For London-based promoters Snap, Crackle & Pop, post-punk attitude and unhinged DIY weirdness take precedence over pandering to the latest trends. Even at a time when similar sensibilities appear to be resonating with a brand new, youthful audience, they can hold their collective head high knowing they were well ahead of the curve. Now making the jump from throwing parties to pressing records, the inaugural release should please anyone with appetite for kinetic dance music and dancefloor oddities.
The third outing from Glaswegian four-piece The Junto Club, Shiviana is already turning heads, and backed up with remixes from Khidja and Ivan Smagghe & Cross, it’s easy to see why. Ahead of its release we caught with the promoter-come-label owners to talk about branching into label territory, the process of releasing a record and much more.
Shiviana is out December 5th on Snap, Crackle & Pop – pre-order the vinyl here.
Who are Snap, Crackle & Pop and how did you meet?
Snap, Crackle & Pop is a London clubnight and now record label. We started the clubnight almost ten years ago with a couple of other friends, though in that time others have come and gone. We both met flyering for indie/electroclash clubs in London in 2005, Harry was working for Trash and I (Marcus) was working for White Heat and Did We Mention Our Disco? and the whole thing was kind of born out of our love of post punk and electronic music which was crossing over especially in the club scene at the time.
Does the name have any significance?
We could pretend it’s something to do with the noises that vinyl makes and just the general weird stuff you hear through a PA. In reality we were on a weekend trip to Amsterdam walking around and reeling names off to try and think of a club night. Wee saw the box of cereal in a shop with the slogan and went with it… But don’t tell Kel-logs (sp) that.
For those who may not be familiar, could you describe the personality of the SC&P parties in a few words?
Harry: Weird, Dark, Punk, Eclectic
What was the impetus behind starting the label?
We’d been working with so many exciting new bands for such a long time as promoters that it just seemed completely logical to give all this weird almost-dancefloor ready music a place where it could shine and be given the full dancefloor treatment. A lot of the stuff we’re releasing just completely sums up what we love as DJs and people who love music so, as cliché as it sounds, it just made sense.
It seems like a growing trend that promoters eventually branch out to start a label. Do you think there’s a risk of the vinyl market becoming oved-saturarted?
We’re not just about putting a record out, I really want this label to function as a springboard for bands and artists to help get them to the next level. Everything I’ve ever done in music has always been about helping support great new music at an early level and I feel like this is a massive opportunity to take that a step further.
Any specific record labels that you try to take cues from when it comes to curation?
From our youth, and growing up definitely Phantasy is probably the main one, with coming of age at Erol Alkan’s Trash and just following everything he’s been involved with. Same goes for Optimo. Lately it’s more labels such as Dark Entries, Honey Soundsystem and Hivern Discs that really inspire us to push for something different.
How did you come into contact with The Junto Club?
As big fans of Glaswegian music I saw there first EP in Phonica a few years back and fell in love with them ever since. We invited them down to London to play their first show in the city and became friends ever since. Once they sent us the new music we realized we had found the band for SC&P001.
They hail from Glasgow and considering your music policy, we imagine there’s quite a close affinity to the city within the SC&P camp. Would that be accurate?
Without fail, I think Glasgow has got one of the coolest music scenes in the UK, people really look out for each other there for a start off and that’s before you even start to look at the heritage with people like Optimo. It’s just an extremely cool place that feels very open minded musically.
Releasing music on vinyl you’re often at the mercy of distributors, pressing plants and the like. Have you encountered many hurdles in the process of getting this one out?
Not at all, working with Juno has been one of the easiest experiences I’ve ever had working in music, without their help and belief this wouldn’t have happened or me and Harry would have killed each other by now. Plus we’re really working ahead of ourselves, already looking at the 4th release, so we’ve got a massive margin of safety if anything gets pushed back.
Were there any difficult decisions or compromises made trying to make this happen?
I think the funny thing about me and Harry is that we basically have the same outlook on everything and agree 99% of the time but a lot of stuff gets lost in communication between us as we’re always working on so many things at once. Every now and then we’ll have a bit of a tare up and realise we’re actually in complete agreement despite being at each other’s throats!
Being the first release you probably had to generate a lot of the momentum yourselves. Was there a specific strategy or process when it came to disseminating your music to record stores and media outlets?
Not really. We are lucky enough to know the guys from Juno who have helped us with the whole process and the distribution. Other than that I think we’d both be quite honest in saying we’re winging it, just focussing on getting the record into the right people’s hands from the DJs we know to the shops we buy records in.
Your music policy for the parties has been fairly broad. Is that an approach you’re also taking with the label?
Definitely, we’re working with a really broad range of people on the label who have been reflected in our bookings over the years, we can’t say who yet but they’re definitely people we’ve worked with!
The Junto Club actually describe their music as “impossible to pigeonhole.” Would you say you’re particularly drawn to that melting pot sort of sound?
For me personally I just love post punk, which I think in it’s purest form is impossible to pigeonhole because it’s almost an active resistance against the staleness of genre, the best post punk (which might not always be so called in the mainstream) constantly reinvents itself and I think in that sense that’s what we try and bring to the table with what we play, who we book and the records we’ll be releasing.
As well as Khidja, 2016 has seen you book the likes of Avalon Emerson, Mr TC, Torn Hawk, Lord Tusk, Willie Burns, Bézier and CFCF. Is it an ambition of the label to release music from former guests?
I think if we could release records with all of those people we would die happy.
We’re big fans of the remixers you got on board. Have releases of their own been touted or discussed in any capacity?
Yes, it is definitely in the pipeline, but with acts of that caliber, they are often blocked up and too busy with music for the next 6 months. So we’ll have to wait and see…
Post-punk obviously informs a lot of what you do as both label owners and promoters. Could you pick a few of your favourite tracks in that sort of vein?
Listen to Harry and Marcus’ selections in the playlist below.
What’s next on the agenda for the label?
In terms of releases we’ve got SC&P002 well underway with a band called Deeds and we’re just finalising the remixers for that at the moment, but it’s sounding really special. Releases three and four are also well underway, it’s just a matter of working out which one comes first!
We’ve got our January residency at the Waiting Room, which is like our home ground. Then in February we’ll be celebrating our 10th birthday with a huge line up that we’ll be announcing very soon.