Items & Things, the eclectic techno label that is getting bigger and stronger. Lead by Magda, Troy Pierce and Marc Houle, three DJ/producers who have already come a long way in their own career and who answer questions about the growth of their project for LSD.
How did the idea of creating the label ‘Items & Things’ arise?
Troy: We started the label as a sub-label of Minus at Rich‘s suggestion. He gave us the opportunity to release stuff outside of the “Minus sound” and it was really generous of him to give us that chance. In the beginning it was tough to find the type of music that the three of us had in mind; this was the big reason why there were so few releases in the early days. Later on when it was decided that Minus would no longer handle the business end of the label, we let it rest for a while. That was mostly due to our hectic schedules and no free time to do all of the A&R and office necessary tasks to run a label. I think that Magda originally brought the idea back to Marc and I to get the label going again.
Magda: When we first put together the label, it was just a small outlet for some cool music we found, but our main focus was the Minus label. When we thought we wanted to change directions from the label’s sound, we were lucky enough to have Items & Things to turn to and start on our new path. It’s great to be able to control your brand and how people see you. Another advantage is that you can also have more people working towards your career and not just being a piece of someone else’s big picture. And there aren’t really any defined roles between the three of us… Each of us have our own strengths and weaknesses, but we complete each other quite nicely. I guess under normal circumstances having three chefs in the kitchen might not work so well but we’ve been friends and worked together for so long, it is definitely an advantage. Plus we have a great team who are really working hard to get everything going at a fast pace, it’s definitely a team affair.
One year after its creation, are you pleased with how the label developed?
Marc: Definitely. What was once a small hobby has turned into our main focus. Now we are working full time on the label, every moment of every day, whereas before we barely acknowledged what it means to run a label. We see Items & Things as a platform for us and our friends to put out the music we love, without trying to limit it to a certain group of people or a specific sound. Our booking agency Artists & Things and the Down & Out events are based on that same concept.
Magda: I’m proud of every release we do and it’s hard to say which one is better than the other. I feel extra proud of our four vinyl box set compilation. We are trying to have consistent outputs and keep the momentum going. There is a lot of great music coming in from different angles and some interesting collaborations. However, we wouldn’t just release something for the sake of releasing: the tracks must be something we all like and agree on.
Some news coming up about Items & Things ?
Magda: I think the compilation we just finished is definitely the best release we have had so far. It was a huge effort getting all of the tracks together and the packaging for the vinyl is amazing. We managed to collect 17 tracks which pretty much sum up our vision for the sound of the label… Stripped down spacey-disco-synth-punk-electro-techno… or something like that. On the artist side, with Madato and Danny Benedettini, we have two very talented young artists on the label who are releasing more frequently, and we are also working with Click Box again who had their first release on I&T and now returned to us. Furthermore we’ve been working with Miro Pajic, Andy Martin, Throne of Blood creators Populette and Electro Legends Rework, so there’s loads of great things coming up.
Troy: There are also our Down & Out events, where the line-up always features me, Magda and Marc plus guests. We had some very successful events in North America and Europe this year, including Mexico City, Chicago, Miami, Berlin, Detroit, London, Barcelona and Lyon. Keep an eye out for more shows coming soon.
What are you personal projects at the time, apart from the label?
Marc: I’ve been working on some new tracks with Magda and Miss Kittin in addition to the recent Raid Over Moscow project and will be heading for a US tour in November. Magda’s been heavily involved in Richie Hawtin’s ENTER. events at Space in Ibiza over the Summer and has just got back from a tour in South America. Troy’s also working on a new EP and is about to head to Australia for a string of tour dates; and on the label side of things we’ll have more stuff coming out from our label artists Nyma, Madato and Danny Benedettini. And on the events side, we will continue to have Down & Out events and Items & Things showcases.
Stream: Items & Things – DJ Sets & Mixtapes