Inflyte Radar: Port Manteau

Patrick Burge continues his impressive streak of form under the guise of Port Manteau, as the Bristol-based DJ, producer, and now label owner launches his very own Kitsch imprint. The first release from the new label comes as an excellent 2-side offering from Burge himself, titled ‘Mandala / Apophis’.

Alongside his newly formed Kitsch, Port Manteau’s vibrant and energetic productions have also seen him work with top record labels such as Armada, Zerothree, and W&O Street Tracks in the past.

The British artist joins us for this months Inflyte Radar, where we discuss the decision to start his own label, his approach to working on music in the studio, and what he has planned for the near future. Read the full conversation below.

You’re an up-and-coming British artist who’s recently launched their own label, Kitsch. Can you tell us more about yourself and the inspiration behind starting your own label?

Sure, so I’m Patrick Burge, an electronic artist originally from Newcastle but I now live in Bristol. I’ve been producing dance music now for over ten years, and I’ve been DJing in clubs for even longer! After years of developing my sound, I realised I couldn’t assign myself to any specific genre, and this is where the idea for Kitsch came from. I wanted to carve out a bit of a new lane as I couldn’t see many labels releasing the type of music I wanted to make. I liked the name ‘Kitsch’ as it represents something quirky and a bit different.

How would you describe the sound and style of Kitsch’s releases?

So Kitsch is a melting pot of all the music styles that have influenced me. I would say it’s a blend of indie dance, progressive, italo, and electronica. The idea is to have that ‘Kitsch’ sound that people will recognise.

Can you walk us through the production process behind your latest release, ‘Mandala / Apophis’?

I started ‘Apophis’ with a clear idea of the stab hook. I wanted it to be more of a happy daytime track that’s very dancefloor friendly. I also wanted to make a track with a polyrhythmic bassline, and it immediately provided a new type of groove. Regarding ‘Mandala’, I remember being at a mate’s house and going through some of his samples. I stumbled across a Splice pack with the vocal chops and had an idea right there. I went back to my studio that night and sketched out the tune.

How do you typically approach writing new music, and where do you find the initial inspiration?

I begin most tracks by jamming with an idea on my synths and coming up with the hook. I’ll then produce the rest of the track like tracking a band, record in my drums, then bass, and then flesh out the tune. It’s important for me to have a unique idea first before arbitrarily making a track. When it comes to inspiration, I listen to so much music that I often take the sounds or arrangements I like and then combine them together into something new.

You’ve previously released music on labels like Armada, Zerothree, and W&O Street Tracks. How have those experiences influenced your approach to starting Kitsch?

Releasing music on these labels, which I respect, has definitely given me the confidence to go it alone. It has also provided experience in PR and marketing, and how the music business works in general.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing up-and-coming artists in the current music industry?

The biggest challenge at the moment is the saturated marketplace. It’s so difficult to get heard, and a lot of the time, you’re at the mercy of social media algorithms. However, I genuinely believe that if the music is good enough, you’ll succeed.

What are your plans for the future of Kitsch, and can you share any upcoming releases or collaborations we can look forward to?

The next step for Kitsch will be to start putting on events in Bristol. After a few releases, the plan is to showcase some of the music and book a couple of artists who I really admire.

Finally, what advice do you have for other producers and musicians who are also looking to make a name for themselves in the industry?

The best advice I can give is to keep pushing through. Reach out to people for feedback as this is the best way to learn, and always try and push yourself out of your comfort zone. With networking, try to nurture relationships as much as you can. The smallest interaction on socials can make a big difference.

Port Manteau – Mandala / Apophis EP is out now on Kitsch.