Tact Recordings: A label built on friendship and nurturing new talent
Earlier this year I discovered a fledgling record label by the name of Tact Recordings, run by four young producers (Jordan Bruce, Richard Fletcher, Sam Monaghan and Nick Burgoyne) who are based in different parts of the UK it made a great impression on me from the very first release. Considering how difficult it can be to make a profit from music these days, I thought it was a brave move by the foursome to try their hand at setting up a label. Here they discuss why they made the decision to start Tact in the first place.
Who are the members of the team behind Tact Recordings and where are you based?
We are Jordan Bruce (myself), Richard ‘RJ’ Fletcher, Sam Monaghan and Nick Burgoyne. We’re based all across the UK, I’m currently in London, Fletch in Leeds, Nick in Manchester and Sam in Sheffield. I think this works as quite an advantage for us as we can really get a feel for what’s happening across the board in the electronic music scene in England. Each of those cities are thriving in their own way so it also allows us to keep an eye out for these fresh faces cropping up on the scene making incredible music, Luke Gibson from Leeds, Isherwood from Manchester and Luke Black from London being prime examples of that.
When did you all decide to start a record label?
Well I decided to start the label after I returned to Manchester to play a party with all the lads (I had previously studied in Manchester). We’d all been constantly together partying week in week out in the city and studying sound engineering together, when that ended and we all went our separate ways I felt the tight friendships could slip through the cracks – now we have this as a stronghold to keep us together as well as a platform for releasing our own music and music from close friends we respect.
How did you go about putting your plans into action?
I’ve been fortunate enough to place myself in a career within the music industry, engineering and working for a music PR company which has helped me learn the fundamentals of how to run a label, what to look for, what to avoid and how to look after your artists. I never wanted to go at it alone so with the lads on board I felt it was the right time to move on it. I was introduced to someone at our distribution company we secured the deal and got the ball rolling which fortunately so far has run smoothly.
How did you raise the funds to get it started? Did you conceive a business plan/get a loan or have you funded it with your own cash?
The label’s been funded completely out of our pockets and often left all four of us on the bread line. We’re all very proud of the remix artists we’ve pulled in so far and I think they stand as a great representation of what our experiences in the industry are, I’d say its been worth every penny.
What’s been the most difficult aspect of starting/running a label so far?
The most difficult aspect for us is getting the chance to sit down in the same room and discuss where we’re at and where we’re headed. However I think we’re managing this reasonably well so far as is but certainly something I’d like to improve on, as we progress we’ll look into finding a proper base for the label.
What’s the plan with the label? Any specific targets?
I wouldn’t say we have a particular game plan, I’d like to keep things fresh with each release slightly subverting peoples’ expectations. If you look at our first four releases they’re all quite different in terms of how the productions were achieved outboard/in the box/gritty/polished etc. but all with a recurring theme of deep and tasteful (to us anyway). When you look at labels like 20:20Vision and Dial Records they’ve spent years developing artists and simply releasing what they feel portrays their sound and that’s exactly what we plan to do, persevere and one day aspire to be a ‘go to’ label. I have no desire to release a so called ‘big track’ that’s disposable and could possibly act as a hindrance to us when people expect us to be constantly churning out music of that same calibre.
How does it feel to be a label owner?
Satisfying when you see positive feedback from some of the people who inspired you to make a start in this business in the first place and get sent a recorded set of John Osborn B2B with Scuba playing one of your releases at Panorama Bar (Berlin), it makes it all worth it knowing that the music we’re releasing is hitting the right people and places.
With file sharing etc. doing so much damage to the music industry, do you worry much about how the future will pan out for Tact?
This is always a difficult thing to discuss, obviously it’s very detrimental to the music industry in general however the people who use these file share sites, if you have your music removed from them, they won’t then go and buy the music they’ll just forget about it and move on to the next one, they’re cyberthieves. I think as long as we can sell the physical product (vinyl) we press and the people out there who still respect artists enough to purchase music (there are still lots of them) continue to buy our releases then we won’t really have anything to worry about. Within days of our debut release being out digitally it was uploaded for free everywhere, it’s soul destroying but for now we’re just going to have to bite our tongue and realise that’s the way the industry is these days until a new law is passed against it.
What separates Tact from all the other labels that are out there at the moment?
I think in this day and age its a difficult thing to be innovative so to speak but you add your own personal twist and adapt to what’s going on around you. I guess the fact we’re jumping straight in to pressing wax separates us from a vast amount of labels when they first start out, we’re also putting our focus on rising artists who are at the beginning of their careers trying to help them evolve but other than that I’d say we’re just another part of the ever-evolving electronic music scene trying to express ourselves.
Luke Gibson ‘Get It Together’ EP (Incl. Tevo Howard and Chris Stanford & Dax J Remixes) by Tact Recordings
In an ideal world, where will the label be in ten years time?
In an ideal world our artists and us four involved will have developed enough to be running the label and making music as our main career, in a realistic world if we’re still going with great music being released I think we’ll all be happy.
What do you have up coming on the label?
We’re having a break from vinyl for the summer after Tactics Vol.1, the first of an annual compilation series we’re planning, but following that we’ll be doing a couple of digital releases, another comp and a release from Hohle to keep the momentum rolling. In September we’re back to 12” releases with a really talented rising producer called Lee Daines who’s making some incredible stripped back house, then following that we have a release from James Johnston from No Matter What scheduled in which I’m very pleased about. We all really respect James as an artist and his ethos on music, beyond that he’s an incredibly nice and supportive person which is important to us, the personality of the artist involved actually is of huge importance, I’d never want to put out a record by someone who’s in it for the wrong reasons.Jordan Bruce, music, Nick Burgoyne, Richard Fletcher, Sam Monaghan, Tact Recordings
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