03 Oct Spotlight: Shall Not Fade
Since its inception in December 2015 Shall Not Fade has been cementing itself as a label at the forefront of electronic music’s ever-changing underground, a record label that with every release helps usher in a new sound designed to redefine our dancefloors. Saying that, perhaps the label is best described as a family, formed by a dedicated collective of DJs and producers who, as individuals, are taking dance music into undiscovered territories, but together are creating something genre defining – and at its helm is Kieran Williams. “I used to play in bands around the age of 14, but then I began DJing at 16,” says Williams on how he came to be introduced to electronic music. “At that time I found electronic music truly fascinating, and I still do, especially in the 21st century. The power of the internet can turn something from a little idea in your head to a worldwide family, and that’s something I find truly special.”
In the internet age of instant connectivity and the ability to discover music created halfway around the globe at the click of a button, Shall Not Fade is a label of true global influence. “Before Shall Not Fade I had ran other labels and parties, but the ethos behind Shall Not Fade in the beginning was to build a community of like-minded artists who could have a platform to release their music on,” says Williams. And while the label hails from Bristol, Williams’ musical vision for the imprint stretches far beyond the Clifton Suspension Bridge. “To be honest, I’ve never really wanted the label to be associated with Bristol,” he says. “Until very recently no-one even knew that the label was from Bristol, really. Don’t get me wrong, Bristol has crafted who I am today and the music I enjoy, from going to the Dubloaded club nights many moons ago to running parties for three or four years across the city. But I’ve always felt that being associated with a certain city or a certain sound can limit your outlook on what music you release. With Shall Not Fade, I try and keep it free and open.”
Williams’ ethos of openness and diversity in its sound has seen names from all four corners of the globe come together under the Shall Not Fade banner. Its very first release ‘Alone’ from late-2015 were four-tracks of gritty, Detroit-inspired house music from a then unknown producer named Mall Grab who hailed from the Australian suburbs. “Probably the hottest property in house music,” is how Mixmag recently described Mall Grab as he graced the front cover of their August issue. Since that first release, the Shall Not Fade discography reads like a who’s who of house music’s next wave. Ross From Friends, DJ Boring, Deejay Astral, Anthony Fade and Adryiano are just a few of the names who continue to rep the Shall Not Fade imprint. Furthermore, under the SNF sub-label Steel City Dance Discs helmed by Mall Grab, Japanese-producer Jun Kamoda will showcase a house sound from the Far East for the label’s upcoming fifth installment.
“Over the last year or so we’ve put out 18 records on the main imprint, as well as starting other sub-labels such as Steel City Dance Discs, Lost Palms, Dream Of Dystopia and Shall Not Fade White,” says Williams, describing his admirable work ethic. “The labels’ newer acts have mainly been friends of previously release artists, and there is the very odd instance where I’ve signed someone completely random, but I’ve always wanted to create a community feel to the label.”
“Through that we have our core base of artists, we have our family, and that’s something I’ve wanted to create from the very start,” Williams continues, and if the past two years are anything to go by their family tree will only continue to grow. “We want to evolve with artists, we want to make people dance, and most importantly we want to make people happy. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?”
KEY TRACKS FROM THE PAST
LK – Silence Night
Every time Jordon (LK) sends me new music I instantly fall in love with it, whether it be under LK or his heavier Viers alias (who recently released on our sub-label Dream Of Dystopia). This track has a really warm and comforting feeling to it. It’s melodic, but also makes you want to dance.
Fold – Doin’ Bits (Frits Wentink)
Frits Wentink is an artist I’ve always admired. His productions never fail to excite or keep the listener engaged, so it’s an honour to have Frits remix a track on the label. On ‘Doin’ Bits’ I love how he’s created a completely new vibe with this remix, the pads driving the song with a playful vocal throughout.
DJ Boring – I Know You Want To (Baltra Remix)
Taken from the Lost Palms sub-label this Baltra remix gets me every time. The chilling vocals, the dreamy pads and the gritty drum sequences never fail to amaze. And when you think you’ve heard it all, in comes the scorching acid bassline.
Rick Wade – Feels (LK Remix)
LK makes the second appearance in this list, flipping what was already one of my favourite tracks on the label into something completely new and unique. This one’s a staple part of my DJ sets and goes off every single time.
Mall Grab – Orange County
Where it all started. I remember listening to this track over and over again a few years back before SNF was born and always was drawn to the warm dreamy vibe the track creates.