Label Mates: Moan Recordings / Artslaves

Since 2012, Italian imprint Moan Recordings have been providing fans with a steady supply of deeply entrenched house grooves and over time have become one of Europe’s top underground imprints.

Their past work features names such as Dennis Cruz, Raffa FL, Matt Sassari, Metodi Hristov, Ramon Tapia, Basti Grub, Dimmish, James Dexter and a long list of others.

Now entering 2020 as a force to be reckoned with, Moan prepare for the release of The Mekanism’s Whoop EP, which alongside two originals also includes a remix from Diego Krause.

We sat down with label founders and Italian house duo Artslaves to chat about the past, present and future of the label, where they mentioned the early days of Moan, the importance of staying true to your mission, and who will be releasing with them this year.

Moan first launched in 2012, tell us about the struggle of putting out your first releases?

It was February 2012 when we made our first Moan release. We were feeling the necessity to have our own platform with the music we love the most, giving space to big names and rising artists. At the start we got many “No’s”, but we kept going, investing all our time and energy to letting the label grow, and having great producers in our family a few years later.

And what is your typical day to day regarding the label, do you manage it yourself or is there a team behind the scenes?

The label is totally managed by us, Artslaves (Alex & Dom). For almost 6 years we have had a studio, not far from where we live, where we go everyday from the early morning to work on releases, music, showcases and all related things. Maybe for those who watch from the outside it’s all about music and fun, but it’s not exactly like this! Especially in the last few years there’s so much concurrency and you need to work hard, invent something new, and try to find the best music and artists.

What is the hardest role behind managing a label that people might not know about?

Managing a label means to follow a music trend, always stay in contact with artists, agencies, music distributors and so on, you always need to release fresh music from an unknown artist, that you just discovered, or an established name. Nowadays you need to take a lot of care with socials and marketing which in this business is now essential.

You have put out some physical releases, how have you found the transition to a digitally dominated market?

During these 8 years of Moan we have released almost like 15 vinyls and to tell you the truth the charm of vinyl remains always unmatched, even if in recent years digital has taken over. There is more choice, easier storage, easily approachable by all. Now there is also the streaming, so this music evolution has partially put in the shadow the old vinyl fashion that we try to always propose again with some special edition during the year. The last one we printed 6 months ago included tracks and remixes of Rich NxT, Guti, Wild DJs and reboots.

And we live in a time when there are thousands of new tracks coming out everyday, what has been the key to keeping Moan above water?

It’s true, a lot of music is released, perhaps too much, every day, but the key is to know how to choose your own music. Always have your own style, take care of the brand, organizing showcases, always respecting the artists, and this was perhaps the key to our longevity. Music and our artists were the most important part.

What record on your label are you most proud to have put out?

Several records have represented fundamental milestones in our music journey, starting from the first ever success, the third moan release, the remix of Re-Up played worldwide by all the big names. It was perhaps the first big light on Moan, then there are some hits by Wade and Cuartero and many others. Maybe there have been at least two tracks per year that have left an indelible mark.

Previously Moan has released music from Dennis Cruz, Raffa FL, Ramon Tapia and others, who can we expect to see on the label in the near future?

We believe that 2019 has been one of the best years for the label with many strongly supported tracks that remained for many weeks in the Beatport Top 10 and many other portals. But we are already recharged and ready for this new year, for this new challenge. We have many surprises for our fans! We have made big investments lately, putting everything in the middle, but we have already achieved big goals by signing some of the greatest artists for Moan coming in the next few months.

Just to start, next week The Mekanism’s Whoop EP will be released, with a superb remix by the awesome Diego Krause. And now we can reveal one of the artists we have followed the most during these years: the legendary Martin Buttrich, will release soon on our label. Then there will be incredible artists like: Christian Burkhardt, Fabe, Leon, Dennis Cruz, wAFF, Djoko, Rich NxT, Luuk Van Dijk, Ray Mono and many more. Let’s cross our fingers!

Lastly, where do you hope to see the label in a few years time?

Our dream is to see Moan becoming a bigger and bigger label, a more and more referenced brand, with more parties, maybe even a booking agency and many other related things, why not someday also a clothing brand.

We really have great ambitions and we hope to be able to make our dreams come true through the hard work and constant commitment. Thanks to the MUSIC.

The Mekanism’s Whoop EP arrives March 24th on Moan Recordings.