We are glad to present another edition of our Label Showcase series to start off your week in style. This time we have something quite special in store for you, namely the innovative Midgar Records to make it’s appearance in form of an interview and label mix. The label founded by Jacopo Severitano has been pushing the boundaries as what is perceived as contemporary techno for over 5 years already. We exchanged some words with the Italian native in, which can be read below.
- Hi Jacopo, thank you for preparing a Midgar label mix for us, as well as taking some time for a chat about the label. How are you?
Hello! First of all, I need to thank you for hosting Midgar on Monument! The mix was done in collaboration with PRG/M, we compiled the tracklist together and he mixed it beautifully!
2. Can you tell us what led up to your decision to start a label? Was there something that inspired you to create a label?
Circumstances seemed quite favourable in order to start building something, it definitely helped having had some experiences working with Synthek and Natch Records before to start my own imprint. Solving with a good timing problems and inconvenient situations – especially with pressing plants – was essential to keep the label and its release schedule flowing seamlessly since the beginning.
3. The label was created in 2014, how do you feel about the development of the label in the past 5 years, and where do you see it heading in the coming years?
Already 5 years! I’m quite happy when I look back. Things came along organically without sticking to a particular plan in the first period. As the imprint reached a certain amount of records, I started thinking more about when and how would be better to present specific projects or artists to the public. I described Midgar as a bridge between genres, that focused on the establishment of a modern sound. I wished to bring some innovation but with a final result still accessible to everyone and really enjoyable on the dance-floor. I’m keeping this formula while being confident that people embraced Midgar’s main purpose of continuous development!
4. You are also a graphic designer and create the artwork for the label, which has consistently been able to set itself apart from the majority label art works. Often, techno labels tend to go for minimalist art-works, whereas the Midgar artwork is often very detailed and sometimes is quite colourful. Can you tell us a bit about the concept of the artwork? And can you tell us a bit about your process of creating this artwork? What do you do to get inspired, for instance?
Illustrating a Cover for each release is a task which I must fulfil in parallel with my daily freelance job and the administration of the label. It’s a constant challenge, as artists deserve their amazing music to be translated visually, and as the label goes, there’s also some sort of expectation towards it’s quality. The concept of the artwork can be a combination of the producer wish/suggestion and my own input, while other times its just me coming up with an idea after listening to their music over and over, proposing to them with a draft. So far the covers have been always well received by the artists. I won’t hide that detailed artworks helped also the label’s economy with the realisation of good merchandising. It’s still many hours of my work that get paid back at some point, so I’m pretty satisfied about it.
5. The name of the label ‘Midgar’ name derived from Final Fantasy video game series, as you indicated from previous interviews. Is there some underlying meaning of Midgar as in the video game compared to your vision of the record label? Or did some of the music you heard in the video game influence you?
The name came out after a conversation with my brother about the label concept. He wanted something that would connect us, hence the name of the city where the most played video game of our childhood took place. The city of Midgar had a relevant role in the ancient norse mythology and has been used in the nineties in a modern platform like a video game and becoming known in nerdy pop culture, in my eyes represented the possibility to move through dimensions, being the word itself enriched with a strong storytelling soul. The sound of the label and the way records are put together ( tracklist / sequence / progression of the tracks) like chapters in a book.
6. Recently Midgar has organised it’s first label events, with the first one being organised in Berlin, at OHM. Tell us a bit how it went, and are you likely to hold more in the near future?
Perhaps! i’d definitely love to have another night like the one at Ohm which was absolutely fantastic. Berlin finally felt like home in that occasion. Dreamy lineup with Wata Igarashi, r2π and Ground Tactics involving an amazing performer called Cassandre. Me and Wata closed the party at 10 AM playing back 2 back! My dad was there too till the end. I take this chance to express my gratitude towards Moog Barcelona and it’s DJ residents, which kindly offered us a winter residency.
7. Could you name some particular highlights regarding the label for you in the past 5 years?
I can’t leave anyone-anything out. Every step Midgar took was an highlight for me.
8. You also have started a sub-label called Midgar Sands, can you tell us a bit about it and if we can expect more releases on this more experimental sub label?
Ground tactics will be back soon. Just give some time as Midgar Sands doesn’t follow a defined schedule. This side-catalogue is a bit free style and generally tends to IDM influenced techno.
9. Can you tell us a bit about the mix you have prepared for us?
The mix includes lot of unreleased material mixed with some recent one, tracks were selected trying to re-create a virtual landscape of a maze with infinite layers represented by loads of hi-hats and different dynamics of the tracks, it was mixed by PRG/M and it includes a couple of cuts from his forthcoming EP on Midgar ( Scheduled to be released on March 4th).
10. Finally, any news to share with us, regarding upcoming releases on Midgar perhaps?
Next up is Forest Drive West