Our latest industry interview features Spring Tube label owner Sergey Slang.
1. Hi Sergey, thanks so much for joining us here. Let’s give the people some sort of background info on you so we’ll start with some basic stuff. Where are you based and how long have you been DJing and producing?
My pleasure 🙂 Hi everyone who reads this interview. I’m from small country in Eastern Europe – Latvia. Born in Jekabpils city, last 8 years am living in other city – Daugavpils, which is located near the borders with Lithuania and Belarus. I have been DJing a bit more than 15 years, and producing for about 5 years.
2. How did you first discover electronic music? Where do your musical roots lie and when did you know you wanted to pursue electronic music seriously?
The music lives with me from the very childhood. I grew up on the sounds of 80s listened by my parents. The personal interest in music began to reveal in the first half of 90s: at first I was addicted to Eurodance (Culture Beat, Basic Element, Magic Affair, Pharao, a.o.); later was a fan of melodic European hip-hop (Nana, Down Low, C-Block, a.o.); and in the end of 90s I returned to dance music when actually started to open up for myself an electronic culture with sounds from the likes of ATB, Chicane, York, a.o. This was the moment of truth for me. Next several years I was into trance genre, later came to progressive/deep house what is also my main focus nowadays.
3. As many electronic music fans know you are one of the owners and founders of Spring Tube, but before we get into your label, tell us about what you were doing before you started Spring Tube? Were you involved in the music industry?
Sure. Before Spring Tube I have been DJing – at first in small local clubs and later also on the regional FM radiostation where I has own weekly night live radioshow about electronic music in a collaboration with colleagues DJs. Then I went also on the Internet spaces with launching own radioshows on several online radios. In the following years I was mainly a radio DJ with lots of different projects. Gained some slight renown every day I was getting more and more promos and demos for my shows from the labels and producers, plenty of which was unsigned stuff sent to me by its authors personally. Perhaps then I had first thoughts about involving in the record business…
4. What was it that made you want to create Spring Tube and how did it all start? Who else is involved with the project with you and how do your roles at the label differ?
I wasn’t going to this consciously. As often happens in our life – all depends on the moment: after one of the conversations with producers/DJs duo East Sunrise, who just registered Spring Tube label which was preparing for launching in a few months, I was invited in its team at first as A&R consultant and later already as official A&R manager, afterward becoming label’s co-owner as well. At this moment Spring Tube’s team consists of mastering engineer, graphic designer and myself who make all the other processes.
5. The five year anniversary of Spring Tube is this month and you have a brand new releases out to commemorate the occasion, tell us about that?
I’ve decided to celebrate this significant milestone for Spring Tube with some special releases during whole three months – from September till November. Exactly this month we have the traditional yearly 3-part anniversary compilation which includes our brightest works that have been released during label’s year 5 and some of our personal 2013-2014 favorites from friendly to us labels. All the compilation’s parts along an unmixed stuff as always are complemented by continuous DJ mixes. This year these releases are compiled and mixed by me, Storyteller (who besides being our artist, friend and partner is also co-host of launched in 2014 Spring Tube Podcast) and Stephen J. Kroos (who as known is Spring Tube’s main resident artist, in 2014 released with us already his second double album and undoubtedly is one of the most important figures in our label’s history at all) whose part of this compilation is Spring Tube 5th anniversary’s culmination and is out this week.
6. The label has evolved quite nicely over its five year existence, what started primarily as a melodic progressive house imprint now encompasses a lot of different sounds. Tell us about what you release now?
Spring Tube never was and never will be the label of one genre. Release one-type music only is too boring for me 🙂 Personally I like lots of different music therefore prefer to release also a variety of different genres. I know that many of label owners/managers will disagree with me on this occasion in terms of business but I just do the things as I feel and will continue to go this way.
On Spring Tube is released more light and melodic stuff of different genres, whereas on Spring Tube Limited – mostly more dark and underground stuff of different genres alike, – this is how I can describe the music released by us.
7. Where do you see Spring Tube going in the futures in terms of sound and also growing the brand so to speak. Might we see some label events in the future? It seems you’ve been focusing much more on artist albums as well, it’s a big step for a label, is this something you want to do much more of?
As I already mentioned will keep the set course in terms of sound with the label in the future. Speaking about artist albums – I’m not focusing on them specifically, I just always focus on our artists with whom we come together to their albums over time and collected stuff.
