Imprints brings you weekly profiles of the most exciting independent record labels the world over, written by movers and shakers from within their own electronic music communities.
Since releasing his breakout track, "Beautiful World" on Crosstown Rebels in 2012, Iranian/Canadian producer Amirali Shahrestani has captivated audiences worldwide with his live vocals and keys. Thanks to the success of his critically acclaimed In Time LP, Amirali has played some of the world's most reputable venues, and was invited to perform at the first video broadcast of the coveted BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix in 2013.
Two years later, while working to complete his second album, Amirali is extending his musical palette with the launch of an abstract new label. Aiming to encourage the unusual, Dark Matters will showcase original material from live acts and Amirali's own productions. THUMP caught up with the London-based artist to discuss his musical inspirations, his creative process, and the metaphysical concept behind his new collective.
Name: Dark Matters
Location: London, England
Vibe: Dark abstract psychedelic pop
THUMP: What was the inspiration behind the label name?
Amirali: I've always been interested in astronomy and fascinated by dark matter. Black holes are the mysteries of our universe. You can't see them, but you're drawn to them and want to learn more. I see a similarity with music. Music is something we can't see or touch, but we're always drawn to it.
What type of sound are you trying to cultivate?
My main goal for Dark Matters is to discover and develop fresh young talent. The label will also provide me with a platform to showcase my own work. We are mainly focusing on live acts but intend to represent a broad range of music—everything from techno to abstract pop to ambient. We're not following any trends or chasing a specific sound. Our aim for Dark Matters is to push boundaries and to put out forward thinking, cutting edge music.
What's the label's next release?
Our first release is my new single "Fearful Stay" which is coming out with two amazing remixes from Prins Thomas and Aboutface. It will be out on vinyl July 6 and digitally on August 3.
What's the dance music scene like in London?
London's dance music scene has quite a long history. There used to be so many great venues to choose from that it was difficult picking a destination. Unfortunately, there have been many closures and this has definitely reduced the variety. But thanks to London's ingenuity, we still have amazing events and festivals. Some promoters are scouting for unique spaces such as old lofts or warehouses that can be converted into incredible venues. No matter the city politics, you can always find a fantastic place to go out in London.
How would you describe your production style?
This is a tough one. I never like to repeat myself when it comes to production. Every time I make music, I think about the stuff that I haven't done in the past. I think people can recognize my sound in some ways, especially when they hear my voice.
How do you choose which artists to work with?
I'm looking for artists that have something special to say with their music, artists that think beyond limitations and boundaries. I think that's when your true self comes out and you are the most creative.
What challenges do you face running the label?
There are obviously many challenges, but it's those obstacles that make it exciting. A lot of hard work goes into running a label and luckily I have an amazing team who are making this experience as smooth as possible.
Do you have any advice for artists who are trying to make it?
I think every artist needs to find their own voice and stay true to themselves otherwise they will easily fade away. This industry has become like a very fast paced machine. In order to survive, you need to stay on top of everything and evolve all the time.
What can we expect from you for the rest of 2015?
I have a lot of new material coming out soon. I've also finished my second studio album, which I'll be going into details about later on. Stay tuned.