There are few labels out there as perfect a fit for Monument as Non Series, which for years has been releasing record after record of the sort of deep techno we love with an eye-catching minimal aesthetic. To celebrate ten years of Non Series, we caught up with label boss, Psyk, to pick the most essential records from the label’s catalog and discuss the label’s past, present and future.
Raffaele Attanasio – Black Bloc EP (2011) [NON 001]
How did Non Series come about, what made you decide to start the label?
At the time, I wanted to create a platform to promote music and artists that I liked. I came up with a great design concept with my sister and found a very cool release by an unknown artist called Raffaele Attanasio. We got in touch and I released the first EP of Non Series in December 2011.
Why was this chosen as the first record on the label?
I think it fit very well with the sort of techno I was playing back then and was not from a well-known artist. This was the primary idea of the label, to promote good music from not so well established artists.
Returning 10 years later, do you think this record stands the test of time and still fits with the Non Series ethos in 2022?
Definitely not, the record is still great, but the sound has nothing to do with the sound of the label at the moment. Techno evolves as does my taste in music, and in the last 10 years the sound has changed quite a bit. It’s totally normal for a label to reshape itself, yet keep the essence that has brought it here.
Chevel – Air Is Freedom (2013) [NON 010]
Back here at the 10th release of the label, after two years of existence, what was the state of the label?
This was a very solid release for the label. I put out a lot of Chevel releases at that time and this one was by far one of my favorites, I still enjoy this a lot every time I play it. The label at this time was already a minimal and kind of deep label but it was still pretty raw in comparison with its current sound.
Non Series has only released three albums with this being one of them, is there a reason as to why the focus of the label has been more on EPs for the second half of the label’s lifespan?
It’s always hard to put an LP together and definitely even harder to make one that is worth the effort. LPs are also more expensive and harder to sell. I am always open to releasing albums from Non Series artists when they send me something that is interesting, but I don’t usually get enough material to release albums. I’m thinking of releasing a record of my own on Non Series next year, I’ve always had this idea on my mind, but I need to make sure I know what I want to release and how to do it.
Air Is Freedom is more of a headphone than a dancefloor album, were the LPs of the label designed to be more suited for home listening?
Not really, Non Series has always had both but definitely more focused on dance floor tool tracks. But an album for Non Series should focus on both, something you can play in a club and something you can enjoy listening at home. Depends always on the idea behind the album of course.
Architectural – Elastic Layouts (2016) [NON 023]
You consider this a point of inflection and one of the most important releases on the label, why would you say that is the case?
Indeed. Every time I see Juan I tell him that. I remember when he sent me the tracks, I was very surprised because he has always been one of my favorite producers, so I didn’t know what to expect. He knew that the label had a very minimalistic aesthetic and sent this record as it is today. The difference between the previous releases and his were the deepness compared to the roughness, and that kind of sound changed the whole direction of the label in the future, not just because of this record of course but this was the record where we can say the label sound changed. Still proud of this one and still playing it since day one.
What do you think has been the overall influence of Non Series on the wider techno world?
There is nothing concrete, but of course all the music I have been listening to, all the art and films I have been absorbing the last 12 years have been shaping the label in different ways, always keeping that minimal, deep, rough idiosyncrasy.
Psyk – Voiceprint (2018) [NON 030]
How has the evolution of Non Series affected your own production style?
You can see that my releases on the label (since the first ones as Maan) have evolved as the label did. Almost hand to hand. I guess this makes sense as both of them relate to my taste in music and how it has changed over all these years.
Luigi Tozzi – Tender Is the Night (2019) [NON 035]
In the last three years, Non Series has put out more releases from artists that haven’t released on the label previously. Has this been a conscious decision or more of a natural evolution?
It’s probably a natural thing. As I explained before, my taste changes depending on things I listen to and whether I think they are interesting or not. Of course the label has its own sound and some artists that fit with it reach out to me and send me great music. In other cases, I’m the one who reaches out to them to get something I think could be interesting for the label. The combination of both is totally natural.
Since the release of Tender Is the Night, Luigi Tozzi has released something on the label every year. Why do you think he is such a good fit for the label?
His first release was something that fit on the label very well, and he also wanted to keep his most “less is more” tunes for non series. I am a big fan of his sound and he feels very comfortable releasing on Non Series. Definitely a great combo.
Troy – Spirit Navigation (2021) [NWHITE008]
This is a release on the sub-label Nwhite, why did you decide to have two separate imprints and what differentiates them?
I started this sub-label almost back in 2012. The first idea of the label (non series) was to release music from other artists and not mine, so I came up with the idea of this “white label” thing side project and released a couple of EPs (my own and Henning Baer’s). Then a couple years ago I got some really interesting stuff that wouldn’t fit 100% with Non Series but was definitely worth releasing. So I decided to re-launch the Nwhite white series with more forceful, dancefloor focused techno.
DJ Nobu – Nepia (2021) [NON 044]
DJ Nobu is perhaps more associated with a different sound of techno than the deep sound of Non Series, how did the collaboration come about?
I feel Nobu´s sound is very deep and very minimal. I know he was supporting the label by playing a lot of stuff from it from the very beginning, so I spoke with him 3 years ago about the idea of an EP and he was very enthusiastic. Then a few weeks later he sent me some cool tracks and we came up with this great EP.
Non Series is in great shape as of 2021, what’re the plans for 2022 and beyond?
Yes indeed, it’s going to be a great year for the label. We turned 10 years old in December and we are releasing a compilation on the 18th of May with amazing tunes from some of the best artists out there. We have also planned EPs from Sciahri & Desroi, Neel, D-Leria and myself. Besides that we are also running a series of showcases for the 10 year anniversary in some of our favorite clubs in cities like Madrid, Porto, Barcelona, Brussels, Berlin, Milan, Hamburg, London… Some are still to be confirmed but we will announce them as soon as we can. I am personally super excited with all the projects this year.
All the records mentioned in this article are available on Bandcamp. diez. will be released in digital and physical versions on the 18th of May.