• Josh Crowe

Pushing Collaboration In Music And Aiding Mental Health

The return to clubbing has left us with full hearts and empty wallets, a reminder of just how seminal nightlife is to the music community. Finally hearing our favourite lockdown tracks out in the wild, whilst bumping into Instagram friends we've made in the past 18 months has been unbelievable. The atmosphere of the past few months at events is a reflection of how much we've missed clubbing, but as this newly discovered freedom presents itself, it's crucial we remember how much great work was done over lockdown. Seeing so many upcoming producers and DJ's come to the forefront during lockdown has been incredible, which is without a doubt being reflected in the array of line-ups in Leeds that celebrate upcoming artists. The increase in compilations was also received warmly, giving upcoming artists the perfect opportunity to gain some traction prior to their debut EP releases.

One label that really grabbed our attention was Collab, which is currently based in Cambridge, with an eye to relocate to Bristol very soon. The first release was therefore very homegrown, while this second release is featuring artists from all over the UK, whose music we’ve been loving recently. Each artist for their collaborator has chosen a friend they’ve found through this music or from before they started producing, which is always great to see.

They've got a really exciting future ahead with guest mixes, EPs, further compilation-style releases and even a launch party en route. While dance music has inspired the initial releases, they also hope to transcend dance music into other genres we love and can’t wait to see how far this can go!

Their recent release COLLAB002 sees the label go from strength to strength, bringing together some of our favourite producers around. The opening track 'SCUFFED' is a standout collab between Arfa and Joe Kin, a cold opener guaranteed to send you to celestial heights. Arfa first came to my attention when Disclosure reviewed his track online, the comment section blew up with much deserved praise. He also has an EP called Baby Steps, so what's not to like? Less is know about Joe Kin who collaborates with Arfa on the track, but after hearing this release and 'Riddim For My Valentine, I'm seriously excited to hear what else he has in the works.