The Los Angeles-based Superfreq imprint have built a solid catalogue of music, including past releases from names like Martin Buttrich, East LA Tek and Jay Tripwire.
Pre-covid, they also ran frequent events, with tours including gigs at Egg London, as well as different venues around their home base of Los Angeles.
We welcome Superfreq boss Mr.C to our Label Mates series, where we chat about the early struggles of the label, how they handle things behind the scenes and what they have coming in the near future. Get the full discussion below.
Superfreq first launched in 2013, what were the biggest struggles you faced in starting a new label?
I first launched the Superfreq label with Luke vB back in late 2002 with my own Disco 2 Disco / Underground to The End EP. The following 4 years saw us release 8 individual EP releases & the Superfreq Express London 2 Ibiza compilation album containing all exclusive material.
We then took a break to concentrate on & enjoy Superfreq events and it was in 2013 after a 5 year hiatus that I relaunched the label with new partner David Scuba in Los Angeles.
The biggest struggle when starting out was finding an audience for our music that wanted to hear something different and not so generic. Back in 2002 the tech house sound had stagnated a little and wasn’t moving forward and I wanted to make music that was more electronic and innovative.
I stopped my monthly Subterrain night at The End and replaced it with Superfreq. It was a fresh sound, with a fresh attitude so it was very much like starting all over again. Thankfully we found our audience quickly at our Superfreq events and the sound quickly grew for us.
And what is the typical day to day with running the label in 2021?
There’s so much to do when running a label and we have a very good team. As captain of the ship I take care of overseeing everything as well as my own duties, which are A&R, programming the release schedule, merchandising, liaising all promotion, writing track notes, staying on top of artwork & design, staying on top of mastering and updating all social networks with posts & stories. It’s endless what needs to be done.
My partner David Scuba also does A&R with me. We have regular meetings to discuss strategies although this has changed since Covid restrictions. David sources most of our LA venues etc too so we can’t wait for this pandemic to be over to get back at it.
Jake Lubelski is the label manager. He takes care of contracting with artists and all things with the distributer including uploading releases and metadata. Xo Chic is the label art director and makes sure the art direction is on point.
What’s the hardest role in running a label that most people are not aware of?
Without a doubt, the CEO or Director. Running a tight ship in such a volatile industry isn’t easy. All the stress lays firmly with whoever is running the label. Being a personal assistant to the main person must also be a nightmare.
In the past you’ve released tracks from Igor Vicente, Omid 16B and Martin Buttrich, what is your typical process when scouting for an artist to release?
There are many producers who we admire and have been lucky to have do remixes for us. A few have gone on to become label artists at Superfreq in their own right too, but as a label we like to focus on the family that we have nurtured over the years, as well as constantly adding new talent who echo our sound & ethos.
New artists are usually people we’ve met while on tour or who have become part of our community online. Some artists are introduced directly to David & I through mutual friends etc., so it’s rather tight knit, yet open at the same time.
And who might we expect to see on Superfreq in the coming months?
The Broke EP by David Scuba & Lubelski just came out over the weekend, with a sick remix by Horatio. Next up Terry Francis teams up with vocalists Miss C & Hive71 for his debut Superfreq release. Both Noel Jackson & I have done remixes on that package.
After that we have EPs lined up from Lubelski, Sam Monie, J Gabriel & Chuffing Buffy and an album ready from Jay Tripwire. Lots to look forward to.
There are thousands of new releases coming out daily, what has been essential to keeping Superfreq above the noise?
We do our own thing. We have our own sound. We make music because it’s art. We don’t care what other labels do. We love music & making music. Doing things for the right reasons is what keeps us from getting lost in all the noise.
Is there a release that you’re most proud of, or one that felt like a real turning point?
I’m proud of every release we’ve had on Superfreq. Every single tune is sick or it wouldn’t be on the label. I’m always most proud of the newest release.
Lastly, what is your primary goal for the label in the long run, where do you hope to see it in a few years time?
The primary goal for the long run is to continue to provide a quality platform for cutting edge dance music talent with a prolific release schedule, to bring the highest quality record releases and best quality parties to as many like-minded people as possible, and have as much fun as possible in the process.
David Scuba & Lubelski’s Broke EP is out now on Superfreq.