Since it’s inception in 2008, Lovers Rock has become a home for artists where they can just be themselves. In an interview with Resident Advisor, label head Daniel Martin-McCormick, aka Ital, said it’s simply music, made without any blueprint in mind, guided only by each artist’s intuition and personality. “The label is not just a place to put music that I like. It’s a place to put music that I think exemplifies this very personal criteria. Earthen Sea’s music sounds like the thick, rolling clouds of San Francisco. DJ Wey’s music has a certain sort of warm glue in the middle of it that just exists. It’s not just a production technique, it’s a natural manifestation of their spirit.”
The carefully-curated label has seen releases by Gunnar Haslam, Aurora Halal, Earthen Sea, Sleeper Cell and Ital himself over the years, venturing through murky techno and somewhat ambient styles. He’s invited some of his friends and label favorites out to Good Room on July 16 for A Lovers Rock Showcase (tickets available here). We asked Martin-McCormick to share his thoughts and inspirations about each artist.
DeepChord: Rod Modell has been an inspiration since I heard Echospace’s The Coldest Season back in 2007. Raw yet otherworldly, the album became an obsession, one of those records that keeps revealing different sides of itself the more you get into it. Later I would get more into his solo work as DeepChord, which balances Season’s austere menace with some Eno-calibre ambience. In interviews he’s more likely to shout out painters than fellow producers, and it’s not hard to see why; his records often feel like pure sound, a lush, enveloping atmosphere that was there before the track began and will remain, ever-shifting and mutating, long after you move on.
Earthen Sea: It’s a cliché at this point to call music “deep” but Earthen Sea makes the cut. Monastic waves of rolling hypnosis-inducing ambience atop dubbed-out percussion workouts. There’s an elemental quality to his music that can’t be denied, often evoking the dense fog of San Francisco, where he lives. “Beat 13” came out on the first Lovers Rock compilation and remains one of my favorite tracks of his.
Gunnar Haslam: one of the most prolific & inspiring artists in NY at the moment. His live sets are fiery joyrides through jacking techno and hellbent acid lines, delivered with an off-the-cuff immediacy. He’s just joined the LR family with a track on our most recent compilation.
Sweet & Low: DJ Wey & his co-conspirator Will DiMaggio take over the Bad Room all night under their Sweet & Low moniker. Wey’s LR output has been marked by a wild, freewheeling energy, exemplified on “Anthem Para La Club,” his collaboration J. Albert from LR 9’s Introduccion, A late night session with Wey on the mic, the track lays down an ear worm groove and some saucy rants.
A Lovers Rock Showcase is going down at Good Room on July 16. Tickets available here.