Amsterdam’s PIV Records is a relatively new addition to the global deep and tech house scene, with releases coming from DJOKO, Ray Mono, Demarzo and others since 2015.
The label has become known for authentic club music, and have also added a line of artist curated merchandise and sample packs to their growing catalogue.
If they manage to stay consistent and strict on quality control, we can’t see any reason why PIV won’t find itself developing into a genre-leading output for years to come.
We spoke with the team behind PIV for our latest on Label Mates, where we discuss the early days of the imprint, what we might expect in the near future, their past success and more. Get the full discussion below.
You first launched PIV in 2015, what were some of the biggest challenges you faced in the beginning?
Prunk: When I started PIV the main sound was tech house and the US flavoured deep house that we released was only popular on Traxsource. We pushed on and released the music we believed in, until one day Beatport started supporting our releases and we got a foothold on the biggest platform for electronic music. Four years later we became the best-selling deep house label on BP. We followed our heart and people appreciated that.
Chris: Reaching the audience you want and giving anyone who just discovers the label their first PIV experience. If it’s in the club or in the car, people listening to a new EP, that moment is special.
And since then you have released music from Chris Stussy, Djoko, Demarzo and others, how do you decide on which artists to sign and release with?
Prunk: I never really look at names, I just listen to new music. If I get a great demo (or a bad one) I don’t care what you did in the past. We have built a big musical family and I hope it will keep growing.
Chris: We’re getting a lot of demo’s every day, sometimes I skip a few days and build a big list on my e-mail, so it’s fully dedicated to a demo listening session. Indeed, we don’t look at names, but I do ask someone’s release schedule before we sign anything, it’s important that the producer doesn’t have music out every month. To release on a label must be something special, you must give each release some breathing space.
Who else can we expect to see on the PIV roster in the near future?
Prunk: Our next release is by Dennis Quinn who I think is one of the most friendly and talented producers I know.
Chris: We like to keep future releases a bit closer to our chest and have a surprise effect once it’s announced.
What advice would you give to anyone that’s considering to launch their own label?
Prunk: Only start if it is something you are fully committed to. It’s a fulltime job. If artists trust you with their music, it’s your responsibility to make sure it gets heard and doesn’t just disappear. At PIV we have 10 people working in all the various departments from marketing to A&R.
Chris: Wait for the right moment, the experience you get from other people is precious to make the right decisions moving forward when starting a new label. Sound-wise it’s important to have a different vision from any other label, you must do something unique.
And what would you say is the biggest task that people might not be aware of behind the scenes?
Prunk: The PIV crew try to treat each other well and honestly. The vibe on the work floor must remain good or people will not be productive. To keep people motivated we always keep developing and hang out with each other as friends outside of work as well.
Chris: I strive for perfection, if I like certain tracks but the mix is not on point yet, I try to assist in that way. After signing a full EP we check that there’s no samples used from other tracks so we can go ahead without problems. In case this happens you have to clear a sample and this could take a few weeks before this process is done.
It’s definitely not just sign 4 tracks and the rest of the magic. We’re in contact with our designer straight away, we send the tracks to mastering, we discuss a strategy if we want to include the release on vinyl and do we make some merchandise around the release? We have to plan the right release date with the artist, so this release gets the attention it deserves and it doesn’t clash with other EP’s. These are all factors that have to be considered and in the end it’s a team decision.
Is there a record you put out that you’re most proud of, or that you consider a major turning point in the labels success?
Prunk: S.A.M – Fury’s Laughter was our first no.1 on Beatport’s overall top 100 and made us famous around the world.
Chris: For me every project is something to be proud of. Working together with an exciting artist and to see his work gets the attention it deserves is something really special and it’s what motivates me every day.
What’s your favourite label besides your own?
Prunk: Salted music has always been close to my heart. I’m a big fan of Miguel Migs. Speaking of which, maybe I should see if he is interested in releasing on PIV.
Chris: Courtesy of Balance (from Brawther) or Rutilance Recordings (from DJ Steaw), both French labels, these are my personal favourites. Hard to pick one, I really love deep dub house, and these were the labels doing it for me and still do, both great artists as well, I love their sound.
PIV & Aron Volta’s sample pack arrives in January on PIV Records.