Relevant Parties is my new podcast about independent record labels

Photograph by Schiko

It’s been a relief to have something meaty to work on over this cancelled summer, and finally I can unveil Carhartt WIP presents Relevant Parties, AKA I’ve got a new podcast! And, as a massive bonus, I’ve got a new head shot – see above, courtesy of Schiko. As Lauren Martin pointed out, I look “hard,” which is what I’ve been trying to convey the whole time TBH.

So: Relevant Parties is a monthly show dedicated to the work of groundbreaking independent record labels. The original plan was for me to rock up at the HQ of every label with a sick analog camera and a bag full of microphones, but COVID-19 put paid to the glamorous stuff. We just did it all on Zoom (and saved a zillion tons of carbon, which I’d been fretting about anyway).

The first series contains six episodes, kicking off with Stones Throw Records – a truly “indie” label if ever there was one. I spoke at length with Peanut Butter Wolf about the rap, funk, jazz, punk and, uh, absolute batshit eccentricity that went into making his LA label one of the most unique musical portals this century. We talked about the greats of course – Madlib, Dilla, Doom – but we also got deep into his upbringing in the Bay Area and his taste for off-the-wall artists doing their own thing, like dear old Gary Wilson. He was also enjoyably honest about the uncomfortable experience of having a hit record that you don’t even like.

The second episode is with Ninja Tune founders Jonathan More and Matt Black AKA Coldcut, who paint a picture of London in the ’80s and ’90s, from rare groove and Reckless Records to weeknights at Blue Note and the rise of sampling technology. Just talking about the good ol’ days took up most of the episode, but it was such a fascinating, fast-changing period for electronic music, and those two really did shape it more than most.

You can find Relevant Parties in your usual podcast aisle, and we’ve made a Spotify playlist with tons of tracks from each label. Listen on SoundCloud or just use your noodle on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, etc.

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