Future-friendly Caoutchou Records has been challenging the meaning of what is universally known as electronic music ever since its early days back in 2008. A key player on the local beat scene, its name has transcended geographical barriers too, with the label gaining a reputation for pinpointing and promoting both emerging and established acts. As one of the acts featured in our Beats in Belgium feature, set to be released in our upcoming edition, we asked the crew to record an exclusive mix for us. And it’s heavy.
Pre-order our upcoming issue, The Brussels Special, here.
Join us for our Brussels release party here.
Can you talk to us about the mix?
It consists of tracks that are released on Caoutchou Records over the past years. The selection is all about eclectic electronic music with an edge.
Can you describe yourself in a few words? Your sound, approach to making music, your influences, how it all started, etc…
We’re a music label that aims to bring a forward thinking sound by Belgian, as well as international artists since 2008. We’re fully independent and have a DIY-approach to our releases. As our sound is so diverse our influences are wide-ranging: obviously there’s all kinds of electronic music but some of us are also influenced by reggae, r&b or hip-hop. Most of the tracks in the mix are downloadable for free (donation) on caoutchou.bandcamp.com.
How did you first start making (releasing) music? How does it fit into your life?
Before Soundcloud there was an online platform called Electrobel where you could post your own music and get feedback from other producers. Some like-minded folks on Electrobel wanted to release their stuff on a label but didn’t know where to go to. So one day they decided to start a label of their own and thus Caoutchou Records was born. Nowadays we’re still pushing talented, young producers as well as more established artists; this way the rookies get more exposure.
Is music a full-time thing for you at the moment? If not, what are your other occupations?
We’re 5 people in the label and we all have a job besides music. But for us the label is more than a job, it’s a passion. Some people like to go fishing in their free time, well we like to release music. It’s an expensive hobby though but luckily we have great fans who donate some money regulary. The funny thing is that almost all the donations or sales are coming from abroad and only very few from Belgium.
Can you describe the mix in a few words? What is its overriding influence, where would it best be enjoyed, what makes it special?
Cross-boundary music from bedroom producers across the globe. Random Gang Sign kicks things off with tunes from more recent releases and Stubborn takes a trip down to memory lane.
Can you tell us about the exclusive track on the mix? Why did you chose to include this one? If it isn’t one of your own productions,how did you come across the artist?
There’s 2 exclusive tracks in the mix actually. First one is from GrupSes Beats, a collective from Istanbul who fuse traditional Turkish music with futuristic beats. Second one is from Doctor Illingsworth; a dude from Detroit who makes badass beats and also hosts a hilarious Youtube-channel. Both tracks will be featured on our next Rubber Beats compilation, which should be out in December.
When and where did you record it? Describe the room, the furniture, the walls, the view from the room, the neighbourhood, the weather at the time, etc…
Our two labels DJ’s made the mixtape. Random Gang Sign made the first part in his flat in Ghent and Stubborn took over in his homestudio in Gentbrugge. Together they play at parties as Caoutchou Collective.
What’s your favourite track on the mix?
Random Gang Sign: I’d have to choose Sunken Foal’s track. He’s one of our musical heroes and we were so happy he wanted to work with us! Stubborn: I have two favorites because I’m too stubborn to choose. No, these tunes are all equally brilliant, Apricut aka Plunges with We Few and Nihaya Tree with Nostalgik Player.
What are your top three albums of the year so far and why?
– Photay’s selftitled release on Astro Nautico blew our socks off recently: 22 year old wünderkind.
– Clap! Clap! – Tayi Bebba on Black Acre: amazing sophomore debut by our friend Cristiano, who released an EP Caoutchou as Digi G’Alessio.
– Aphex Twin – Syro: God is back. Although it felt more like a best of album we loved every second of it. Very curious to hear what’s next!
What do you have coming up in the next few weeks?
Some exciting labelnights in Czech Republic and UK are in the pipeline and we might go back on tour next summer. We’re currently working on the new Rubber Beats volume 5, which will be available as a free download in December. Watch the trailer for our Beats in Belgium feature here.