This year, the house music institution Quantize Recordings is celebrating 10 years in business. Run by house music legend DJ Spen, the label has worked with MN2S Label Services since its inception, and shared over 300 releases from a who’s-who of dance music, while exploring new sounds through its sublabel, Unquantize. The Quantize team have recently announced the launch of another sublabel, Qu3 Recordings, run by producer and longtime associate of DJ Spen, Micfreak. We caught up with both Micfreak and DJ Spen to hear more about their new venture and their reflections on 10 years at the top of their game.
What inspired you to set up Qu3?
Micfreak: “We have been doing this online show on Twitch called Talent Tuesdays. Often we would get really awesome demos but we couldn’t sign the tracks cause they don’t fit the sound of either Quantize or Unquantize. As DJ Spen would say “a good record is a good record” and we need to be that vehicle to bring that good record out to the masses. So that’s where QU3 came about.”
DJ Spen: “While Quantize and Unquantize’s productions are mainly deep and commercial, there was a gap for Qu3’s genre within Quantize. In Qu3, you will hear records you don’t expect to hear from Quantize, yet they will still maintain our high standards.”
What defines Qu3 as a label and differentiates it from Quantize and Unquantize?
Micfreak: “Quantize is known as a soulful house label spearheaded which will always be the foundation of all 3 labels. While Unquantize is more on the Afro-house tip headed by Thommy Davis. Qu3 will focus more on a house music vibe. But we would like to explore other genres such as tech house and dare I say it, techno (soulful-type techno of course!) As long as it moves the dance floor there’s room for it on Qu3.”
You’ve mentioned you’re focusing on upcoming talent and future stars, could you tell us about a few of those?
Micfreak: “YES! While we cannot predict the future, we know talent needs to be heard regardless of name or status in the industry, that’s the reason we started Qu3. We also focus on the house music spectrum so we don’t want to limit ourselves as far as artists go. We have a few releases from some established names in the industry and stars too!”
DJ Spen: “Qu3 has new productions by Lee Buxton, Abco, Micfreak, Mr V, and Demuir.”
What do you have planned for your first release out in March?
Micfreak: “The first release we have dropping on March 4 is called I Know What You Like. It was produced by Abco and myself with the legend Mr. V on vocals. It is a perfect club anthem now that clubs are opening and there’s a call to action here asking people to put their phones down to enjoy the moment and feel the vibe!”
Do you have any other releases in the calendar for QU3 after this?
Micfreak: “We have releases coming out from one of the baddest producers on the planet Demuir called Back To Love. A collab I did with UK artist Lizzie Curious is also coming. A release from another UK artist Lee Buxton is in the pipeline. A few more that we cannot announce yet! You can expect remixes from DJ Spen, Thommy Davis, and myself from time to time here!”
DJ Spen: “We have some remixers that we wouldn’t normally pull from for our releases under the Qu3 label.”
Are you planning to focus solely on house music for QU3, or will you be exploring other genres?
Micfreak: “As mentioned earlier we are opening our doors to different spectrums of house music. I personally spin a lot of tech house and techno. I think this is a great time to be exploring those as a label and help grow the sound!”
With Quantize Recordings celebrating its 10th anniversary this month, do you have any reflections on the decade past and what’s to come over the next ten years?
DJ Spen: “Quantize Recordings is going to be a big part of bringing soulful and afro-style recordings to the masses. We are looking forward to expanding our wings with Quantize Recordings and Qu3 is going to be a part of that.”
Micfreak: “I think Quantize has established itself as one of the iconic brands in house music. Its growth with the guidance of DJ Spen, Thommy Davis, and Kelly Spencer has been a steadying rock in keeping in line with the vision of delivering quality music all around. I feel blessed to be a part of it and see it grow as the label it is now! With QU3 now being a part of the ecosystem, the future looks bright for the label!”