"from reggae tinged Tropical to grimey bassline"
Hi Andy, could you tell us a little bit about your background in art and music and how the idea for Four Three Six came about?
I’ve worked in the music industry for about 8 years, most of the time running a label called Ground Level, and have seen the industry change from a physical to a digital medium. However I was looking for a new challenge and wanted to remix the concept of a record label. For years I had bought t-shirts and prints that were all music related, things the like Futura artwork for UNKLE releases, and they were super cool, but I felt that a more complete end to end experience could happen. That’s where the idea for Four Three Six and the wearable release came from; the EP of music comes first, then it inspires the artwork, when we print the t-shirts the track listing for the EP is printed on the inside and the download code for the tracks comes on the tag- everything connects.
There's a certain appeal to having a piece of artwork alongside the music you buy- its something that's disappeared with the rise in popularity of digital downloads. Would it be fair to say the wearable release is a way to bring that visual element back to purchasing music?
Definitely! The problem that happened with digital music is that everyone decided to start their own label, and to save on costs everyone started designing their own cover art - a sort of “I'll download a copy of Photo-shop, how hard can it be?” vibe. Well the answer is its really hard! Couple that in with the fact that a lot of digital download stores have no curation or quality control and will accept anything; suddenly most digital store fronts look like an identity parade for crimes against design.
I’m firmly in the belief that the design on the front of a release is a reflection of the quality of the music, it’s like the difference between a bottle of Brooklyn verses a can of Tesco Value Lager, you know which one’s going to have the good stuff in it! Back in the vinyl days you’d pick up a 12” and listen to it just because it had a cool cover, I found some amazing tunes that way. I’m hoping with four three six we’re bringing design right back to the forefront of releasing music.
What's next for Four Three Six- are there more releases in the pipeline?
I’m glad you asked, 2016 is already shaping up to be pretty awesome! First up will be our fourth release, the music is by an producer called Hostage. He’s been on my radar for years as we once DJ’d at the same night in Derby and I’ve always wanted to work on a release with him. The music he’s turned in is awesome, it’s got a real 90s hardcore vibe to it. The artwork was created by a Bristol graffiti artist called SPZero76, and he’s reacted well to the music, the piece is amazing. That’ll be coming out in February. I’m just looking at getting releases five and six together, and am currently finding the producers and artists, if all goes according to plan there should be some serious goodness in the pipeline. We’ve also got a night coming up in March at Rough Trade in Nottingham and I’m definitely hoping to do another event at the The Graff Cafe in Bristol, we had a great time there!
You can purchase the wearable releases online or at The Graff Cafe in Bristol.
Follow them online for news about their next releases- Twitter, Instagram.
Written by Toni Hankinson
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