Midgar – Behind the Scenes of a Young Label
Record labels. We are oversupplied with a huge variety, no matter if we collect vinyl, download the tunes or seek for an opportunity to publish own productional work. Big and small, old and new, we experience countless different ways how labels provide us the music we love. While some brand names may quickly shine like a star and catch wide attention within the techno consumers’ community, some rather stay in the background and are considered an insider tip among connoisseurs. Either way, all we usually see is the surface, the final product. Let’s take a look behind the scenes – Jacopo Severitano, founder of the young Berlin based techno label Midgar, gave us insight into his working process.
Working together with Synthek on Natch records, Jacopo had the chance to collect experience and knowledge about how a musical piece of art is metamorphosed into a 12 inch. Three years ago, he decided to take the next step and do his very own thing. With a little start-up support from his brother, Midgar was born.
Besides the good sound, easy pronunciation (and the nowadays indispensable googleability) Midgar has meaning. Midgard is the name for the world inhabited by and known to humans in early Germanic cosmology, and specifically one of the Nine Worlds in Norse mythology. Midgar is also where an old and famous RPG video game was taking place, a fantasy scenery in a video game, which Jacopo and his brother used to play when they were kids.
The memorable logo is Jacopo’s own graphic design work. The origin involves yet another story of meaning. The original image of ‘the woman’ is a drawing made by the Russian artist Ivan Bilibin (1876 - 1942) and is part of a series that illustrates Russian fairy tails. Jacopo was deeply inspired by Bilibin's work for their imaginative power and for the sweet atmosphere, which constantly surrounds them. The woman became a recurring theme. Besides the basic black and white logo on every vinyl, she also found her way into a colourful digital rework for the cover of the recent remix pack of Wata Igarashi’s Ciphers EP.
The Golden Middle
The most important mission for a good label is to find that little niche which makes it different from all the others. Midgar’s unique style is less of a theoretical idea, more the result of constant development. Jacopo did a fine job selecting his artist’s from the very first release on, so throughout the process he managed to create a new artist family, consisting of names like Wata Igarashi, Ruhig, or Ruff Cherry. The musical style brings innovative features into modern techno and delivers a new and meaningful sound. Leaving the trends behind, Midgar has a wide range of interests spanning from Deep Techno to Ambient, Acid and Downtempo. Interesting rhythm patterns pair with low and heavy sounds, always surrounded by a sphere of mystery.
You got to know what you get yourself into and first of all, you must define your principles. Either you go for quick profit or profound quality, but don’t expect both. Be patient and learn to shut up. Never ever talk about your plans until it’s all set and ready. Learn by doing, preferably avoid mistakes or make the most out of it and learn from your errors. Stay true to yourself and most importantly to the music. After all, life’s a like video game. It’s easy to cheat, to push the buttons for immediate succes (e.g. collect most famous remixers to get all the attention), but that is not the honest way, nor will it be the sustainable one.