Label Love #57: Going Good


In 2013, a label emerged from seemingly nowhere sporting the music of obscure producers: faceless sounds with a microsoft paint drawn identity. A diy vision at its absolute finest, the foundation of Going Good, a London based imprint run by Brian Morrison & Salik Z which has since gone on to release music from the likes of Aquarian Foundation, Nummer, Cloudface, Ewan Jansen, Yoshinori Hayashi, Moon B and Anom Vitruv. Behind the scenes Brian and Salik continue to duck and dive, exploring the far reaches of musical opportunity, digging for obscurities and forming relationships with a wider community which has in turn served them well and supported the label over many years. 

There is a vast range of influences which circle the existence of Going Good. Sal was raised on jungle and soundsystem culture whilst Brian has continued to grind his teeth as a DJ and selector for some twenty odd years. His evolution saw his tastes expand through soul, funk and beyond. He talks about the roots of the label, its associations and connections. 

"With Sal it would definitely be that soundsystem culture, jungle and reggae but at the same time he's really into jazz and afrobeat and I am as well. He used to have a big system which he ran with his mates back in his native Peterborough. Obviously I come from a hip hop background, I was a hip hop DJ for many years: I was into scratching and turntablism. I think what I got turned on to was the samples people were using, it was like a gateway drug. If we were to record an influences mix it would be all over the place. We've tried to purposefully make Going Good so that you can't carbon date it to any particular era or genre."

When looking at the releases which the label has signed, there is a wide remit in terms of musical approach. It's funny to think that a label from London were actually the first people to release music from Aquarian Foundation, who you would now stereotypically associate with Vancouver's Mood Hut. Brian laughs as he jokes about people forgetting that Going Good actually existed some time before the canadian label sprung to existence. 

"I had a drink with Bluntman DJ and we chatted about that. It's crazy that we put out the first Aquarian Foundation record but nobody ever talks about Going Good doing that. I love all those Mood Hut guys, we've built a really good relationship with the Vancouver crew, we've built a relationship over records and similar interests. Those mutual interests run deep, it's music, it's subcultural, graffiti, hip hop, we all come from a similar background."

When looking back upon the music which they have released as a record label, there is a sense of pride and fulfilment in the Going Good pair. From the early releases to the latest endeavours there seems to be some sort of organic principle to the music which they push: each release has somehow made it's way to the pair through friends, nightlife, employment, love, commitment, and passion. Brian explains:

"I don't like referring to the label as a business. Sal is very private as a person, I've known him for fifteen years and in that time we've worked loads of bullshit jobs together, we've known each other for a long time and have always connected over music. We share the same birthday and we live together as well. We had been floating the idea of starting a label for a year or two and out of nowhere Moon B hit us up. His People's Potential record came first and ours was about two or three months later. He sent the 'Entropic Feelings' EP and that was it. The impetus to start the label was there and Moon B blessed us." 

In the coming months Going Good look to be massively busy as a record label and there is a glowing warmth to Brian as he speaks about the future. 

"Oh man, the next release is about to come out. It's from the Mystic Jungle Tribe, a collaboration between the Early Sounds and Nomal Men. It's a bunch of dudes from Naples and I don't know how you'd describe it: it's like boogie, disco, funk, jazz fusion, Sun Ra and Larry Heard all in one with a basement edge. It will be a live record from them, live in Naples. After that a record from XI which is DJ Fett Burger and SVN, heavy stuff, smudgey, dubbed out, abstract techno. We also have a record coming out from a particular Norwegian producer which everyone seems to be into just now, i'm not going to say who it is but he's a very close family member of Going Good." 

Beyond this the inevitable repress debate underlies the Going Good release schedule which sparks an interesting analogy and outlook from Brian and Sal. 

"Represses are on the cards, on record. If we can get the sign off from the crew we will repress the Aquarian Foundation record. I don't think anyone ever released a record with the intention of it being worth sixty pounds. Discogs is a sort of weird false economy in a way. You can buy some amazing records for a pound, in fact the records which people ask me about are the ones which I bought for a pound in a Music and Video exchange basement or whatever. It's hard and strange because I see it happen with a lot of our friends as well such as Acting Press and prices rise."

There is an overwhelming sense of energy and life given off by Brian as he talks excitedly about the prospects of the label, built from nothing but love the pair have established themselves as tastemakers with a passion for musical exploration. The outlook for the coming years looks very strong indeed and it is conversations like this one which has helped them to form the personal bond with artists and DJ's the world over. Things are Going damn Good, pardon the pun.

Follow Going Good on Facebook HERE.