With Shogun Audio celebrating 100 releases, we jumped at the chance to get a better understanding of how the label's vision gets brought to life. Label founder Friction and K-Tee have managed to build their brand into a guiding light for Drum and Bass and are currently at the forefront of their culture. We sat down with the two artists who share with us some of their thoughts and experiences surrounding Shogun Audio and pick a handful of memorable releases.
Everything looks very pretty and tidy on the surface, but we know there is A LOT of time, effort, energy and love that goes into running a brand and doing it well. What are some of the biggest challenges that you face in operating an awesome label?
K-Tee: It’s well documented that we’re operating in very changing times for any record label today and what was true yesterday may not necessarily be the case tomorrow, so we have to be flexible and quick to adapt to moving circumstances. The Shogun team all put in a lot of time and effort, but this is all backed up with passion and belief in what we’re doing and also about having some fun along the way!
What keeps you going every day? What inspires the vision and artful execution of Shogun Audio?
K-Tee: Now that we are a pretty established label, one of the main drivers for our business is to find, nurture and develop new and exciting talent. For me personally there is no better experience than working with an artist over time to watch them develop and succeed in this business.
What are your thoughts on how Shogun Audio has evolved, from its early beginnings to now? Do you have any specific goals or ideas for future releases that you can share?
Friction: My blueprint musically has always just been about releasing quality and that has stayed the same even now. Our release schedule this year is looking jam packed. Releases are lined up from Fourward, Icicle, Ulterior Motive, myself, Joe Ford, Rockwell and lots more.
If you could pick a few absolute favorite tracks released on Shogun, what would those be?
K-Tee: Obviously there are too many to pick! But a couple of personal favorites below…
Jonny L - 'Back To Your Roots (Friction & K-Tee remix)'
The first release which really had a big impact on Shogun, I think at this point Friction and I really started to think more seriously about the label.
Alix Perez - 'Forsaken'
Classic Perez :)
Spor - 'Aztec'
One of our biggest tracks, still gets a massive reaction when it’s played
Icicle - 'Dreadnaught'
The ultimate bassline roller from the Ice man.
Rockwell - 'Detroit'
Massive tune which really sums up what Rockwell is about, so innovative and fresh.
Friction: So many tunes over the years and it’s always really hard when picking favorites, in all honesty! Spor - 'Aztec', Back to Your Roots Remix, 'Dreadnaught', etc. have all been big moments for the label, but I’ve always had a soft spot for Subwave - 'Think'. Such a perfect tune and the epitome of drum & bass for me. So simple, yet perfectly produced.
K-Tee: We are delighted to have reached our 100th release on Shogun Audio, when Friction started the label in his front room back in 2004 we could have never imagined we would still be here 100 releases down the line! To celebrate we’ve pulled together a fantastic package of music from the existing Shogun roster and from our family and friends within the scene that we have been lucky enough to work with over the years. We can’t wait to share it with the Shogun Faithful…. and yes we are already working hard on the next 100 releases! Enjoy!
Huge thanks to K-Tee, Friction and the crew at Shogun for consistently bringing us amazing music. Looking forward to seeing what else they cook up for the next 100 releases.
Shogun 100 EP 001 drops on March 18th, 2016, Worldwide. Purchase Here