First of all Izaak, I just want to thank you for this opportunity, we have much respect for you, your label and your artists.
How was Memoria established and by whom?
Memoria Recordings was founded in 2011 by my former partner Fares Benouchiba. A couple months later I joined him and together we worked for over 2 years. We were both working in the electronic music industry, I was working as a bookings agent and he was already doing some management. Our ways crossed when we both worked for Egal 3 and Massimo Girardi who are now two of Memoria’s main artists!
What exactly is in the name Memoria, what does it mean to you personally and for the label’s integrity?
We wanted to create a imprint that was more than just music. Creating memories by music, whether it’s in a club or a festival, doesn’t matter. Everybody knows that feeling when you hear an amazing track for the first time, you will always remember that moment. We try to release music that gives you that feeling.
What is the concept of the label and how would you describe the sound, if this could be possible to summarize in a few words?
We always try to stay open-minded. So it’s hard to put a name tag on the label. I think our sound is somewhere between the more dubby Romanian sound & groovy, dancefloor records.
Nowadays, labels evolve in many different ways: from a series of parties, for example, and often end up as an agency too. Is this the case with Memoria?
Last year we started a collaboration with a bookings agency from Amsterdam, called Meanwhile! They take care of all the bookings for our artists. Maybe in the future we will take it back into our hands but then we would need to have more label artists. At this moment my focus is on running the label, not running a bookings agency.
We did some great Showcases last year in Europe: Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, Paris just to name a few. We have a big list of artists that are related to the label, so it’s very interesting for promotors to book showcases with us. This is something that I hope will grow even more over the next year.
Do you have a strict music policy for Memoria or is it somewhat relaxed? One thing for sure, the roster is very musically diverse!
No, there is no policy! The only thing that matter is quality. If you listen to our catalogue you can see that we released different styles of music but always quality.
At the same time Memoria is very international. The label was founded in Netherlands, right? As to your artists they are from all over the world…Where is Memoria now, officially?
Our office is based in The Netherlands, in a small city called Breda! We work with different artists around the world. That’s the big benefit of the Internet: you are connected to the world. We talk to artists over Skype, and during the process of an EP you get to know each other better and better. Then we also do showcases with the label and then we meet in person. The dance-scene is not that big, so you meet each other in Ibiza, Miami and all those places. It’s like a big family.
HDNSM is looking forward in particular to Kashawar upcoming album release- would you be able to shed some light on this one?
This gonna be awesome. Kashawar is an amazing underground artist and I’m super proud that he is releasing his first album with Memoria Recordings. There are 9 tracks on the album, all are beauties. We are now finishing the artwork for the cover and then start the promotion. It will be released on Vinyl by the end of August.
What is your personal take as well as label policy with regards to the whole vinyl vs digital debate?
For me it’s not really an issue. It’s not the gear that makes the DJ, it’s the person behind the gear. Of course I like the warm sound of vinyl, but I totally understand artists if they play with a laptop. They travel all around the world, and it makes your life so much easier. In my opinion it’s a good thing that you can combine it, like you can with Traktor Scratch. For Memoria Recordings, we will always release vinyls as I like the sound, it’s romantic… and I’m a romantic guy ;)
Memoria releases also feature some spectacular artwork – who is in charge of the visual side of things and how important is it to the concept?
It’s my little brother! Haha, He doesn’t like it if I call him little… He was studying Graphic Design when we started the label, and I asked him to help us. We kept it that way because we both really liked the artwork. The funny thing is, he graduatde yesterday, so he is leaving Memoria soon to start his own career. I already found an amazing new artist who is going to start doing our artwork. The first one in the Kashawar album, so I’m very exited!
I know you are planning label parties around the world, showcasing your talent as well as collaborating with various labels and events such as Crazy Jack, for example, which is amazing, but do you have any other ‘special’ plans for the future with Memoria?
The showcases are one of main things for the future. I got many requests for showcases over the world but it’s important to work with the right promoters. People who understand what Memoria is about and respect the music, not just aiming to make profit. This is hard to find. We have a lot of amazing label artists, and the list is growing. With Egal 3 and Massimo Girardi we have two big talented artists that are connected to Memoria.
My big dream is to have a good showcase in Ibiza, every week during the summer. At the moment there is a lot of deep house there, I hope to bring a different sound to the island.
As you can imagine we are dying to find out what new artists will you be adding to the roster in the future. It must be top secret but if you could give us some hints?
In June we have two releases. From France we have Leon. The second one will be from our closest label-friends Andrea Oliva with remixes from Guti and Egal 3.
I’m working now on a remixpack for this summer, as it’s Memorias 2nd Birthday. Markus Fix did an amazing remix for Martinez. More names will be revealed later for this package.
After the summer we have already signed Dani Casarano, Massimo Girardi and I give you one ‘top secret’: I just signed 4 tracks from Dragosh.
We can’t wait to party with Memoria in Barcelona this year! Is this your first showcase there?
How important to you is it that this party will be more than a success?
I know I along with a crew from HDNSM will be there supporting!
No, last year we did the official after party from Off Sonar! It was a huge success so this year we decided to make an even bigger party at Barcelona! I should give all the credits to my former partner Fares, he arranged almost everything. It’s gonna be a closing moment for my collaboration with him, after Sonar he will leave Memoria. So we are going make a big party there to celebrate our friendship and work together!
Thank you so much for this chat, Izaak! HDNSM wishes you best of luck with your amazing project and we can’t wait for the Off Week showcase and many more great events and releases to come!