Interview: Around the world in 80 labels- Animal Language

Animal Magic If one thing becomes immediately clear after listening to the amusingly titled Wombat/Maybe EP, it’s that the contents are wholeheartedly concerned with the party. Which is just fine with us. The three tracks therein- released on Animal Language early next month- run from pseudo-big beat through punchy house and, bizarrely enough, onto a raucous punk finale. Intrigued to learn how this release came to light, and exactly what to expect next, we called one of those responsible, Iason (AKA one half of Mason), to find out a little more about the imprint they run out of Holland, but ended up learning a whole lot more. Mason 3 Iason – Animal Language – Holland 

Describe your imprint’s output. 

We feel there’s too much ‘conservative’ fodder out there…. Lots of labels jumping safely on the sound of the moment, which makes things a bit dull and predictable. We look for fun stuff that stands out. Even if it’s occasionally extreme for the more conservative DJs, we wanna hear music that sounds pretty different from the ordinary.   

What would you say makes it different?

Each Animal Language release has its own hand drawn artwork. And, apart from the dance tracks, we we always add the infamous ‘Refurb’ version to every release. They’re basically non-dance reinterpretations of the original tracks. It could be anything from jazz to punk to klezmer, as long as it’s not house music, and based on the same ingredients as the original. For us it’s a welcome change to making dance music that comes along about once a month. We’ve been recording choirs, bagpipe players etcetera. Of course nobody buys it, it usually ends up in ‘chill out’ on Beatport, but our fans are really into them – and we love making them.  

What is it that makes you keep looking for new talent to expose? 

I [Iason, one half of Mason] have been dj-ing for 17 years, so you get a bit of a sense of when a producer has a unique sound that’s just different and fresh, especially if he or she has more than one trick and doesn’t just do the same thing over and over again. It’s great to give those people a platform and opportunity to reach a bigger audience.  

What’s the label’s pinnacle achievement so far? 

We’ve had our (pop) chart records, lots of releases we love and so on…. but one of the most fun things for us are the so-called Animal Language Kafe Raves. We’re throwing these events every few months, where we pick four depressing empty dead alcoholic bars in Holland, and take them over with a few hundred ravers. We play in each place with our own sound system, people stage dive, jump, rave, drink everything that’s available, and after an hour we move on to the next place. And so on all night. It beats any club night hands down 

If people were going to hear one release from your camp, what would you prefer it to be? 

Ooophhh that’s a tough one. It’s asking who’s your favourite kid. I’d say Watkat by The Sneekers,  or Feelsso by Tony Senghore and Cristian Dinamarca. Or the one from Douze, Luke Walker, Arveene & Misk, Polydor, Joao Ceser… I dunno really.

All being well, skip forward five years, where would you like things to be?

Doing the exact same thing as today. Contributing by releasing what we believe is some fresh, weird, different, fun house music. 


Recent stops

Germany – Klasse Recordings – Luca Lozano

UK – Invader Records – Alex Morris