The DNB Vault speaks with label boss Scott Thomas aka Fonkah of the mighty US drum and bass label Schedule One Recordings to get a closer look inside one of the top labels in American DNB today.
Please tell us about the label?
Schedule One is a Drum and Bass music imprint based in San Diego, California. We represent a large collective of incredibly talented Producers, Dj’s and Sound Designers in 19 different countries across the globe. Our mission is to unite and elevate Drum and Bass culture through forward-thinking music, positive energy and respect for others and the world around us.
Our label is currently celebrating it’s 50th release with a brilliant new single from the Houston-based duo know as Signalfista, followed by Holohedron’s debut full-length album entitled “Liberators”. We also recently released the first installment of our Sample Library Series with “Neuro Jumptek Vol.1” from KS. We represent a diverse spectrum of sounds with an emphasis on intelligently programmed music with a proper dose of funk, soul, rhythm and atmosphere. We are a very active label releasing weekly on Mondays as well as free releases on most Fridays.
Please tell us about your first release when, who etc.? Has your label changed/matured since then?
Our first release hit stores in March of 2013 with “Smash It // Low Life” from Fonkah and Muttley. To say the label has grown since then would be a massive understatement. In those days, the project started as a humble outlet for which Fonkah and a few producer friends could release music on while being able to personally structure the branding, vibe and mentality of the label.
We followed the next month with our second album coming from Serbian brothers, Kolizion featuring vocals from Germany’s MC Amon Bay on “Anomaly”, backed with a flip from London’s Cyclonetix on “Superia”. The release did very well and from there we never looked back. Our roster has grown significantly over the last few years and we’re discovering and bringing incredible new people into the family all the time. We’ve definitely grown and matured a lot since then but have been extremely happy with our story since day one. We’re fortunate to have so many talented people working together and always supporting what we’re trying to accomplish.
With so many labels starting up why start a label? Do you feel the market is heavily saturated and
We see the amount of labels and outlets these days as a positive. We feel like a lot of new projects are coming about because of a need to share a very specific sound, vision or idea to the world. Luckily, we exist in a time where this is becoming much easier which we think is a beautiful thing. The overall landscape of Electronic Music outlets may be growing vast, but most people don’t listen to every single artist or label out there…the more variety in sound and scope is a good thing, right?
As for competitive, I can only say that we communicate and collaborate with other labels quite often and are always trying to do what we can to help support and elevate each other. We find ourselves working and collaborating with labels like Technique, Patrol the Skies, Ammunition, Delta 9, Mayan Audio, Multikill and many others on a regular basis. There’s a distinct difference in attitudes out there in this community, and we like to consider ourselves among those trying to progress this thing, not hold it back.
What has the response been like?
The response to Schedule One has been absolutely amazing. We’ve had an exceptionally strong year here in 2015 with heavy support including everyone from Bailey and Radio One to EDM.com and DrumNBass.net as well as all of the touring Dj’s and media partners that have been so loyal in helping us spread our vision. We also get a lot of feedback from our artists, telling us that they have never felt so engaged and part of their outgoing projects and that they feel respected and well taken care of. This type of thing makes us feel good about what we’re doing and that we’re treating people right along the way.
Before we close can you shed any light on current or upcoming release?
Indeed! There is much going on here at Schedule One HQ. We just released the first volume in our new Schedule One Exclusive Mix Series with the first installment mixed by AnnGree. We plan to release these monthly to share new and forthcoming tunes from the label, mixed by some of our best Dj’s. Future volumes from the likes of Pish Posh, Fonkah and HammerZz are all in the pipeline.
We’ve got nothing but massive releases scheduled every Monday for the rest of the year. As I mentioned previously, be sure to keep an eye out for Holohedron’s debut full-length album “Liberators” on the way September 7th. Immediately following that, we have the massive new “Stateside” single on the way from Pish Posh and Fonkah (September 21st) and a nasty couple of VIP’s from Snafu and Messinian on “Runnin’ Out of Time // Vices” (October 5th). Lots of other huge releases on the way as well from artists such as Consouls, Velos, Nfunk, Hieronymo’s Mad Againe, AnnGree, SL8r, Fekro as well as a very special Label Compilation that we plan to drop as our last release of the year (December 28).
Many of us are now hitting the road on tour as well, starting with a nice little tour across Puerto Rico in September to celebrate the release of “Liberators”. Give us a shout if you’d like to see your favorite Schedule One artist live in your hometown.
Big up and bless to all crews Worldwide!