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Ste Roberts

Hypercolour boss launches new Initials label: exclusive mix and interview

Ste Roberts might not yet be as well known as producer as Alex Jones, one of his partners behind new label Initials, but that's soon about to change. And as one of the driving forces behind Hypercolour, alongside Alex and Jamie Russell, and it's off-shoots Glass Table and Losing Suki your ears will certainly have picked on some of the artists his keen A&Ring skills have helped sign and shape.

We caught up to find out out more while Ste dropped us the exclusive mix below.

Can you tell us how and when you met Jamie Russell and Alex Jones and decided to start Hypercolour? It's easily now one of the UK's best labels.

Thank you very much! I have to be biased and say I am very proud of our output and what we have in the pipeline is ace. I met Jamie ad Alex quite randomly to be fair... They were hanging in the UK's largest sauna at a place called Chariots, you heard of it? No only joking! I, in fact, was the last of the trio to join the Hypercolour camp! I was previously running a record label called Immigrant records for Robin Porter and I had signed a demo from Alex Jones. We got chatting a fair bit, hung out a few times and generally found out we were bang into the same things.

To strip this down somewhat, Immigrant wasn't going anywhere and I had to break the news to Alex that I couldn't see the release through as I was off, so Alex and Jamie asked me onboard! That was about 3 years ago now and from then it has just moulded into the formidable trio that it is now.”

You're not just a one label man. Can you talk us through Hypercolour's offshoots and explain the nuances between them? What's the plan behind your latest venture Initials? The list of future releases sound solid.

Yep, we seem to have a few labels going on at the minute! Its funny as the first question everyone asks is why do you need so many labels? So on paper we just do... alright! The truth of the matter is, we get sent so much good music that we need all the labels to get it out there. The breakdown is pretty straight up; Hypercolour is our main baby, all the EPs we plan to release start with a view for Hypercolour then break off to the more relevant if needed. Hypercolour Digital is our channel to use for maybe unknown artists, yet we still like to feature our core Hypercolour family. There is no compromise in quality I have to say that. Glass Table is our collectable addition to the family, the policy is anything goes so long as it really blows our mind. It doesn't even need to be aimed towards the dancefloor. We take full pride on the 12" product as we have a pretty out there sleeve and the element of surprise is the picture disc! If you haven't seen one, you need to as we put a lot of effort in on those. Hype_Ltd is one for the heads, raw, intelligent club weapons. The label is also vinyl only for a long period of time before the digital files are available. Losing Suki has funnily enough turned into a bass driven label, and at this point is one of our most exciting projects.

Which leads me on to Initials. This is the brainchild of myself, Alex jones and Dave Elkabas. Jamie has set up his own little projects so it only seemed logical that me and Alex have our own sidestep to get balls deep with. The beauty of Initials is straight away that it has a lot a variation. We like so much good quality music, along with a shed load of artists, so why not mash them up onto one platform. I am so excited about Initials 03 as it is personally a re-issue of one of my all time favourite house tracks, fully loaded with me and Alex Jones, and Kris Wadsworth on remix duties. Watch this space!”

You're remixing the Radio One non-endorsed/banned track 'Cowboy Trap' by Kris Wadsworth and Alex. When's that out? How long have you been dabbling in production and are there any full releases forthcoming?

My remix actually hit the mean streets last week on 'Hypercolour Patterns Vol 2'. The production is something that I have wanted to get out of my system for a very long time and now that I am doing it I am only kicking myself that I didn't get it sorted sooner. About 10 months ago I spent a few days with Alex Jones for a full on intensive production course. Alex is a pro when it comes to engineering and I have him to thank him for a lot! I'm not going to lie, it was intense, but off the back of it I am making the music I want to make. Tracks that sound like me, what I am into and what I have smothered myself with for the last however many years. I haven't looked back since then. I have an EP coming out on Dead Echo's Save You Records and the absolute highlight of 2012 so far is my personal favourite track called 'Booze' which is coming out on what I would say is right up there with the best of British labels, Fear Of Flying. Oh, and as just mentioned, the remix of 'K.B.'s Groove' for initials 03.”

What's the vibe like in Leeds right now? It seems to be carving it's own niche in terms of sound and club nights. Where does Lowbrow fit into that? Ever thought of teaming up with mono_cult to do a Monobrow night? You can have that one for free.

Leeds is cool at the minute, but well hectic! There are a lot of club nights fighting over the same booking, heading in the same direction, but that's cool... nothing like a bit of competition. The reason behind Lowbrow is to bring something different to Leeds! Most party's happen in clubs for max capacities, yet when I am in London and you head to the likes of Toi Toi, for example, you get a more intimate venue, with crowd all on the same level which maes just an all round proper party! I also like the idea of moving around from unused venue to unused venue, again, something that has not been done in Leeds. So something like Lowbrow is all that and we aim to bring guests to the City who don't even know what Leeds is. Our second party was actually a joint after party with Mono Cult and trust me, I threw the mono_brow tag out there! We didn't end up using it as we thought it was a bit gazzy! We have planned a joint christmas party for this year, so never say never!”

Exclusive DJ Mag Mix: Ste Roberts by djmag

1. Lucerto - Unknown - Machine State
2. Last Magpie - Get you thinkin - Losing Suki
3. Unknown White Label from 2003
4. Second Hand Satellites - Orbit - Hallucination
5. Bernard Badie - Bones (Oracy remix) - Mojuba
6. Lowtec - Coldred - Nonplus
7. Unknown White Label from 2002
8. Tom Demac & Grimes - Wilmslow Road - Mind Your Head
9. Ste Roberts - Booze - Fear of Flying
10. Studio 1 - Gold - Studio 1
11. Dj Linus - K.B.'s Groove (Analogue Cops remix one) - Initials
12. Delay - Untitled - White
13. Levon Vincent - Pivotal Moments in Life - Novel sound
14. Tom Demac - Obstructing the Light - Glass Table