Label Mates: Spektre / Respekt

Paul Maddox and Rich Wakley have seen success with their respective solo careers, but it’s their Spektre project where they have really stolen the spotlight within the realm of club-focused techno.

As artists, they have put their sound on Drumcode, Toolroom, Filth On Acid and Kraftek. We caught up with the pair to chat about their own label, Respekt Recordings, where Vinicius Honorio, Gary Burrows and Drumcomplex have previously released.

Discussing the past, present and future of the label, Spektre tell us all about their personal journey to fine tune the release process, what’s coming this year and more. Find out more below!

Respekt first launched in 2009, tell us about the hustle of putting out your first releases?

Respekt was initially intended to just be an outlet for our own productions, but we rapidly started getting sent great music from other artists, so decided to broaden the scope.

Approaching a decade after we started, the early struggles are a distant memory now, but as with any new enterprise, it was a fairly steep learning curve.

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

We have had various other members of the team over the years, but about 3 years ago we decided to take everything back in-house, so pretty much all the day-to-day tasks aside from artwork are now done by the two of us.

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

We’re fortunate in that we both have our areas we’re good at, so it balances out well, but juggling other artists’ schedules with our own is always a challenge. Moving one release back a few weeks has a knock-on effect, and before you know it your whole carefully-planned release schedule is in tatters!

You have put out some physical releases, how have you found the transition to the digital age?

We turned off the tap on the vinyl releases fairly early in the label’s life, as we felt that our time was better spent focusing on digital. We both still have a certain misty-eyed nostalgia for vinyl, but the long lead times and bigger financial risks made us decide against bringing it back for Respekt.

And we live in a time when there are thousands of new tracks coming out every day, what has been the key to keeping Respekt above water in a sea of mediocre music?

When doing A&R it mainly comes down to being fairly brutal – if something doesn’t really light our fire, and doesn’t stand up to being road-tested in our sets, then it won’t make the cut.

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

From a personal standpoint, self-releasing our debut album Casting Shadows Without Light was undoubtedly an early highlight on Respekt. More recently we put out a record by Skober and Yan Oxygen called Lost in Dreams, and that just gets better and better every time we play it; Definitely a future classic in our eyes.

And who can we expect music from on Respekt in the near future?

Already our schedule is pretty much locked in for the rest of this year, and is looking pretty damn strong if we say so ourselves! A few new names, some few label regulars, and a return to an old series that we haven’t run for a few years, so watch this space!

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

Our primary objective is always to release a consistently high-quality of music which people will still be playing years from now. A lot of electronic music (techno especially) is perceived as being quite disposable with a short shelf life, which is the opposite of the Respekt ethos.

Outside of the releases, we hope to continue our recent foray into events. We’re currently halfway through a UK tour, which has been great fun, and there will definitely be more to come on that front.