Label Services Focus: Music Is Love Records

Flying the flag for quality underground house and techno, the ever-growing Music Is Love Records empire has achieved a hugely solid reputation through its first dozen releases. Mixing the cream of upcoming UK talent with remixes and releases from legends like Point G and Nail, their blend of the old and the new has one them acclaimed from everyone from Ricardo Villalobos to Pulse Radio. One of the men behind the label and one of its main artists, Oli Furness, tells our label services team more.

What’s the story behind your label? How did it come into existence?

The label came about as we wanted to push our own sound and take on the house music that was being released and played at the time – plus being surrounded by so many solid producers, it just felt like the right thing to do. Looking back on that now I feel we have pushed through some fantastic producers and hope to maintain that.

How was the name chosen?

Ha, well we searched for inspiration, trawling round Manchester to catch sight of something that resonated with us – and in the end it was being sat in my flat talking to a friend and it hit upon us there.

What is the label’s ethos, and has it been that way from the start?

The label’s ethos was and still is to release music we love. The main label focuses mainly on house and the surrounding grooves, whereas the sister label focuses on the niche sounds of the music scene. Two fairly different aspects of electronic music we love. The day we stop releasing what we love is the day we give it up.

How did you go about sourcing and choosing your first few releases?

The first few releases came quite easily and naturally as we spent some time getting the branding and the general vibe of Music Is Love right before we launched. This time spent on A&R meant that we lined up our first few releases without the pressure of a release schedule, which is always handy when you’re striving for a solid product.

What have been your most successful releases?

Mmm, that’s a tricky one. How do you measure success? If by sales, then our most successful is pretty evenly spread out across a few releases. If you measure it in other ways we’ve have Ricardo Villalobos play our tracks, we’ve had Radio 1 play – but I think more importantly success is measured in us having a strong loyal following of people who judge music off its merit and not how many Facebook followers we have. I hope that is true, so I’d say every release is a success.

What do you think the most important elements of running a label successfully are? What advice would you give someone setting up a label of their own?

I think the most important elements of running a label successfully is to be true to what it is you want to support and create. So many people chase a scene. It’s saddening. Be who you wanna be musically and stylistically – that way you can’t doubt your actions. My advice to setting up a label would be to spend some time on artwork, spend some time on the label and make sure it’s done right from the first release forward.

Which other labels do you really admire and why?

There’s so many solid labels out there at the moment that it’s an absolute minefield to stay on point, but for me, for a long time 20/20 Vision have absolutely rocked it! Their outlook and input into the scene over their existence has been inspiring. 50 Weapons as well – absolute game changers, and will be exciting to see what they do next.

Which artists would you love to have on the label?

Artists I’d love to have on the label, haha… how long have you got? Far too many to mention here but the next few releases on Music Is Love will definitely be including one or two of them.

What’s the benefit for you of working with MN2S’ label services team?

MN2S have been solid ever since we switched over to them. From accounting to support, it makes my life a lot easier. Also Chris is a star and is always on hand.

What’s coming up on the label?

We have just released our 13th vinyl by myself, ‘Weather Underground’ with a Bodyjack remix which is smoking! After that we have the talented Mr. Liam Geddes for the 14th release. Then after that it’s a secret…

Click to find out more about MN2S label services.

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