Rotterdam resident Estroe has a long career as a DJ and producer. She’s also an experienced label manager after 8 years running Eevonext with Stefan Robbers (aka Terrace). In 2014 she struck out on her own and set up Rosedale Records as an outlet for producers she admires as well as her own work. As she readies the Inflyte promo for the new Rosedale release, we caught up with her for a chat about the label.
Can you explain the philosophy and story behind Rosedale records? Why did you set it up? What does the name mean?
I’ve started Rosedale Records after co-running EevoNext for a long time together with Stefan Robbers. We both felt the need to focus more on solo projects. Rosedale is a reflection of my own taste in house and techno without restrictions and concessions. I’m trying to present a combination of well established producers with talents I discover at my advice agency (Estroe-advice.com). Rosedale is my name – Roozendaal – in English.
You have co-run Eevonext for the last 8 years. Are you still involved with the label?
No, EevoNext has stopped, we both decided to quit the label. But it’s still possible to buy our music, the catalogue is still there.
Are you now concentrating on releasing your own productions through Rosedale or are you also still open to releasing on other labels?
I’m open to other labels too, I don’t want to release too much on my own label because I also want to offer a platform to the newcomers, but I will make remixes – and every now and then do a release myself.
Have you already been inundated with demos for the label and are you open to releasing them?
I do get demos quite a lot but the main focus is for the new producers I already try to support and producers that I already worked with at EevoNext. That said, when I find a pearl in a demo I will of course try to release it. But I rather have 3 or 4 tracks for an Ep then a loose track.
You release vinyl as well as digital, how important is it for you to have a physical product? Is is difficult to break even when vinyl is involved?
I wanted to do something special, something you can hold in your hands as a product. And in this digital world young producers don’t get many opportunities to get a physical product so I thought it would be nice for them as well too. But it’s a try out, so far it’s very costly and I might go back to digital only because I just can’t afford it. To get break even is almost impossible but maybe it needs more time, I’ve just started. I try to divide it, all the uneven numbers are vinyl and digital, every even number is digital only.
Who distributes the vinyl and was it difficult to find the distribution?
Triple Vision here in Rotterdam. Yes it was quite difficult to find a distributor and I hear from people around me that it becomes harder and harder to find one. I’ve had a bit of luck because I could proove that I already have experience in running a label and overall experience in ‘the scene’. (although vinyl is new for me too)
The label catalogue so far is also available on Bandcamp. What are your thoughts about the service?
I like to offer that service, I can add a small postcard and I’m in direct contact with buyers. It’s a nice personal touch.
When choosing a remixer for your releases, is this 100% your decision or do you also consult with the artist who is being remixed?
Let’s say it’s 60% my decision, I do discuss everything with the artist and ask for suggestions who he or she would like to ask for a remix.
Would you turn down a remix if you weren’t happy with it?
I actually just recently did. It was difficult and I found it terribly hard to tell the remixer, but both the original artist and I didn’t like it, we didn’t hear any parts of the original track which was reason for me to say no. It was his second attempt after my comment that there was nothing from the original in it and he didn’t improve it much. I felt really bad because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s creative feelings but I also want to release music I believe in and stand for.
The artwork is very beautiful, who did it? Did you have an idea of what you wanted in advance or was this their proposal?
I had something classy and Victorian style in mind as in contrast with the music and knew what I wanted pretty much in my head. Although I am not visually creative, I do have a lot of opinion and so after a few briefings and discussions my husband made the design. (roygilsing.com). It was nice to work on this together. So he designed the logo and the artwork.
My good friend Nadia Struiwigh, who’s a producer but also a graphic designer designed the website (rosedale-records.com)
In addition to the label and your own production and DJing you run a service called Estroe Electronic Music Advice – can you explain what this involves?
Yes, I give private advice to people on various topics, for example about Ableton, I can explain the ins and outs of the software. But what I do a lot is help people who end up with loops and have difficulties with turning that in a track. I guide them through the arrangement, giving tips about creating tension and such things. Some people like me as their coach in decision making about their career, what are next steps to take etc. Other people ask me for my help in how to promote themselves with social media. I also give label advice. In general: I use my experience to help other people along.
Finally, can you tell us what’s coming up next on Rosedale records?
Yep! ROSE002 is out now (Gale Talk with remixes by Anton Kubikov and myself), next up will be newcomer Colophon. This is his very first release and I am happy to present him to the outside world. Duplex and Brendon Moeller made excellent remixes.