- Josh Crowe
Label Spotlight: Tapas Wax Interview
Many musicians have used lockdown as an opportunity to work on their creative endeavours, hosting live-streams, releasing new music and collaborating with others. Alfie Aukett is no exception to this rule, having not only been working on existing projects like Alfredo Romero and Ready Meal Sounds, but more impressively launching his label Tapas Wax. We talked to Alfie about his decision to form the label, the artists that feature on it and the direction he sees it going on.
Hi Alfie, So where did the idea of creating Tapas Wax come about?
Haha, So me and a close friend of mine, Thom Parris, saw a huge batch of records for sale for cheap on the other side of London, and we thought f**k it, let’s go and grab them! So we filled a mini cooper with like 500 records! We did this to sell them, but also just for the fun of not knowing what the hell we were gonna get! So in order to sell all these records we needed a name; we put our initials together - Thom Alfie Parris Aukett (TAPA) - and tapas wax was born! We were really enjoying finding cool records, and selling lucky dip bundles to people, but when the uni year came around I headed to Leeds and Thom to Newcastle so naturally we weren’t able to really work together anymore. With Thom working hard on his own project (International Extraterrestrial Music - IEM – Check it out! It’s amazing!), I started to take charge of Tapas and that’s when I started developing it into more than just a word-of-mouth record shop and into a label!
In conjunction with my alias Alfredo Romero, I wanted to create a place where people could hopefully find good electronically dominant music, or things that were sonically interesting! My love for vinyl culture really pushed for the development of the label. I wanted the debut release to be on vinyl. It’s almost ready haha! Although I was keen to christen the label with a vinyl release, the COVID pandemic arose and I thought, it would be a perfect time to actually start the label off with some digital charity releases! This would hopefully lay some nice sonic foundations for the label whilst giving back to the incredible workers on the frontline!
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and the creative projects you are involved in at the moment?
Hey! So I’m a musician at heart, and so making music is a daily occurrence for me. Whether it’s more jazz orientated stuff or dancefloor ready music, I’m keen to be a part of it. I like to have my fingers in as many pies as possible! At the moment there are a few projects which are really taking charge and I’m really enjoying where they’re going. The first is Readymeal Sound (RM), a collective of amazing creatives who all bounce ideas off one another. Its allowed for some serious musical talent to flourish, with some super exciting releases coming soon, but it also has offered an opportunity for weekly live jazz performances featuring RM artists appearances! (check our Facebook for some of our quarantine jazz vids!). Another project I’ve been pushing recently is a DJ alias of mine, ‘Alfredo Romero’. I’ve been working on pushing my more club ready/dance music and I have some super exciting releases (unknown release date) with Dansu Discs and Dimsum Records! I’ve tried to incorporate my ability as a musician into my production taking inspiration from jazz, and modern minimalism (see metamorphosis 2 by Phillip Glass – absolutely beautiful!
How does it compare to other projects you’ve been involved in?
This is the first major project I have undertaken completely alone, and so that has its pros and cons. It has been so far, a great journey, connecting with some amazing producers from all over and I hope it continues to do so!
Is there a certain sound you guys are going for, or is it whatever feels right for the label?
Regarding our ‘sound’, it is less genre specific and more to do with the its interest. I have a very broad taste in music and so don’t want to limit what is released. As stated by the label’s slogan I each and every release to be a ‘tasty little morsel’. Something interesting and hopefully a good listen.
You also offer a digital mastering service could you tell us a bit about that?
Yes, whether you need a dj mix to sound a bit more coherent and beefier, or a track of yours mixed and mastered so you can play it in the club or release it on Spotify, we offer a digital mastering service that will hopefully fit your needs!
Could you talk us through a recent release on the label? (An intro to the artist, a bit about the tune, why you think it suited the label etc.)
Alfred UK is an amazing producer from Sheffield who is a mutual friend of mine (through Soundboy Cookie) and has been making some amazing music as of late! His production style spans across many genres but has a lovely unique quality to them! His track Granary was our second release on the Nibble Series (the digital charity series) and when I first heard it hit me in the face! A perfectly put together synthy-electro pumper with loads of energy. The track has some fabulous sounds and really keeps you on your toes! Alfred is an exceptionally talented artist and it is an absolute pleasure to have released his music! I’m super excited for what’s next to come from him!
What labels are you listening to at the moment, are there any we should be checking out?
At the moment I’m listening to a real mixture of sounds. The new release on IEM by Herb LF is fabulous! Wisdom Teeth always provide great releases! The most recent by K-lone is class. A few other labels worth noting are Dimsum Records, Dansu Discs, Banoffee Pies, Dr Banana, holding hands … just to name a few!
Am I correct in saying the proceeds of (y)our releases go to charity? Could you tell us abit about the charities you work with and why you felt compelled to fundraise for them?
Yes!! 100% of the proceeds from the nibble series are going to the Cavell Nurses Trust! The choice to go with them is because they have set up a coronavirus fund to help support the nurses working on the frontline of this pandemic!
What are your plans in the future both for the label and other projects you are working on?
We have a super exciting vinyl release by Soundboy Cookie which will be coming out soon!! And we have some more super exciting plans for the future! Keep an eye out!! I also hope to keep progressing with Alfredo Romero and release more content under that alias!