- Rob Day
Label Spotlight: ec2a
ec2a is a name that has been creating quite a stir in the world of UKG in recent months. Throughout the relentless monotony of lockdown, this London based label has been defiantly supplying the nation with quality dubplates from the likes of Fiesta Soundsystem, Wilfy D, and Ease Up George just to name a few. Their most recent release comes from GLOCKTA and Lavonz on remix duties for Mushkilla, which, like all previous release, has flown out of stock. Alongside physical distribution, ec2a run a free download series, with tracks from likes of Papa Nugs, Afredo Romero, and Donny Rotten, whilst simultaneously running their clothing store which you can check out here. In the wake of their snowballing success, we had a chat with label head Yanis to get an insight into the origins of the label, how operations have been affected by ongoing covid restrictions, and what we can expect in the coming months.
For people who haven’t heard of you, how would you describe what ec2a is all about?
ec2a is a record label inspired by a legendary dance music establishment - Plastic People. My dad was part of this nightclub and I spent many hour working behind the clock room witnessing Theo Parrish, Floating Points, Four Set, Eric Lau, Co-Op, FWD>> and lots of incredibly forward thinking electronic music. Ever since it closed, I always wanted to pay homage in my own way… This is why i started “ec2a” as Plastic People was on Curtain Road, Shoreditch, hence the postcode - EC2A!
How did you come to create ec2a?
Lots of hours studying the scene and other labels. Trying to make sure I did everything the opposite way that all the “big dogs’ did. I think it’s important to try and look at things in a different way as opposed to copy whats worked for others!
How did lockdown affect the business side of things? Did you find it made distribution easier or more difficult?
If I’m being totally honest, Lockdown has been the biggest blessing! It’s allowed me to make this wacky idea so something with substance! Although it seems like a lifetime ago, everything prior to lockdown was travelling at a million miles an hour and it was so though to breakthrough and make a name for yourself as you were constantly shadowed by all the DJ’s with clout and their outrageous circuits across the world. Since lockdown, I have found that people have been digging deeper and looking for talent on an underground grassroots level. In terms of the label it’s really allowed me to get content out there without worrying about it disappearing into the massive black hole that is social media!
How have you found the support that the label has received in recent months?
Absolutely crazy, it’s barely been 12 months since i was speaking to Main Phase about doing the first ever release and I’ve just embarked on my 16th project with Mushkilla, Lavonz & Glockta!
Did you ever expect the label to get to where it is now when you first set it up?
I’m a strong believer in manifestation and this is a clear example of that! I used to bore my mates with the same old story! I would try and talk everything into existence so before the first release i would talk and talk to people about what I was doing with the label and where it’s going and over time all these manifestations became a reality! It’s cliche as fuck, but nothings out of reach! You just need the vision and work ethic!
What’s your favourite ec2a release to date and why?
I could never select a favourite release but some of my favourite releases have to be the 001 by Main Phase because we were both literally nobodies before that release and the growth since then has been wild! For Main Phase as an artist but also ec2a as a label! Otherwise I would say that the double drop from Etch was also madness because I never thought that wouldn’t be a thing and I was such a massive fan of his so it was nuts when it came together.
Tell us about your label merchandise.
Anyone who knows me, knows how much i love my germs haha! I find fashion and music go hand in hand… However I don’t think there’s any brands out there merging the gap between dance music culture and fashion. I hope to be the one to merge that gap! Got tons of ideas, keep your eyes peeled!
Pushing hard-hitting UKG in a time when clubs are shut must be strange- would you say that the lack of club plays has held back progress at all, or has the response to releases been
fairly consistent regardless?
It’s definitely a weird time to drop heavy hitting dance music but it hasn’t held back progress whatsoever! This year we’ve sold nearly 1000 dubplates… If the music is good, it speaks for itself! i’m just excited to hear all this Pandemic Dance Music the clubs open again! There’ll be a year's worth of riddims ready to spin on the dance which is weirdly quite an exciting prospect!
What are your plans for the label once lockdown ends?
EC2A Parties - no headliners just vibes.
Full Press Vinyl
Empower black and female producers/DJ’s morre on the label.
Full Clothing Collection.