Label Spotlight #014 - emby music
Maggs Bruchez’s ‘emby’ is an independent dance label straight out of Philadelphia that focuses on quality, underground house tunes and known for releasing groovy records with a real Jackin’ flavour from the likes of HapKido, Stranger Danger & Wattie Green. We caught up with Maggs to delve a little more into the history of the label in this week’s label spotlight..
Could you please give us a little bit of background on you and the label and what your influences were and still are?
Well, Will Maggs & I (Andre Bruchez) met in Philadelphia while in college. We both grew up playing a variety of instruments and started to jam together between classes and with friends. We were always sharing music back and forth and slowly started moving more towards the electronic stuff. I was getting heavy into hip hop and acid jazz — and started to fall in love with Mark Farina’s Mushroom Jazz series. Will was showing me all sorts of electronic bossa nova and other forward thinking dance music. I believe the tipping point for House happened when Will was at a random house party and heard a Kinky Movement song. He bought a set of CDJs and we started collecting house music, kicking it in his apartment daily learning to mix and showing each other the fresh new jams we’d been buying. Simultaneously, we got the itch for production… “Who’s making this stuff!?” So we started producing. Eventually we got our chops up and had a slew of releases on a handful of our favorite labels of the time — Coyote Cuts, Juiced, Flapjack, Doin Work, InStereo, etc. We saw some things that we thought could be done differently and decided to start our own label. Fast forward a few years and we’ve now released over 100 singles and a handful of EPs from our network of artists from all over the globe.
What have been your favourite releases from the label over the years?
Oof, there are too many to list. Our first release was pretty awesome, though. It included “Freak Me” from Wattie Green and that’s a straight up jam. It also had a Corduroy Mavericks cut as well as one of our favorite original tracks, “Phil’s Good”. More recently, we released our 100th single, which included a Scott Diaz remix that’s been slaying it. Oh, and this Artispure EP has been a staple in my sets for about a year now.
What would you say have has been your best moment (so far) working at the label or best project to work on to date?
I think some of the best moments have been playing music with some of the homies that initially inspired us to get into house. We’ve been fortunate enough to play with South of Roosevelt and Scrubfish in Chicago as well as with Wattie Green, Corduroy Mavericks, Sonny Fodera, Miguel Migs, Nick Jagger & Dbow here in Philly. Also, I took a trip down to Nashville and got to party with the Real Time Hand Motion homies as well as Josh Caprice. If you told us 8 years ago that we’d be playing with the dudes that run our favorite labels and make our favorite tunes, I don’t think we’d have believed you.
What do you look for when signing a record for emby? Any tips for budding producers looking to get signed to the label?
Man, we’re just looking for some high quality house music. If it’s got that vibe to it — we’re on it. Some of the releases are more uptempo and funky while others are a bit more deep and heady. Ultimately, I think the thing that binds our catalog together are grooves. We’ve both got a background in playing music and can’t help but want to hear something that captures you — some melody, ya dig? And as for producers looking to get signed to emby — my advice is to obsessively critique what you’re hearing in all genres & to keep logging hours in the studio. Every project is a learning experience and the more time you spend stacking claps and futzing with the dials, the better your productions will become. It’s pretty evident when someone’s a novice with the software. But yo, there’s not much more rewarding than hearing an artist develop — and to hear your own tracks progress in quality over time.