The next instalment in our blog series sees us speak exclusively to Manchester-based record label, mix series & record store ‘Do As You Please’.
For this, we caught up with head-honcho & resident, Joe Roche to chat about recent movements, what plans he has for the brand & a brief but detailed insight into what makes for a strong record label.
Before we get into it, the Do As You Please crew have absolutely succeeded in creating an all-inclusive space for DJ’s & music lovers alike. Note, a recent spotlight in Mixmag celebrated their 12-hour all-female mix series to mark International Women’s Day back in March.
This series showcased a long list of talent from across the country & actually put us in touch with Manchester-based DJ & radio presenter Emma Rose, who you might remember was a guest on our blog series earlier this year.
Since then, Do As You Please has continued to go from strength to strength over the course of this year, offering its community links to exclusive basement parties, discounted records & all sorts of sub-genres ready to be streamed.
We’ll leave the rest for Joe to explain. Here we are in conversation with Do As You Please.
“My name’s Joe Roche and my role at Do As You Please is a director I suppose. Although that comes with wearing many hats.”
Inspiration behind Do As You Please?
“To be honest I started the brand from the things that weren’t working for me personally with trying to navigate music and the industry. I found a lot of closed doors and people seemed quite timid to the concepts of eclecticism and versatility in dance music. I felt there were a lot of groups that were quite monotonal and safe. So, I started Do As You Please as a format to house multiple sub-genres of electronic music, and showcase diverse groups of talent, with a solid branding aesthetic, that would help promote artists and their work effectively.
“The label was the natural progression from the record store and mix series once they had been established. It followed the same ethos, I wanted it to champion a striking aesthetic visually and audibly, with an accessible nature at the heart. Here we are just under 18-months later with four label releases, one of which was a limited vinyl release, representing ten artist’s productions. We’re almost on 30 mixes in the mix series, too, which I’m absolutely buzzing about.”
What makes for a good record label these days?
“I like to hear and see some forward-thinking aspects to a label. A brand that has considered everything and really thought about how they can stand out and create a bit of a legacy with what they’re doing. I’m not a fan of disposable culture, churning out loads of tunes that have been done before, that’ll get a brief bit of attention then onto the next campaign.
“Musically, I really like what Holding Hands have done in recent years, they’ve remained consistent but with some really ballsy, innovative tunes coming out. Gene on Earth’s Limousine Dream is a great example of a well thought through brand; it’s original, consistent and the tunes bang. Also, the White and Black Loops vinyl series run by iO Mulen, I’ll buy these records without even listening to them now. The branding is as minimal as it gets but the music does all the talking.”
Overall aims/ambitions for the brand & future plans?
“Now we’re currently not in any form of lockdown, the brand has slowed down in the digital realm for the time being and we’re really focussing on getting back to playing out live again. We have had very little chance to take all the work we’ve done and showcase it to people in the real world so for the next few months we’re concentrating on that.
“Following that I’m starting to build a bigger team and recruiting some like-minded people to help push the brand further. As there’s a lot of aspects to the business, plus all my personal artist stuff to look after, having more people to work with and bounce ideas off is crucial.”
Highlight of the year?
“It does have to be the International Women’s Day campaign. I personally am on a bit of a mission to help diversify and give opportunities to more underrepresented groups within dance music, and this campaign really meant a lot to me.
“Working with the artists involved was honestly not only an honour, but such a pleasant experience. Whilst pulling the mixes together, the correspondence, professionalism and whole process was so enjoyable, and the talent showcased completely proved that female artists can and will completely clean up when given the opportunity.”
Any big upcoming events?
“We’ve got our residency at Distrikt in Leeds continuing in November, we’re joining up with Skiptrace to hold down a mid-week party with residents from both brands playing - really excited for that one. Following that we have a party scheduled at Eastern Bloc in December. Then, next year we have loads in the works.”
As always, we asked Joe to put together a 30-track playlist on our Spotify. Joe has kindly obliged & selected over three hours' worth of productions. Listen here.
Do As You Please x Skiptrace
Joe Roche on SoundCloud
Do As You Please Bandcamp
February '21: In conversation with JPA
February '21: In conversation with Antoine Kiim
March '21: ALTUS APPAREL - the story so far
March '21: In conversation with Emma Rose
July '21: In conversation with Britizen Kane (link coming soon)