Ahead of their Moda Black party in Leeds this coming Saturday (25th October) and a huge two dayer in the capital at the end of November, we caught up with two of the UKs most important electronic figure heads in Jaymo and Andy George.
Hi guys, thanks for taking the time out to do this interview. You are the duo behind one of the hottest house music labels of the moment, Moda Black. Can you give us an insight into how the label came about, and what made you move on from solely DJing to releasing music you love?
There’s a lot of reasons, but looking for new music is one of our biggest passions. It’s what got us noticed in the first place really. Searching through SoundCloud, Juno, Myspace, or whatever it happened to be, and finding something that made you buzz with excitement. You’d be desperate to play that record out - but that would be the end of the cycle, as such. Having a label helped us take that passion further, which in turn means you can help those artists grow. If someone on the label has a big tune, everyone else gets a bit of heat off the back of it. If someone is having a nightmare trying to nail a mix down, there’s always someone else to lend an ear. The key, for us, is really making sure everyone on the label is constantly pushing themselves further. We are also very passionate about art and design, which we’ve always made sure was central to the label, so all in all it’s a big part of our creative output and something we put a lot of effort into.
As residents on Radio 1, you got to share the music on your label and from around the world with a wide crowd of listeners. Do you think radio is still a format people greatly rely on when looking for fresh new music, or are other mediums more important nowadays?
I think what people rely on now, more than ever, is trusted selectors. In a world with endless new music being released every day you need ways to filter things down a little. So whether it’s Pete Tong on a Friday night or Tim Sweeney on Beats In Space or Darius’s Tribal Sessions Podcast, once you know you trust someone’s taste it becomes a massive help in getting access to great new music. The advantage people like Pete have over podcasts is the casual listeners, rather than the committed fans. I bet every show that he does he converts a bunch of new people to house music - that’s pretty powerful.
The label is coming close to 40 releases now. Have you both got a favourite track or EP that has come out on Moda over the 2 years it has been in action?
Probably the first Moda Black album. It really caught fire and lots of the guys on there have blown up big time since. So that’s really cool to see, especially as most of them were friends of ours. It won iTunes Dance Album of the Year too, which is pretty nuts if you saw what other albums came out that year. It definitely caught a moment in time, but musically the label is always evolving.
Jaymo & Andy George - How It Goes [Moda Black Volume I]
You’re coming to Leeds this weekend for the label showcase at Mint Club. You have played in the city a handful of times, but never at Mint. Have you been there before as a punter, and are you looking forward to playing to the energetic Leeds lot underneath that special ceiling?
Yeah, loads of times! I lived in Leeds before moving down to London, so it’s kind of my second home. If you’re a fan of electronic music and you live in the North then you will have probably spent many hours in Mint! This will be our forth Moda Black party in Leeds - all the previous ones have been wicked - the thought of that trademark Leeds energy incubating under Mint’s hypnotic ceiling is exciting and frightening in equal measures! Leeds’ is relentless when it comes to partying. I can’t even begin to count the amount of ridiculous situations we’ve ended up in whilst raving in Leeds. If we’re still in one piece of Monday morning it’ll be a miracle!
DJ Sneak at Moda Black - The Warehouse Leeds - October 2013 (Photo -Justin Gardner)
Darius Syrossian, this Saturday’s headliner on the other hand is no stranger to the club. I can tell you, he has torn up that dance floor on many occasions. How did Darius come about to being on Moda’s roster?
You know what, that is a very good question! With the label we’re always looking for people that push things further. There’s loads of good producers in the world, but we want to work with that top 10%. The one’s that aren’t content with a good track - the one’s that aren’t happy until they’ve made a killer track. Darius is one of those guys - he’s always switching it up and pushing things further and trying out different things, and that’s what we love about him. The fact he’s a f**king animal when it comes to partying doesn’t hurt either….. seriously, the moment he’s checked into the hotel it all starts coming unravelled!
His single ‘Velvette’ on Moda Black’s Volume III compilation was one of my favourites in the selection. Does he have any more due for release on Moda soon?
Yeah, I loved it too. A good example of him breaking the mould a bit rather than going with the tried and tested formula.
And finally, are there any other label showcases, releases or other special happenings you’re super excited about now the winter is closing in?
The Autumn tour culminates in 2 nights back to back at Crucifix Lane warehouse in London, which is gonna be nuts. We’ve got Chaim, Fur Coat, Leed’s very own PBR Streetgang, Waifs & Strays along with label homies Walker & Royce and Theo Kottis. You know it’s gonna be ‘one of those weekends’ when people are asking you for guest list 6 weeks in advance! Music wise we’ve just released a new EP on Moda Black, then there’s a remix about to drop on Get Physical too. Oh, and we’re about to launch a range of bespoke t-shirts too.
Thanks lads, I will be seeing on you at the front on Saturday! Looking forward to it…
Catch Jaymo & Andy George live in Leeds on Saturday 25th October as Circular present a Moda Black Label Showcase with Darius Syrossian and more (BUY TICKETS) before heading down to London for the Moda Black London Weekender, Friday 21st - Saturday 22nd November (BUY TICKETS).