For this months Off The Record mix we humbly rest our hands and our ears with Death Is Not The End.
Luke Owen’s long running label digs up the oldest of the old, serving up your gospel, blues and folk with a crackle. The label has been known for its deeply dug out tapes and records in the forgotten and unheard from the early years of records on gramophones to the London Rave era advertisements. For this mix Owen dives into some well sought after rare groove and soul / blues. A change of pace in this series for sure but a very welcome one from a keen London selector who we have had on our list for this series for a long time. We had a quick chat with the man behind the mix and the label to see how it all came to be and what the future holds.
I am not a DJ in much of the traditional senses of the word, and my approach to putting together mixes – or more often my monthly NTS radio show – is mostly based around pulling together archival recordings focussing around a specific theme, most commonly an overview of a specific period of recordings from a particular style or under-represented scene. With the radio show I’m more concerned with putting together a document a lot of the time, more so than platforming my taste as a DJ as such, but it is something I do enjoy when given the opportunity. When it comes to my own personal direction as a DJ outside of archiving and documentation, I am more often prone to reflecting one of my core musical loves which is reggae music and soundsystems – which is also an area that is coming to the fore a bit with the sub-label 333…
Being a label with extensive reissues from all genres and ages, what are your preferred methods for finding new music — do you still enjoy digging around in dusty crates, or do you prefer to find stuff online?
It varies wildly between getting stuck in with the archives at institutions, digging around for records to use as a basis for restoring audio, and coming across random audio empherema online.
Well the reggae & dancehall reissue stuff I am doing with the sub-label 333 is taking precedent at the moment, and there is some absolutely killer stuff coming out from that side. I plan to give a renewed focus to Death Is Not The End stuff toward the end of the year and hopefully I’ll have time to pull together a few new tapes by then. There is always a huge list of ideas at various stages of fermentation, and I’m by no means organised in terms of process – so we’ll just have to roll the dice and see what comes out first!
Thanks Luke 🙂