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Label Insight: Meanwhile

Launching a new label is no easy task, especially in 2020 with the world in lockdown. The challenges are endless to stand out in an overcrowded scene and develop a strong visual style and distinctive sound, but this is something that two of Melbourne’s finest DJ/Producers are doing and doing well, with the launch of their joint Meanwhile Recordings. So, we took an opportunity to sit down with GMJ & Matter to discuss what they’re doing, the challenges they’re facing, and where they’re going with their new venture.

Electronic Groove: Hi Gavin and Matt and welcome to Electronic Groove. When did the idea of starting this joint label come from and how did it materialize as Meanwhile Recordings?

Gavin & Matt: Many thanks for having us! We had talked about starting a label for a few years, but the timing wasn’t quite right until last September when we both attended ADE in Amsterdam and met with our long time friend and Proton CEO Jason Wohlstadter. Jason pitched us an offer we couldn’t refuse and from that moment on, things really crystallized. With such great support from those guys, we started setting things in motion.

Coming up with the name ‘Meanwhile’ was something we put a lot of time and contemplation into. We created a document with 100 or so possible names and slowly narrowed it down until we had a few, and in the end, we felt Meanwhile resonated with us both – a strong and slick brand that we could really grow into and expand.

Electronic Groove: What is the concept behind Meanwhile?

Gavin & Matt: Meanwhile is multifaceted and in a big way, it is a platform to release our own music. We’d been feeling for some time that our sound wasn’t exactly fitting with other labels, and the timing was right to have our own vehicle for our musical expression.

As an extension of this, we are really passionate and take great pride in releasing really high quality deep and progressive music. We believe in a ‘quality over quantity’ philosophy, so we are happy to wait if the right music isn’t there. We are also very open to showcasing new and upcoming artists as the music we feel resonates comes our way!

As things evolve and grow we see Meanwhile as having potential in an event space. This has already begun in a way with our online streams and we have some other ideas in this sphere to explore.

“We’d been feeling for some time that Meanwhile sound wasn’t exactly fitting with other labels, and the timing was right to have our own vehicle for our musical expression”

 Electronic Groove: Give us a roundup of what you’ve presented on the label so far?

Gavin & Matt: MW001 – GMJ & Matter – Lost On Origin EP
These 3 tracks will always be special as they are the beginning point of this musical journey! They were really well received and exceeded our expectations, receiving a main banner on Beatport‘s progressive house lading page & reaching #4 in the top 100.

MW002 – GMJ & Matter – Gauntlet EP w/ Alex O’Rion Remixes
Our second release was also an original collaboration from us, and a track that we had tried and tested on the dancefloors of London and ADE. We gave the original parts to our good friend and producer talent Alex O’Rion, and the two interpretations he provided really blew us away!

MW003 – Roger Martinez – Cosmic EP
This release is huge for both of us as Roger has long been a musical hero! We had connected with him both here in Australia and in Amsterdam last year, and we have released on his label Higher States. We enquired with him about releasing on Meanwhile and he sent over 3 amazing futuristic tracks that we are hugely honored to have released.

MW004 – GMJ & Matter – Eldarin EP w/ Kamilo Sanclemente & Dabeat, Subandrio Remixes
‘Eldarin’ is a special collaboration for us, with more details about the original below. Our remixers for this package are long time contacts online and producers we really respect and admire. Added to this, we all spent quality time at ADE which just solidified things! We were wrapped that they agreed to join us and both remixes are truly outstanding.

Electronic Groove: You’ve just released your latest collaboration ‘Eldarin’ – tell us more about that?

‘Eldarin’ was one of those tunes that took us by surprise. The original track started out as a bunch of ideas in Matt’s studio over a few beers after we’d finished a mixdown session for another release. After that moment the project sat on a hard-drive for around 6 months before we revived it at our following mixdown session and were pretty stoked to find that it had some real potential! A few mix sessions later and after testing the track out in a few of our live sets, we decided that it was time for ‘Eldarin’ to enter the world.

Electronic Groove: Can you elaborate on some of the challenges you have faced when launching this new label venture?

Gavin & Matt: Working with Jason and James from Proton has made our start-up process much smoother than we can imagine it would have been otherwise! We think learning or growing into our branding and image is something that is ongoing and we are sure most labels would face. This has still been an enjoyable process though and one we feel we are really starting to get a feel for.

Electronic Groove: How has the current situation with the global pandemic impacted your strategy and what changes or adaptation have you made to keep things flowing?

Gavin & Matt: If anything, we’ve been able to take this time in our lives to focus on the project deeply and with more intent. We have been very lucky to see solid support from the biggest DJs in the industry, even in this early phase of the label. Most of that support has been seen through online live streams and events, as well as promo feedback. We’re looking forward to a time where the music on our platform is played for you beautiful people in the flesh, dancing amongst your friends.

“We are really passionate and take great pride in releasing really high quality deep and progressive music”

Electronic Groove: How important do you think the design and visual imagery are for a new label?

Gavin & Matt: Really important! As mentioned above, we are growing into what we feel is a strong brand. We went through a process where we organized a logo competition to come up with our final logo and we feel that was really successful.

We are lucky enough to work with our very good friend and amazingly talented designer, Andy Thomas. Andy has been helping us from the start and Matty also has a very keen eye for design and layout. Our strategy since the onset has been to engage people with both video & still content and making sure it is quality. Perception is of course really important and both of us see the label as our baby and are passionate about its presentation and standards in every way.

Electronic Groove: What can you reveal to us about what’s coming up on Meanwhile?

Gavin & Matt: Our next release that will follow soon after ‘Eldarin’ will be a great single by our good mate from Sydney, Luka Sambe, with some amazing remixes by RIGOONI & Tripswitch. After that, look out for new material from us together and solo, as well as some really exciting remixes, to come as we move through this year.

We are also looking into potentially organizing a bigger scale streaming event, showcasing some of our Meanwhile artists from around the globe.

Electronic Groove: Many thanks and we wish you nothing but the best moving forward!

Gavin & Matt: Thanks again for having us and thank you for reading about our journey so far! We can’t wait to see what’s next :)

Follow Meanwhile: Facebook | Instagram | Soundcloud | Beatport

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