Label Spotlight #034 - Quantize Recordings
This week’s label spotlight pops the lid on Spen’s Quantize Recordings. An imprint dedicated to House music with a rich, Soulful feel, Quantize is home to an incredible family of artists that includes Yass, N’Dinga Gaba, Ziggy Funk, Marc Evans and of course DJ Spen himself. Find out more about Quantize as we sit down with DJ Spen..
Give us a bit of background on you, the label, and what your influences are.
Quantize Recordings began in 2011 after DJ Spen and Thommy Davis finished their work with Code Red Recordings. The company’s first release “Until You” by N’Dinga Gaba, Marc Evans and I did very well and set a high standard for everything that followed. Many of the artists, producers, and musicians we’ve worked with over the years including Gary Hudgins, Irvin Madden, & Sheila Ford continued to work with us as we grew. Initially, our main focus was Soulful and Gospel house, but we quickly expanded our sound to include Deep House, Afro House, and Soul, Funk, Disco. Our influences include the productions of classic producers such as Quincy Jones, Gamble and Huff, Ashford and Simpson, Curtis Mayfield, James Brown, and DJ’s like Larry Levan, Tony Humphries, Timmy Regisford, and John Morales. Their professional work is the epitome of sound.
What have been your favorite releases from the label over the years?
Of course, the first record “Until You” by N’Dinga Gaba, DJ Spen, and Marc Evans was a favorite. “What You Afraid of “ by Ziggy Funk & Taliwa, “Let Me See You Clap your Hands” by Michele Chiavarini, “Be Free” by Melissa B, “Home” by Tracy Hamlin, and “La Costa” by Sheila Ford. These tracks represent the sound and quality that we have become known for.
Tell us a bit about what’s upcoming for the label.
We have quite a few forthcoming projects on Quantize and Unquantize. On the horizon are tracks from Diephuis & Eastar featuring Jocelyn Brown, Barbara Tucker, Vonita White (one of lead singer from Jasper Street Company), Sterling Void, Dave Anthony, Paul “Trouble” Anderson A.K.A. Greedy T, Doug Lazy, The Scientists of Sound, The Jersey Maestros, Keith Nunnally, Warboy, and Hozay Clowney. We also have LP projects coming from Byron Stingly, H.I.M.O.L, Gary Hudgins, Thommy Davis, DJ Beloved , and Mark Francis, as well as Quantize Quintessential and Unquantize Your Mind mixed compilations featuring JayClectic, DJ Pope, John Khan & Earl TuTu, and Soulfuledge. Finally, we’ve added new artists to our roster like Matt Bianco, Neapolitan Soul feat Channelle, and Michele Sodano, so expect even more sizzling productions.
Your best moment, so far, working at the label/ best project to work on to date.
That’s a difficult question. As the label execs, we often wear many hats from A&R to production, and mastering on some projects. Some of the more memorable moments are always when we get to work with iconic artist that we have admired their work, from legendary vocalist to song writers, to stylish remixers and musicians, it’s all memorable.
If you could have signed any record in the world, what would it have been and why?
I think both of us would agree that it would be the “Off The Wall” MJ album. The album was chocked full everything we consider to be phenomenal! Writing, performance, production and engineering at its best!
What do you look for when signing a record for the label? Any tips for budding producers looking to get signed to the label?
We first look for a marketability to our audience when listening to all demos. We love so many kinds of music, but we want to make sure that the plan is to sell music we sign. After years of doing the music business (starting from Basement Boys and moving to Code Red) the sound of dance music has developed and our aim is to give them what they want. We don’t overlook new concepts as if they need to adhere to a particular sound, but we want to love the music we sign. The rest we put in God’s hands. The entire infrastructure of Quantize Recordings is not owned by us, but by God. Anyone that knows us will tell you that this is God’s label and we are honored to manage it in Jesus’ name.