Label Love #105: Nervous Horizon
The East London record label run by TSVI and Tommy Wallwork has become a creative outlet for musicians pushing the limitations of bass music and beyond.
There’s lot that goes into running a record label. It’s not glamorous, it isn’t pretty at at times but the rewards of working and collaborating with musicians and artists in which you truly believe in can be rewarding to no end.
Nervous Horizon has been in operation since 2015 – for many years it lurked beneath the radar and surface of UK underground music culture. However, it has steadily grown in prominence and has become a true testament to the strength of the pair behind the imprint – as well as the community which has formed around it.
Early Nervous Horizon releases were understated affairs – stamped records, limited pressings, radio rips and nods to rave culture of old were all very much cemented in the identity of a burgeoning new imprint.
The first releases featured music by the likes of Second Storey, Lloyd SB and Lokane as well as Tommy Wallwork and TSVI themselves. They were testing the water – learning the ropes about what it might take to formulate a cohesive catalog of music.
More recently key figures such as object blue and Dj Plead have graced the label – demonstrating just how far they’ve come in respect of progression whilst still very true to the bass driven roots which lead to the formation of Nervous Horizon way back when.
We spoke to the pair about the growth and development of the project..
Describe the inspiration behind the record label, why did you feel the need to launch it and what freedom has it afforded you since?
Nervous Horizon was initially a warehouse party collective in Hackney Wick but quickly evolved into a record label when we started to feel more confident about our productions. The aim was to always stay open to new sounds and constantly evolve. It’s been the best decision we ever made, it gives us the possibility to always put out exactly the music we are feeling in the current moment, we know we can always express our vision to its best on our own imprint .
How would you describe the label in respect of genre and style? From where does it draw its influence?
We’ve always been drawn to many genres, at first it was techno, house & bass music but then things started to evolve and mutate. All the regional club sounds from around the world started to seep into the London club scene so we started experimenting way more with drum patterns and BPMs. Recently we’ve been heavily drawn to dancehall rhythms and creating our new style of slow techno.
How do you go about sourcing music for the label? Friends, demos etc? What sort of sound or niche are you looking for?
I’d say 80% of the label’s roster has been discovered through soundcloud, but of course sometimes we sign people that we meet in real life either here in Hackney Wick or around London. We also receive many demos via our DJ and label inboxes.
You are both based in London, how does the city’s musical landscape influence or inform the music you release?
London is everything for us, growing up in Italy we were only exposed to Techno and House mainly, moving to London was the best decision to make, jungle, drum and bass, garage, grime and dubstep are all huge influences for us, Nervous Horizon wouldn’t be what it is if we hadn’t moved here, London is our home now.
You have collaborated and released material on the label yourselves, was this a positive experience being able to manage and own the end result?
Yes, as we said earlier, having the creative control of putting out whatever we want when we want has been so fun and the best part of it. At first it was a bit risky to be so broad with the genres and BPMs but now I think everyone is starting to get it and the hard work seems to be paying off.
"The TSVI album was our first full album and one of the most exciting projects, but I think the last two compilations have also been great, we've been so lucky to find such amazing artists."
Are there any record labels you particularly admire or look up to that you would say offer a good model or sense of inspiration for Nervous Horizon?
Yeah definitely, too many to mention but Hessle Audio, Hyperdub & Night Slugs were definitely on heavy rotation when we first met.
What do you feel lies ahead for the label and what would you like to achieve?
We are definitely going to continue experimenting, we are currently wrapping up a few exciting projects that we can’t wait for you to hear. We are also going to start focusing more on animation for our music with the help of visual artist and friend Matteo Zamagni aka Seven Orbits with whom TSVI also has the project Paraadiso. That and collaborating with more vocalists in the future to bring our productions more to life.
Visit the Nervous Horizon Bandcamp HERE.