Milk and Sugar records has been an iconic record label for those that are interested in dance music in Europe. With an eclectic touch that still reigns in true today, the label is hitting their 200th release on November 11th.
To prep for the massive release, we sat down with the labelheads to learn more about their success, as well as hear what they've been listening to!
How did the record label start?
M&S: We started about 20 years ago with our first house productions. It was strictly discohouse, but back in the days there was no label here in Germany that released that kind of music. So we thought why not founding a label for this style and at the same time giving other producers the chance to release their tracks on our imprint.
What is the meaning behind the name?
M&S: We were trying to find a name for our label, a producer- and a DJ team. Someone came up with the idea calling it Milk & Sugar, which was also very similar to our names - Mike & Steven - and started with the same letters. S&M wouldn´t have worked so well, we suppose.
What would you say are the biggest challenges in managing a label?
M&S: Since we founded our label the market changed consistently. We started with vinyl, then moved on to release also CDs, then downloads, and now we are in the middle of a transformation that people won´t even „own“ music but go to one of the big streaming sites. Finding the right answers to this and also keep the vibe for good music are the biggest challenges.
Were there unexpected obstacles you ran into when you started?
M&S: OMG, producing vinyl records was a nightmare! Whatever came out of our studio, we could never be sure how it would sound until we had the first testpressing in our hands. It took ages to correct mistakes, to get the graphics right and also sending out promos via post cost a fortune. Nevertheless, back in the days the productions sounded worse than nowadays.
What have been your favorite releases so far on the label?
M&S: We had some great records on our label in the 2000 era like Tim Deluxe „It Just Won´t Do“ or „Bel Amour“, and one of our favorites from the newer releases is definitely „Feel Like You Wanna Sing’“ from Mitch LJ & Gil Martin. It has that certain energy which we love to play out a lot.
Where do you feel the label going from now?
M&S: We have set our focus towards compilations like the „Sessions"- series or our „House Nation“ playlist on Spotify. We will not follow the futurehouse trend but rather work on our label profile to supply the internationally best house and deep house tracks for club DJs.
Do you have personal goals looking forward towards the future of the label?
M&S: We have some new releases up our sleeves that will become very strong, also the recent productions from Full Intention or Joeski performed great on our imprint. We will most likely set up some new compilation concepts for other DJs and help them with licensing or distribution. We have also founded a sample replay service you can check under www.re-sample.com.
The music world can be daunting. What advice would you give those that are looking to make their own big break?
M&S: There are a lot of online tools for self marketing that can help young talents to gain some attention. But it usually comes to a point where an artist needs professional support. Working together with managements, labels and booking agencies is absolutely crucial. Young producers who are looking for professional support can always send their productions or inquiries.
What can we expect from the label for the rest of 2016 and beginning of 2017?
M&S: At the moment we are promoting our 200 Release which is very exciting. 7 unreleased tracks from the label core artists including Ben Delay, Yves Murasca, Lissat & Voltaxx, Oriano, Dry & Bolinger and a fantastic Rene Amesz Remix for our own single Ready Or Not.
Also, there will be a new Milk & Sugar, plus we are already working on our woldwide 20th anniversary tour for 2017. You can always find the date on our facebook.