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Behind the Sleeve - Internal Connections VOL. 1

Whenever a new record gets released and we add it to our collection, it’s something to be enjoyed for years to come. But did you ever stop to think about who, what and where played a part in the hours put into the creation of each release, to enable our sonic pleasure?

As Nottingham label Leftback Records unleashes its latest offering, ‘Internal Connections Vol 1’, I spoke to Dudley Strangeways and Michael McLardy to find out what happened behind the sleeve. 

1.How did you decide which artists were going to feature on this particular release?

The idea behind the ‘Internal Connections’ release series is to introduce artists to the label who we have existing relationships with, but who haven’t yet released with us. Bunny sent us some music a while ago and we decided on one of the tracks for the release. Chris has been DJing with us since the label started; so once he started making music it made sense to include him for his first release. Szymon comes to the studio in Nottingham for engineering sessions and has produced some really nice tracks so once he had one ready he was happy with we more than willing to include it on the record.

2.Do you create each ‘compilation’ before or after you’ve received tracks from these artists? Ie – do you set a ‘brief’ or the theme for each one?

It's generally afterwards, as we’d usually sign the first track and then look for the other tracks to work around it. We have asked people to write music for us but there is no set brief so the tracks are ready when they’re ready. 

3.Whether you do or don’t, how would you summarise the feeling or theme of ‘Internal Connections’

A collection of music to introduce new artists who are friends or ours to the label with a view to sign a full EP from each them later down the line. 

4.Where was this release produced / mixed / mastered? 

We have a studio in Nottingham city centre where all the tracks are engineered so all mixing and mastering is done in house. Most of the time the tracks tend to come already completed to a high standard however if track is lacking that last 10% in the mix it will be finalised in our studio. 

5.Where was each vinyl pressed?

We work with Vinyl Future who are a part of for our pressing and distribution, so they look after all of the physical production side of the business for us. 

6.Who created the artwork?

James Micallef does all of the artwork for the releases. We’ve worked with James for the last 3 years and his role has been pivotal in creating the branding you see on the front of our releases today. 

7.Where can it be heard?

There are the obvious links on Soundcloud and in the shops where it can be streamed and purchased. We have a really select list of people we send promos to who are mainly just DJs we know and friends we who will play the records in their sets plus all of the artists that have released on the label. Julia Govor picked up and played Szymon Wnuk's track on her recent Boiler Room set which is great for Syzmon to see that his track is being supported. 

8.Which soundsystem do you dream of hearing it played over?

We dream of playing it ourselves…Either in Panorama bar or Fabric! 

9.Was the process of releasing this record smooth, or were there any bumps along the way?

The record came about relatively easy with little stress. Apart from Szymon stressing out as we had to edit his 14 minute version down to fit onto the vinyl everything ran smoothly. I think it took him about 4 weeks, 12hrs a day and a few bottles of vodka….

10.Is there going to be a volume 2? 

Yes this is currently in planning we have the artists all on board we’re just waiting to receive the music back so once everyone is happy with the tracks then we’ll put the release out. It’s an open ended project as part of our release schedule so you’ll see ‘Internal Connection’s volumes popping up in between our artist Eps in the future too. 

Words by Eileen Pegg

You can find Internal Connections Vol 1 and many other Leftback records HERE. They also have an exclusive selection of House and Techno for you to browse in our shop.