Regarding label events – yes, this is one of the main points with which I would like to develop. We have a vast artist roster with many great talented DJs who are recognizable worldwide as producers and definitely would like to develop as the DJs also. For a while we have organized two Spring Tube’s events – in 2011 and 2012 in Ukraine, with Satoshi Fumi and Claes Rosen as guests respectively. Other our residents – Blood Groove & Kikis, who are my longtime mates and fellow countrymen as well, have tried to organize Spring Tube’s events in Latvia but electronic music culture in our country is on very low level therefore we couldn’t find a decent place for our events here. Unfortunately I don’t have a time for working more in this direction by myself but hope one day will find the right people who could help us with taking this thing seriously in the proficient hands.
8. How do you guys go about finding music for the label? Is a lot of it through demo submissions and if so what percentage of what you get sent would you say is suitable for the label? What advice do you have for producers hoping to get signed to Spring Tube?
On the most stuff I work with our already established artist roster and new for Spring Tube artists that I would like to involve in a collaboration with our label. But partly it’s also from the demo submissions – I always consider all the received demos and I’m always open for working with young talents. Of course bulk of the demos is removed after 20-30 seconds of listening but most deserving works I lay aside for more close listening later, – I think it’s about 30% of all received demos. In the result I sign approximately 15-20% from them, the rest receive an answer with some good words from me but declining. I can advice producers hoping to get signed on Spring Tube to send the demo for us if you know well our discography, if you feel your work suitable for our label and, the most importantly, if you are sure that it deserves to be released on Spring Tube.
9. The Spring Tube catalog is well over 100 releases, do you have any that you’re most fond of and why?
Yes, I have of course, but there would be really too much to mention 🙂
10. You also produce and DJ under the Slang moniker, what have you been working on lately?
Together with my friend and production partner Technodreamer now we are working on the two new remixes: one of them is on Christos Fourkis’ track for his own label Retrolounge Records; whereas the second is on the track by Marco Grandi for one of Spring Tube’s future releases.
11. What was your first and last DJ gig?
The first was once upon a time in school, probably like the most DJs have 🙂 The last one was in the end of this summer on the private open-air event organized in honor of the jubilee of my good old friend, I’ve played perhaps the longest live set in my life – about 5 hours non-stop 🙂
12. What was the first and last record you purchased?
The first I really don’t remember but the last is: Jelly For The Babies – What Comes Around (Audio Junkies Remix)
13. What would you say is the highlight of your career thus far?
For now – 5th year anniversary of my child Spring Tube of course 🙂
14. Tell us something about yourself that might surprise people?
Maybe this: I am a bachelor of psychology by my education 🙂 Also – besides the label 4 hours in a day I’m working as a sound engineer on local FM radiostation. And probably one more thing – for about 12 years I professionally played football, currently still playing twice a week but already on the amateur level just for myself.
15. Who are some of the best undiscovered talents in your eyes?
There are a lot of great young talents around, the best of them in my eyes I try to discover through signing their works on Spring Tube so you can follow this 🙂
16. Which producers consistently inspire you?
Quivver, Lank, Stephen J. Kroos, Eelke Kleijn, Satoshi Fumi, Da Funk, Echomen, Forteba, Subsky, Addex, Hernan Cerbello, David Granha, Anthony Mea, Vanilla Ace and others..
17. What artist or track would you love to remix? and who would you love to be remixed by?
Probably Quivver in both occasions 🙂
18. Record labels are a dime a dozen these days, which ones if any standout for you?
Ready Mix, Boz Boz, Mesmeric, Hope, microCastle, Perspectives, Movement, Kittball, Dear Deer, and maybe Spring Tube also 😉
19. What would you say is the best mix compilation of all time?
Just one to mention from those that I remember:
Nick Warren - GU30: Paris
20. Current Favourites (you can list more than one per category if you like)
Drink: beer/ whiskey
Animal: dogs / horses
TV Show: (many)humorous / intellectual
Movie: “A Night At The Roxbury”
Video Game: no
Album: Anthony Mea – Border
Track: Stephen J. Kroos – Multimodal
Producer / Band: producer – Quivver / band – Coldplay
Record Label: Spring Tube 😉
Nightclub: that club from mentioned above my favorite movie 🙂
DJ: Nick Warren / James Zabiela
21. If the final DJ/live set of your career was next week what would your last track be?
Quivver – Brothers & Sisters
Spring Tube’s 5 year anniversary compilation is out now, you can purchase the release: here