Encrypted Audio presents debut release from Content and Samba's alias ∆

When you’re talking about innovative, forward-thinking dubstep music anno 2017, record label Encrypted Audio needs a well-deserved mention. The label founded back in 2014 by Content and Deafblind is currently being acknowledged as one of the rare imprints which are constantly pushing the boundaries of the dubstep sound, while respecting the original sound system culture. Simply put: Encrypted Audio is here to shape the future of the genre. While running both a digital respectively a vinyl-only series of equal quality, Encrypted works together with a select few producers for a reason. We usually don’t do interviews for our reviews, though in anticipation for ENV011 which is due to release on the 12th of September 2017, we felt it was about time to have a proper chat with the mysterious producer duo ∆, to some better known as Content and Samba.

Thanks already for your time Tony and Sam! First of all, where did you find the inspiration to start your own record label and how exactly did the first signings came along? Also what is up regarding the Bandcamp exclusive concept which recently switched over to working with digital retailers. We assume this wasn’t something which was originally the plan?

The inspiration for Encrypted came from two things that Deafblind (Rich) and I felt was missing in the scene. First was the desire to give up-and-coming artists a solid platform that supported them 100% to achieve their own goals. Second was to not force feed people. In this internet generation, considering the closing of many key record stores and seeing how music was losing its value, we wanted to create a platform that was built on the listeners and fans having to do their research to find our releases. We wanted to keep things low tier to grow organic.

In the early days we made a list of 10 acts that we wanted on the label and we approached them and asked them to be part of the journey. However since then we have grown more organically by the word of mouth. We receive a lot of demos which we listen to and make decisions on, but we also do quite a lot of SoundCloud sifting.

And yes, we started out being Bandcamp exclusive and sticked whole heartedly to the second step of our values, however I’m sure you guys know things have to grow. Rocking up to the post office with 300 records every other month is insanely time consuming when you’re working. We are trying to keep the original roots there though. ENV007.1, ENV012 and soon ENV014 are all going back to the Bandcamp exclusive angle, similar to the USB’s etc. we did recently. Things don’t always go to plan but we are trying to move with demand.

Talking about a tight schedule, is it safe to say that somewhere around 2015 the releases followed up more quickly then ever, almost sometimes with only one month in between each release?

Yes indeed, though this was a natural progression as we have about 15 to 20 artists within the stable, with the bulk of them being on either exclusive or on a first refusal contract. It would be wrong to hold them back, no?

In regards to the vinyl series, we feel like for ENV001 (though not only that one) you really hit the nail on its head by introducing EVA808. All the music on Encrypted Audio is in general quite uncommon – when you look for new artists, what is it you pay the most attention to?

ENV001 came around more by chance than careful planning. We hit the point after a fair run on digital releases where there was enough return in the label to finally start the vinyl chapter. When we reached out to our team, EVA808 had literally just wrapped up the tunes and they made perfect sense.

The way we go around picking artists is to not look for what’s popping. We look for a difference in everyone’s musical pallet on the label. We also try to get people enthusiast who we feel involving them in the label will give them the progression they need. It worked thus far!

So let’s talk about the collaboration project with Samba, how did you guys got in touch with each other and what eventually pulled the trigger to launch a project together? How did you even came up with the triangle symbol?

Sam and I linked up from him buying an incorrect sized tee from us. He hit me up to ask for a size swap and we linked for a coffee. I happened to spend a lot of time in his area unbeknownst to me at the time. We linked and started jamming some tune ideas. We picked the ∆ symbol. We didn’t choose to call ourselves “Triangle” it was people’s obvious connection to the symbol being a Triangle.

We feel like these two tracks, but basically all of the content from Samba and yourself are so much on point and extremely innovative and forward-thinking. What exactly did inspire you to make this distortion-based dubstep?

Firstly thanks. Being brutally honest Sam and I sit down to make music and just jam. It’s more about catching jokes and just trying unusual stuff that results in our tunes. “III” was the third tune we ever made and we had both overdosed on caffeine and then drank ourselves silly. “FTG” came out me moving back into my house. Sam came over and we house warming partied the tune out in like 45 minutes.

ENV011 is your debut release only and (regardless of it being an absolute crazy record) we noticed a lot of hype about it. How exactly did you managed to pull of a US tour and what are the plans regarding bookings in general?

The tour we have had to delay due to time constraints from ourselves and trying to fit too much in. But we are planning it for 2018. We owe a lot of the hype around the tune to the DJs who supported III from the moment it dropped. Bukez, Distance and Mala being the first three people to tap us up for a copy. We couldn’t believe it, but we knew something good must of come out of us catching jokes and pressing buttons!