Addicted Podcast #022 (Continental Drift)
This interview was copied from the original with Igor Glushko of the Addicted Podcast Series and Jamie McCue of Silent Season from British Columbia, Canada.
Jamie wanted to showcase what Silent Season stands for, but to do this in a different fashion: not necessarily ambient-ish, maybe with a bit of a dance floor touch, but still embracing that feeling of being deep in the forest. These two hours of sound textures and dubby loops pass with a blink of an eye.
Silent Season had started out as a net label offering free releases and has since made its way to relative international prominence ending up with a bunch of albums and 12’’s in the catalogue.
Do you still maintain the very same idea behind the label that you had in mind while starting it back in the days?
Fortunately the vision of the label has always remained the same. To release deep atmospheric music that tells a story and captures a mood. A soundtrack to a moment in time whether in a forest or on a beach or driving through the countryside.
The artists and sounds of Silent Season are the roots of the label. It’s a simple label with the primary focus on the music. I do very little promotion and mostly offer direct sales through Bandcamp. Selling music direct has allowed me to connect more closely with listeners which I think is important. Personally I much prefer supporting artists and labels directly when possible.
The early format was simple mp3 which was ok for the time but as the label matured sound quality has become much more important. Our listening habits and the way we consume music have also changed and matured over the past 6 years. Social media wasn’t a thing back then and we didn’t have tools like Soundcloud and Bandcamp to help with sales and promotion.
In terms of the visual design, the Silent Season aesthetic runs through all the artwork and releases produced. It’s important to use recycled paper when possible and ensure all the materials are the highest quality, including things like final mastering and vinyl pressing.
Silent Season will continue to stay small and focused on releasing deep music through various formats with a family of artists from around the world.
You often emphasize that the nature of British Columbia serves as major inspiration for running the label. On the other hand, many artists associated with Silent Season represent completely different locations ranging from California and Spain to Poland and Netherlands. What types of sounds are you looking for and how do you ‘match’ them with the environment that inspires you so much?
I’m personally influenced by the natural surroundings in BC mostly because I live here and it’s what I experience every day. The same can be said for artists around the world who also experience the nature and beauty around them, inspiring the creation of ethereal sounds.
In BC we have a pretty dramatic shift in weather between seasons. And with each season comes a sound that is reflective of the weather outside. Deeper ambient music in the cooler days of Autumn and Spring. More rhythmic sounds through Summer and cold Winter.
Most of the artists on Silent Season have reached out with their own interpretation of the Silent Season sound and a story behind their productions. This means a lot of to me that they took the time to craft sounds based on their natural environment. Supernatural beauty can be found all over the world and can be very inspiring.
I look for sounds that are compelling and move me no matter the geographic region.
I've always been amazed by the photos used as covers for Silent Season CDs (the picture from Mindgames crew’s Composure CD has reference to your label as well for some reason). Do you take all these photos yourself? Does each pic have a direct association with the release, or you just own some kind of a photo bank that appears to be handy for the label purposes?
The slogan for BC used to be “Supernatural British Columbia” which I always felt was a perfect title for the province because it really can be supernatural through the lens of a photographer.
My good friend Danthon has always had a keen interest in photography, but specifically capturing the supernatural in BC, or at least this is what I always told him. Anyway, Danthon is more or less responsible for most of the photography used with Silent Season. Dan also took the stunning photo of the Japanese Maple used for the cover of the Composure CD.
The emotion and feeling of the music is represented by the photography selections for the covers. The more recent releases Dan and I discussed a concept based on the current season which gives each album a photo from the season it was released in.
Consistency in the photography is important to maintain the Silent Season narrative that runs through each release.
You seem to have quite a big interest in incorporating physical elements into the music you release, whether it is using recycled materials for CDs or pressing vinyl. Do you think there’s more to music than just sound waves?
I look at our releases like a book on a shelf, it’s a story waiting to be picked up and told, or in our case listened to. Each CD or vinyl looks like a book, the cover photo sets the tone and gives you a sense of what the story could be about or what the music may sound like.
I do think there is more to music then sound waves. For me emotion is a big part of music, how it makes me feel and how I want to feel when I listen to it. It can be transformative in that sense and allow you to get lost in the sounds.
Tell us about the mix you put together for Addicted. How was it recorded?
This mix is a collection of artists that inspire the other side of Silent Season, that would be my interest in djing and collecting music. The mix is a deeper 120bpm affair consisting of artists whose music I enjoy. It was recorded at home overlooking the water with a new Traktor S2, Sennheiser headphones, M-audio BX8 monitors, and 2 Holsten Festboks.
Thanks for listening!
01. Recondite — Hermilin
02. Recondite — Stems
03. youAND:THEMACHINES — Sway
04. Daniel Avery — All I Need
05. Ryo Murakami — Down The Sky (Argy remix)
06. Mike Huckaby — The Upstairs Lounge
07. Konrad Black — A Broken Down Mustang
08. Kassem Mosse — We Speak To Those
09. Hakim Murphy feat Santiago Salazar — Infinite Sensations
10. Fred P — Project 5
11. Kassem Mosse — Untitled B1
12. Edanticonf — The Boundry
13. Edanticonf — Roche Lobe
14. Minilogue — Doiicie B
15. Mathew Jonson — New Identity
16. Leonid — Mora
17. Abdulla Rashim — Kallocain (Jonsson Alter remix)
18. Recondite — Waldluft
19. Tin Man — Nonneo (Donato Dozzy remix)
20. Urenga — Echinoderm
21. Edanticonf — There Was a Star in the Sky