Bristol has proven a hotbed for creative talent in recent years, with a thriving music scene driven by a seemingly perpetual conveyor belt of young and energetic artists, DJs and promoters. Amongst them, the wonderfully stylised Banoffee Pies Records is up there with the best of the city’s dance music exports, with a series of killer cuts since its foundation in 2014. Home to tracks by artists as wide ranging as Philou Louzolo, Mr Mendel, Ishmael and many more, Banoffee Pies is a platform for good music across the board, steering clear of a restrictive signature sound.
Ahead of this week’s set at Motion for In:Motion and Crack Magazine, we spoke to Ell, one of the label’s founders, about the label’s hometown, ethos and origins.
The label was founded in Bristol, which is well-known for its rich and diverse music scene. What makes Bristol so suitable for creative music projects?
Friendly faces, and a general ethos of support amongst all the crews doing their own thing. It’s really quite nice. Love and that.
Not many independent labels have sister clothing brands, but Sandy’s Dr. Banana provides just that to Banoffee Pies. Would you describe the label as particularly fashion conscious?
Sandy’s Dr. B project is dope – you should all check it out. I wouldn’t say we are specifically fashion conscious, but we like to release nice products, whether that’s music or garments. If you’re going to do it, best be good ay. Follow to shameless self promo store link here.
I once had a four month craving for Banoffee Pie whilst living abroad in China, and then when I got back home the first restaurant that I went to had run out. What made the delicious dessert so significant that you decided to name a label after it?
That’s a sad tale. We played at a festival in Hannover on my Birthday over summer and the head of the team’s mother fired us up a Banoffee Pie as a gift for us all to enjoy – everyone seemed pretty fascinated considering they had never heard of it. It’s a bit of a mysterious desert in that way- means nothing and says everything.
*Also, we always wanted to base a label around a dessert with the long term plan of becoming the newer, less cool, shorter haired versions of Steve Aoki. Or something.
The latest EP has a real speakeasy feel to it, with plenty of jazz melodies and lazy house beats. Does previous success allow more scope to move away from the dancefloor and into broader territory with future releases?
Moving into new realms of sound has always been our long term goal. The both of us are pretty keen on maintaining and generally promoting eclecticism, be it through the label, listening or playing out, but to some degree as time goes on I guess there is an element of flexibility there that age gives you. With that the various sub series we have chaotically formed will slowly make sense. The confusion will unravel, we kind of promise. Or does it matter.
You’ve got two shows at In:Motion booked in before the end of the season, with one on Saturday 10th December and the other on New Year’s Day. How important is In:Motion to the Bristol scene?
Motion is an important spot for Bristol, it’s local crews, and the framework of support it provides to new and blossoming nights and residents of all finding their feet, as well as a place for bigger acts to make a show. The venue have made some really interesting movements of late with a fair amount of expansion and some fresh new projects which will ensure Motion’s spot as Bristol’s mega club for years to come.
Large venues like Motion obviously play a significant role in the nature of a clubbing scene, but how do warehouse spaces compare to smaller, more intimate venues when it comes to throwing a party?
*Small raves rock worlds.
Recently there has been a massive increase in the number of smaller parties going on which we really love to see so all we need now is some smaller clubs to pop up and cater for this madness. If you’re reading this transmission and you’re in property - genuine TIP.
It’s no secret that the margins in independent music are pretty slim. Considering that Banoffee Pies has now been running successfully for three years, do you consider it a career rather than a hobby?
It definitely started as a hobby, and like anyone getting into music the sudden realization of the genuine grind to make things work financially is always hard to swallow, but, it’s now transformed into something more, and with the sub series all running around the label, on top of our dj bookings, festival partnerships/showcases and the other proverbial tricks up our sleeve for next year, time will tell. For now, we keep our heads down.
We like to finish with a track here at Ticket Arena, so what would you say is the freshest banana in the Banoffee Pies bunch?
The fastest rollercoaster in the world – sampled, created, and loved by Liem and Eddie Ness on BP005. This one freaky. Love from Banoffee.
Following the show with Crack magazine in Bristol on Saturday 10th December, the Banoffee Pies residents will be returning to favourite stomping ground Motion for the New Year’s Day party with Tale Of Us, Helena Hauff, Steffi, KiNK and a boatload of other huge names.
Photo courtesy of Banoffee Pies