In Conversation: La Sape Records

Lee FlemingIn Conversation

The Anti Social Jazz Club’s strictly ‘vinyl only’ DJ sets look to explore jazz and its connected genres while pleasing our vinyl addictions and audiophile tendencies. Collectively we discover and share independent record labels from around the world whose endeavours feature in our ASJC DJ sets. A record label we’ve been following closely is La Sape Records, introduced to us by the good people at Midnight Swim Sounds.

Located in Melbourne, La Sape, an abbreviation based on the phrase Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes (French translation: “Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People”) have caught our attention for all the right reasons.

La Sape Records inaugural release of Godtet with Sydney guitarist, producer & beat-maker Godriguez plus a live band is already a firm favourite amongst ASJC. We we’ve fortunate enough to ask label manager Kurt Paradise how La Sape Records came about.

Q: When was La Sape Records established? How did the label come about?

A:La Sape launched officially in October of last year with the first release from Godtet. Although the past year we’ve hosted a few parties locally in Melbourne and toured UK wordsmith & creative powerhouse, Kojey Radical.

Q: What’s your role at La Sape Records

A: My role is non specific and crosses over all facets of the label. Working solo gives me the opportunity to keep full control and have my fingers stuck in many pies. Essentially my main focus is finding and giving life to music that I feel is unrepresented in Australia outside of smaller, more hardcore music loving communities.

Q: What’s your (musical) background?

A: A temperamental one. Many one off bands and musical ideas that fall apart from my inability to enjoy a certain style of music for more than a few weeks. I think I’ve almost completely given up on trying to look after other peoples music whilst trying to make my own, can’t balance it, DJing it is…

Q: La Sape Records is connected to independent artist management label Strange Yonder?

A: Yep! About 5 years ago to the day we launched Strange Yonder. Focused in and around management and touring which has now developed much more into a touring company rather than management.. It’s a motherfucker of a job managing the lives, money, opinions, wants & needs of whom become your good friends.

Q: Strange Yonder comes across as a collaborative family, a good setting for creation?

A: Very much so, again Strange Yonder is a solo effort now, having had a partner for those first few years. It was very much a collaborative family and I’m still surrounded by amazing friends and musicians that constantly push and keep me interested in what I’m doing.

Q: Is the plan to champion Australian artists/bands or to travel further afield?

A: La Sape’s goal is definitely to champion and develop local artists more so, where Strange Yonder has turned its focus towards international touring and some national. I find in this day and age the people who are creating great things, know what they want and how to get it for the most part, or can just do it themselves. So I prefer to work along side them, back them and help guide it.

Q: La Sape Records is rooted in jazz, was this a personal touch?

A: For sure. I felt there was a serious need for it in Australia and I guess it’s always been the dream. Where I’m from in Queensland the idea of starting a label rooted in jazz couldn’t have been done, even the idea of a label seems a little void there. However, having set up in Melbourne for the past two years with a scene rich with young musicians experimenting with the genre I felt much more confident in making that step. At the same time it’s also moot, if I was to find an amazing country record I would put it out.

Q: The labels first release is by Sydney guitarist, Producer & Beat-maker Godriguez. How did this come about?

A: I saw Dave play as a trio a year or so back whilst in Sydney for Volumes Festival with 30/70 (A Melbourne band you need to check out if you haven’t yet) . They raved about how I had to see it, I did and I’d never seen/heard anything like it before. Which I guess is the idea of what I listen/look for with the label in mind. I asked Dave to DJ with me one night he was in Melbourne and it was there he told me about the Godtet session.

Q: What was it like working with Godriguez?

A: Thoughtful, concise and a genuine pleasure. He is a true champion of Australian music, also contributing to what I consider one of the best hip-hop albums to come out of Aus, ‘The Great Mixtape’ from Sampa The Great.

Q: What’s your favourite track on the Godtet LP?

A: Tough choice between ‘Ensueño’ and ‘Comedy’.

Q: The Godtet LP artwork is eye catching, who’s it by?

A: By a very good friend and longtime collaborator  Ashley Goodall. She’s to thank for 90% of the art and design over the past 4 or so years.

Q: What’s being played in the La Sape Records playlist at the moment?

A: Digging back through Curtis Mayfield’s back catalogue. There’s so much, he was an amazing composer. A lot of broken-beat and UK Jazz. And a constant stream of King Tubby & The Scientist.

Q: Where would you find the La Sape team if not in the studio/office?

A: The Kitchen.

Q: What’s La Sape Records plan for 2018?

A:A hectic Godtet follow-up as well as a best of beat-tape from Godriguez… Check out Horatio Luna too.

Thanks again to Kurt for taking the time out for the interview. Be sure to check out La Sape Records and here’s their latest Soundcloud mix. Enjoy: