011: Percy Main (Lionoil Industries)

By backdrop

Percy Main, the alter ego of Notsosilent head honcho Matt Belcher, brings us this week’s mix. Matt resides in Edinburgh, with roots in Newcastle, and will be headlining our next Ernest event on 26.11.16. Matt also featured for us at our 2015 Edinburgh live stream, reeling out rare disco and house grooves before Fudge Fingas joined the party to close us out in style. We can’t thank Matt enough for the help and support he’s given to us over the years we’ve known him, and we are delighted to have this mix from him and to have the man himself come and play in our fair city! Listen to his latest release on Lionoil below and follow them here to buy records and dance like mad at their parties… http://lionoilindustries.co.uk/

What was the mix recorded on?

An empty Sneaky Pete’s dancefloor before the club opened, mostly Vinyl with a few unreleased bits on USB.

Any records you want to mention especially?

There’s a (fairly rare) new one from me 3rd track in; a few other forthcoming Lionoil bits, including an absolute belter from Passmore (track 6), which will be out in the next year and new or unreleased bits from Hi & Saberhägen, Telfort and Thinktank, all of whom are linked with the label in some way. It’s a bit of a dancier mix than I’d usually record for a podcast, but I wanted to get across a tuffer selection with as many bits from Edinburgh represented as possible!

Any particular standout record labels for you currently?

Rhythm Section are killing it (along with the other guys in Peckham and surrounding areas), Athens of the North and Firecracker continue to do the damage up here. And I can’t not give a shout to Brownswood for putting out the Yussef Kamaal album last week, that’s absolutely bonkers. There’s lots of amazing music coming out at the moment, it’s a really exciting time!

You run Lionoil Industries, an up and coming label with some amazing releases and some fantastic artists, including yourself, you produce, you DJ, and you run your own night – how do you find time to spin all these plates? Do you ever have to let one side suffer a little to focus on the others, and is there an aspect you most enjoy?

It can be pretty tough to balance everything for sure (not least with family and paying bills), but the key for me is focussing everything and making sure everything that I sit down to do gets done properly (hence the lack of studio output lately!) Largely, I’m very happy with how things are, and very excited about the coming years label output and parties we have planned. There are plenty of people who are far better at all of this stuff than me though, so I’m constantly trying to improve.

How did you come up with the name Lionoil Industries? It’s originally a librication management company from 1925 isn’t it?

It looks great upside down, and it’s really awkward to pronounce.

I may be wrong, but Lioinoil is a vinyl-only label, yes? This must be tough in today’s market, what with limited production available. As a vinyl DJ myself, I love it and understand it’s worth the frustrations, but for those who don’t have an obsession with spinning wax, what are the ups and downs for you personally when it comes to releasing vinyl?

That’s not strictly true, we do have the digitals to up to buy on our Bandcamp, although you won’t see it on Tidal any time soon.

Physical media is really important to all of us, having something tangible to show for your music collection on a shelf helps you remember it in years to come and from a label’s perspective it adds an extra bit of commitment in the music we put out as well – If we like it enough to invest in it, then we hope you will too. It’s been a learning curve though, manufacturing delays are the real deal and Brexit certainly hasn’t helped the tiny margins! The rest is definitely ups though. Thankfully there are great people around who’ve given us heaps of support (big shouts to House of Traps, Rubadub, Sam and Gav who’ve all put up with plenty of tedious grilling about the process). Alex recently showed me a video of ‘Chat Room’ being played to a packed out club in Leeds the other night with Ricardo Villalobos and Seth Troxler grooving along to it, and that’s super cool (and also completely nuts).

We’re all very passionate about collecting and buying records from record shops, so naturally we want to be part of that experience, and without being elitist or snobby about vinyl only releases or DJs, we’d encourage anyone who’s into music and our culture to support it too. If it’s mastered for the club and played through a system properly geared up for it, then it sounds better. Plus, you don’t have to back-up your record collection (just have to find a place to store it).

The first Lionoil release has yourself and DJ Yves on it, it must have been an exciting moment in your life?

The first tape was a bit of an intro to our sound, which was a bit of fun. I do get a real buzz from getting things manufactured, it has to be said. And being able to play my own music out on vinyl is rewarding for sure. So the first record (LIONOIL002) was a very proud moment, and it’s definitely cool to see it on shelves in record shops about the place.

I own that first record, it’s amazing, genuinely love every track. Some names that are making waves themselves on that release – Hi & Saberhägen and Telfort to name two – must be fun to have been involved in helping kickstart careers through your label. Is that something you hope to continue to do? Exhibit young talent?

Thank you! Totally, although it’s more about helping to export a bit of the really dope community we have here on the East coast rather than exhibiting young talent or kickstart careers.

Glasgow’s often seen as the mecca of Scottish music, but while Glasgow is great – we’re really passionate about the Edinburgh music scene. The situation with clubs can be disheartening (as they can anywhere) but we have a solid community behind the transient student fringe festival tourist façade, and we want to help to export that. Sneaky Pete’s, for example, is an amazing space and night time hub – I’ve never come across anywhere like it anywhere else.

Our next release is from a somewhat underrated fixture in Edinburgh since the 90’s, who self-released a ridiculous 10” just before the summer and has run a seminal venue for the last 2 decades. Definitely not young talent, but still a strong part of the community here from before our time, who we want to help export to a different audience. (Something like that anyway…)

Your most recent release with FYI Chris is also top notch, and the first EP you’ve released that only has one artist vision on it. What was the thinking behind that, and how did you go about working with FYI Chris? (PS. We saw them spin in Sneaky Pete’s and they were awesome!)

The two Chris’s are really good pals, and they make great, great music. We were super stoked when they were keen to have us put out their record, and of course we plan to continue to work with them again in the future. Working with friends is really important and we got on with Watson and Coupe from the word go. Although Hi & Saberhägen, Telfort, Passmore etc are all close friends from Edinburgh who we hang out with all the time (at Sneakys usually), our tag line is “International Dancing Systems”, and we’re keen to have a global outlook as well as sourcing local produce. The next few releases are all also single artist EPs.

You’re playing for us at our next free Ernest event on November 26th, we’re ridiculously excited to have you. Have you ever played to a Newcastle crowd before?

Once, in the back room of a weeknight a few years ago (at Legends maybe?). It was pretty rubbish. I grew up in the North East though and cut my dancing teeth there, so I’m super excited to come down and play for you guys. I’m in very good company with the rest of your bookings!

You also played for us at our live stream in Edinburgh, alongside the amazing Fudge Fingas, the Sun Harmonics boss and techno connoisseur om10, and the talented Body resident Jack Stanley. Thanks for doing that! Have you ever thought of doing anything similar with all the great artists and contacts you have available?

That was loads of fun (what a venue!). It would be great, but not something we have time to do right now. You should definitely do it again though!