Glasgow based record label ‘ALL CAPS’ is a modern-day independent in its sincerest form. When people romanticise about running their own record label, imprints like ‘ALL CAPS’ are really what they hope to emulate. From humble beginnings the label has gained a reputation for releasing ‘must-hear’ (Kowton, DJ Guy, Bluntman Deejay and Ekranoplan) records and continues to substantiate its growing stature off the back of every release. Tried, tested and to this point true, their releases have faithfully placed the motivation on the tracks themselves, gathering momentum organically and fostering the space for each offering to exist individually, as well as part of a wider collective catalogue. It might sound easy, but consistently finding music that moves people is no simple task. Here is where we find the essence of what makes ‘ALL CAPS’ a special entity.
Being devoted and passionate are undoubtedly key in any form of success but working hard and loving what you do can still so often come up short, particularly in music where passion for the art is so fervent. These attributes, commendable as they are, lack regulation. They are boundless and multi directional. Without rationale, foundation and belief, the keenness behind these great motivators quickly fades and more often than not, extenuating circumstances foot the bill for failure. As a young man, Bake has quarry loads of enthusiasm but as one part of the team that heads up ‘ALL CAPS’ he has marked sensibilities and thorough grounding in what the label is trying to achieve and what the music they release should mean.
With a unquestionable sense of self-deprecation and a tangible aura of quiet, Bake describes just how far the label has come in its few short years, his rise as a DJ, his Rinse FM programme and coping with the pressures that success in music can arouse.
In a short time, your label All Caps has become widely known and well respected. Can you tell us little bit about its' genesis?
The label was born out of an already existing radio show on Subcity, which is an internet station based on the campus of Glasgow University. I had been hanging out with the dudes who started the show for years and when I started to play with them on the show, the idea to start a label seemed to come quite naturally as we spent quite a lot of time seeking out new music.
The releases so far have been varied but there's a common thread that seems to link them and denotes them all as All Caps releases. Is there a certain something that you're searching for when selecting potential releases?
There isn't really a simple answer to that question - the label is still a work in progress, it's still growing and that's something I really like. The records are definitely aimed for the floor but there is a certain free form aspect to the common thread you were speaking of above, which is very intangible and personally, I'm in no rush to place a finger on it. As with all music I really adore, there's a ghost like quality that always grabs me, something I can't make sense of and I think that's been the driving force behind the label so far.
Your Rinse FM show is held in the highest regard. Can you tell us a little bit about your preparation and approach to the show?
So far, I’ve just been trying to develop an environment that is comfortable for people to listen to records that aren’t so accessible across the spectrum of shows on the station. That is definitely the most important factor in my approach to the show, and in saying that, I need to give a special shout out to the guests that have passed through the show. They have been vital in carving out that path with me.
The show is boundary-less, in terms of sound and selection. Do you think there is more room now for exploration within club culture than perhaps say 5 years ago?
That’s really kind of you to say, thank you! Ummm. Yes I would definitely say so.
What factors do you think have broadened people's tastes?
It makes sense to only comment on what I feel has opened up the doors for clubbing in the UK and it has been said many times, but for someone my age, I would still say, Funky was the stone that was dropped in the water and the ripples that were caused are still being felt today. Those ripples now make playing music from the 60s and 70s (at any time) in a club, a bit less alien.
The guests on your show rarely stay between the lines and seem to delight in producing something special for you. Do you ever feel pressure to keep up and consistently discover great new (and old) music?
Again, shout out to all the guests - Jordan, Spencer, Beatrice, Nozaki - you guys are the best. I definitely do feel the pressure, it’s hard not to. The Internet is a very overwhelming place and it puts everything out on the table for people to view and access. In saying that, it’s still the best feeling ever when you find something you really connect with.
Rubadub in Glasgow receives constant credit from artists and labels hailing from the city. What is it that makes it so special and how has it influenced you and your label?
They have developed a small family of people that are completely dedicated to what they believe in. That kind of purism is definitely inspirational. The guys and girls that work there are also really nice people so that alone makes it a special place.
Who were the DJs that inspired you to play?
I started going out to clubs when I was 15 and playing records when I was 17, so when looking back at my life then, I don’t think there was a specific DJ who inspired me to start playing records. I guess it was more a particular feeling that was created by a number of people working together in a space that made me feel quite free. That feeling of freedom is definitely something I still chase.
As a selector, you're held in the highest regard by some of the most eminent people in underground music. Comparisons are often made between Ben UFO and yourself. Internally, how do comments like that make you feel and how do they affect your approach to playing and releasing music?
It’s super flattering definitely, I really look up to Ben and what he’s achieved, but in a world where it’s easy to speak and be heard, trying to emulate what he’s doing is very counter productive. I think finding your own voice in a conversation is important and those comments only push me forward in doing that.
Finally, the wider world is yet to hear music made by Bake. Is producing something you have ever taken your hand to and would you release something you had produced yourself?
I’ve messed around in the past but I’m very happy sitting back and learning at the moment.
Find out more about Bake here.