into Rubadub’s Richard Chater. “I was talking to Richard and told him I was cutting dubplates and starting a record label, Richard stated he’d distribute the records.” Lewis says, “I didn’t expect him to email the next day after the conversation, but he did the next morning, so I sent him the tunes and two weeks later he said, yep we’ll distribute them.”

This was a huge moment for Lewis and Ethan. Rubadub’s extensive reputation reaches far beyond its Glasgow warehouse. Celebrating their 30th year of imparting wisdom to so many emerging small labels and artists, it’s hard to find something so deeply rooted in the underground electronic music scene.

Eventually in 2017, Lewis and Ethan left the Highlands for a flat in Glasgow, officially forming Redstone Press. The logo resembles something of a house – this is a common misconception, Lewis explains: “The name Redstone Press is after a little hamlet where we grew up, the logo isn’t a house, it’s a bus stop where we used to wait to get to primary school, and later where we used to graffiti.”

The community values surrounding DIY labels are highlighted in the label’s special relationship with Eris Drew, who alongside Octa-Octa, runs T4T LUV NRG (a label prioritising trans bodies in dance music). “I was driving home for Christmas in 2017, and I had her RA mix on in the car, as everyone was talking about it. I heard Pseudopolis - At Last and I couldn’t believe it. She was someone so huge who was playing our track. I reached out to her after it, and we met at a couple of festivals and became friends, she’s been such a big supporter of the label from the beginning, so it made perfect sense for her to do the first remix. It’s a coming full circle moment.”

Recently the label published that remix, described as a "4X4 rave weapon". With crushed breakbeat and femme vocals throughout, Eris Drew’s alias Bassbin 23's remix of Pseudopolis - High for Life contributes to Redstone Press’s already tightened grip on producing euphoric club music.

Looking back on other moments for the label, Lewis recalls how the 2020 release with Cloud’s Liam Robertson came to be: “We became good friends when I first moved to Glasgow, and he was nice enough to give me a USB with a load of WIPs and track ideas. I was listening to them, and instantly went 'wow this is insanely good' to this one track, so I instantly asked if it was signed and luckily it wasn’t. Liam’s EP was a turning point from just putting out club music to more accessible music. I really love it a lot.”

It’s evident through talking with Lewis that friendship has played a massive role in the success of the label. From DIY to club bangers, with four unannounced releases for 2023 Redstone Press is not slowing down. Lewis discusses the future for the label: “We’re at a point where it’s no longer a DIY label, which is scary but also great. I guess we are taking the next step of being a bit more professional, we had external PR for the first time this year, I never thought we’d ever be at this stage. It’s crazy.”

The past five years comes together for the label at Civic House for their 5th birthday party. Lewis describes the curation of the line-up as a “simple party with friends, and a couple of bits of lighting décor, and a smoke machine with big bass from Ira’s amazing Bass Warrior Sound System. We’re going to give some goody bags away as well for the first folk in, make it into a proper party.”

Redstone Press 5th Birthday Party, 12 Nov, Civic House, Glasgow, tickets via Resident Advisor