Having dropped tracks on leading imprints such as Eklektisch, Stil vor Talent, and KATERMUKKE, Berlin-based DJ & producer Matchy knows a thing or two about releasing music, and since 2020 he’s been at the helm of his own record label, Beyond Now.
The last four years have seen him sign productions from names like Yannick Mueller, Dizharmonia, and SUZe, and in 2024 the label already demands immense respect as a source of deep and melodic house music.
Matchy joins us this week for our latest on Label Mates, where we go to ask him all about the early days of Beyond Now, what advice he would give to any aspiring label owners, and what lessons he’s learnt from working with other labels.
You first launched Beyond Now back in 2020, what made you want to become a label owner?
Being a label owner does not only allow you to sign amazing music from artists around the world, it also allows for the possibility of releasing your own music; any track, in any style you like, anytime. That’s what I call freedom – and I always desired that as an artist. Sending out demos and waiting can be an exhausting hustle. Music should come from the heart and should simply be something you feel and like as an artist rather than a product that follows the style of a certain label.
What were some of the biggest struggles you faced in the very beginning?
Finding the right label name was kind of a struggle I’ve got to admit. Well, usually you are going to keep that name, just like your artist name, for many years therefore it’s advisable to be a bit picky. But let me mention another thing for our readers (and those who are considering starting their own label), one of the severe problems once you start a label is certainly finding the right partner for the distribution of your music in a multitude of options – as a label you are not able to directly market your music on Apple Music etc. you need a distribution partner.
Once you’ve figured out which style you’d like to pursue, your brand identity, and how your logo and artwork should look, that’s definitely a major factor that will influence the success of your label because your distributor is also able to influence features and pitch your music to streaming services like Spotify, or stores like Beatport for placements. Consequently, you should think carefully before signing a contract.
You’ve since released tracks from names like Dizharmonia, SUZe, and Yannick Mueller, what’s your typical approach to signing new music?
The style of Beyond Now is apparently heavily influenced by my own taste. I only sign music that I would consider and play in my sets – this could be anything from melodic house & techno, to progressive house, maybe a bit more techno-ish, or even have some Afro influences. Overall I’m always a big fan of driving basslines and hand crafted melodies.
We used to have a demo inbox but closed it down due to the high amount of demos. We’d like to focus solely on high quality releases and narrow it down to around 10 releases per year. If you have some good music that you believe is a perfect fit for Beyond Now it’s definitely going to find its way onto the label nonetheless.
And who else might we expect to release on the label in the coming months?
Yeah well, that’s still a secret, sorry. We are looking at some changes this year. Last year we introduced our rebranding and are going to tie in with the new concept of our artwork, combining art and music in an elaborate manner. Music-wise we might become a bit more experimental since Beyond Now is supposed to be a space for freedom and artistic creativity.
What advice would you give to any aspiring label owners in 2024?
Just follow your heart and dreams. The barriers of running and establishing a record label are a lot lower than a couple of years ago. With the ongoing digitalisation, everything has become super user-friendly. You just upload everything to the label system website and with a few clicks your release is submitted to every music store and streaming provider. The downside is that since it’s so easy, the music scene is flooded with a huge amount of music every day. And it’s basically growing every day. Which means more competition. Nonetheless, I believe if this is really your passion and you love music, you can still establish a successful label, even if you start this year. We made it into the Top 100 melodic house & techno labels and Top 20 Hype on Beatport within a year. So can you! I think uniqueness is still the key in order to stand out from the crowd.
You’ve released your own music on KATERMUKKE and Eklektisch in the past, what have you learnt from working with other labels that you’ve carried over into running Beyond Now?
Every label has a different approach and promotes releases differently. There’s no right way or wrong way. What I’ve learnt from releasing on and working with labels such as Stil vor Talent or Katermukke, is that these labels perfectly adapted to current, changing circumstances. What I mean is, they always signed new “trendy“ music, while staying true to the main style of the label, further establishing the image of the label and running a common thread throughout the whole label catalogue. The music scene is constantly changing, therefore you need to continuously adapt and develop your label.
What’s your favourite record label?
That’s hard to pick, a couple. Especially because I do not only listen to melodic techno during my leisure time.
Anything else you want to mention before we go?
First of all thanks for the chat, it’s been a pleasure! Maybe as a final word; in my personal opinion labels are actually becoming less important. That’s my observation in comparison to when I got into music. Most “bigger“ artists have their own imprint these days, which means they almost exclusively release music on their own label. And with providers like Bandcamp artists even get the chance to release music and share it with their fans without a label or distribution. Exciting times, let’s see what happens!