During Skopje’s Desonanz Festival in October 2016, local journalist Melani Digit interviewed our founder, Medallion Man!
Hello Frederick, I hope you’re enjoying Macedonia for your third time here! Loose Lips started with in 2014. How did you get an idea and what is your previous job?
Loose Lips has always been evolving, and we didn’t really have any fixed intentions when it began. Sometimes people try to portray elaborate stories of determinism or sudden ‘lightbulb moments’ when explaining the start of their project, but it was far more ‘trial-and-error’ based for Loose Lips. We just wanted to throw some good parties and take it from there. Previously, I was studying and DJing a lot, but wasn’t really satisfied by the gigs I was playing and the platforms we had to express the music around me.
As the project developed, I became really motivated by the idea of not putting strict rules to our output – lots of parties/collectives/platforms quickly try and define their sound so as to have an associational reputation in people’s minds. I wanted to fight against this – even though we may often play/release a lot of techno for example, people know this isn’t a strict rule and could dramatically shift when we wake up tomorrow – Loose Lips is ‘loose’! We release and play a wide variety of music and this breadth is what keeps us motivated. We want to showcase connections between sound, bringing different crowds together, whilst maintaining a focus on quality.
In terms of being a ‘musical platform’, this is also an intention which developed as Loose Lips did. We started as a mid-week party, but quickly wanted to express ourselves in ways other than events. Events are an addiction we are not looking to give up anytime soon...but they can’t always fully express one’s tastes – instead, now, I see them as giving previews to people who can then go and check the much more limitless archives of our other projects. Now, with a new website about to launch, our output spans across a radio show, mix series, the label, interviews, blog posts and artwork.
Tell us something about your beginnings… your first events… who were the first resident DJs in your team?
We started as a crew of Devonians. Loose Lips started in London, but our friendship group travelled from where we grew up. I founded it alongside Dominic Juggins and the first resident DJs were Golesworthy and Rommek. I think this is linked to our diversity because the South West has a sprawling scene of music – whether its Hip Hop, jungle/d&b or house & techno, there are real scenes that each of our crew were properly indulged in when growing up.
In general you are based in London, but do you have a plan to spread the network in other countries and cities?
This isn’t true anymore really – a lot of the Loose Lips crew are based in London but we now have a local presence in Manchester and Bristol. If you told our resident MC Treece, who runs the Manchester branch, that it was a London-orientated project, he’d literally kill me!! We now run about 4 parties a year in each of those three cities. We’ve also just started our own radio show in Manchester as well, hosted by Paxman & Treece on Reform Radio (first Thursday of every month, 1-3pm). We want to be slightly nomadic because we’ve met so many amazing people in doing so and feel our diversity is corroborated by this exploration of different areas. We don’t want to be open-minded purely in relation to musical recordings....it’s a humanistic and geographical thing as well.
What do you think about today’s use of social networks - how do they help in promoting your activities, and how much time do you spend on it to answer all messages, comments and organise your events?
Social media is huge for our day-to-day work, especially Facebook. It’s essentially another email account. I make a good effort to keep up-to-date with all my interactions on there and use it to contact a lot of people in regards to future projects. I think in many senses its democratised the music industry because even though it glorifies musicians via how many bloody lies they’ve got, it also makes communication so much easier. With a simple click of the ‘message’ button, we’ve kicked off amazing conversations with some of our favourite producers – with email, it’s slightly more formal and restrictive than this I think.
We also use it a lot to support other’s projects. None of us are alone in this industry and social media allows us to share the works of others whilst also promoting our own name! It’s so just damn easy to connect with anyone by whacking an @ sign in front of their name haha – LOVE IT!
Which kind of software and/or equipment do you us for DJing? Do you use sometimes live instruments in your act?
In terms of DJing, it varies. Lots of our DJs play on vinyl, lots don’t. I think vinyl is something that should be adopted for a personal love of it and not because its the ‘right’ way to perform.
In terms of live performance, we always try and fit this into our events. Whether it be Scald’s combination of machines and violin, Treece’s raps, T-Scale’s improvised Pure Data set, or Justin Paton’s live acid set, we have some amazing memories of live performance.
Tell us something about your blog activities - how many people work here and what is your interest?
Our written output has been quite eclectic recently – including short stories, album reviews, premieres and interviews. Our team of writers is quite flexible – everyone works freelance. With the launch of the website though, some regular features are on their way including a monthly label review where we’ll be interviewing the label founder and looking into their ethos. Shouts out to some of our new writers and editors who are absolutely fucking wicked - Blaise Radley, Fred Day, Matt Hardy, Ross Devlin, Miles Murgett & Ed Fernyhough! You can check some of our recent bits here - https://www.facebook.com/LooseLips123/notes/
Do you have your official radio station streaming or you broadcast your show on Soundcloud or similar platforms?
Our radio show broadcasts every Monday (5-7pm UK time) on Music Box Radio. It includes a guest mix each week but is more focused around interaction and an interview - https://www.facebook.com/events/1721605731498682/.
And we also have a weekly Mix Series, released every Friday, which is more focused on international artists with a pre-recorded mix - https://soundcloud.com/loose-lips123/sets/loose-lips-mix-series
What’s your position at 2020Vision Recordings? Tell us some more about it...
I work as head of publishing for Sound2020, the publishing arm of the label. We represent a wide variety of music, which expands far beyond the actual label’s releases.
Publishing work has two sides to it I suppose. One is to connect with our worldwide sub-publishing network to collect any due royalties for commercial use of music...and so for released music, such revenue can be collected from radio play, licensing to compilation albums, festival/club use of the music...
And then the more exciting and time-consuming side of publishing work is the creative aspect in which I work to ‘sync’ music into other forms of media - placing it into film, TV, games, adverts etc.... This job also involves the enhancing of opportunities for artists signed to our roster (a management type role) in which I look for collaborative opportunities.
Who is Medallion Man?
I am the co-founder and resident of Loose Lips and assistant label manager/head of publishing at 2020Vision recordings. I started playing on the radio, developing my own take on experimental and electronic music.
Animating several shows on different stations during the last years, I regularly offer listeners 2 hours of varied sounds. My current project is with Music Box Radio, in which our Loose Lips show invites artists for guest mixes and interviews on a weekly basis.
I play quite a lot around the UK and Europe, maintaining a regular presence at South West parties, where I’m from.
How do you define your style?
Random, not fixed. Expect eclectic sets, excitingly switching the tempo and genres.