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Logo by Bette Blanchard

The Sound Of: All Centre

UK-based label All Centre’s prolific output – and active online and IRL community – has placed it at the bleeding edge of bass-fuelled club music. Alongside a mix of tracks from its catalogue, Eoin Murray chats to DJ Pitch and Simkin about its evolution over the past five years, and its ethos of giving new artists a shot

All Centre never stops. Since launching in August 2018, the UK-based label has released new music on a near-monthly basis, with almost 60 digital EPs, singles and compilations to its name to date. Of those, over half have been debuts, stretching from continuum-surfing club sounds and shrapnel-sharp techno into capillaries of leftfield pop, reggaeton and drill. With an active online community spread across the globe, and an expanding live events arm, the imprint has consistently adapted to become a launchpad for emerging underground artists. As it celebrates its fifth birthday, it’s showing no signs of slowing down. 

“It was only ever supposed to run for three years, so it’s already shot well over what I ever expected,” says founder DJ Pitch, AKA Robert Venning, who had already been co-running the experimental electronic imprint TT for four years by the time the idea for a more directly dancefloor-focused platform grabbed him. It was an EP on that label — object blue’s sizzling debut, ‘Do you plan to end a siege?’ — that catalysed the vision. To Pitch, it signalled an early meeting point between the disparate and deconstructed strands of club music he’d been involved in, and the urgent ‘UK techno’ sound being peddled by labels like Hessle Audio. “Something new was forming,” he remembers feeling at the time, as his demos inbox filled with more and more tracks that vibrated at this bass-charged, genre-fusing frequency. “There was all this music that seemed to me to really represent something interesting and different,” he says, ”and it needed something to gravitate around.”

Among those demos were ‘Malfunction’ and ‘System’, two cuts from the Southampton-born, South London-based DJ and producer Simkin, who had previously met Pitch at an Even The Strong party, where the raw, percussive style known simply as ‘hard drum’ was taking root. Those tracks were the first to appear on All Centre; their twitching techno beats and sub-soaked atmospheres set the tone for the catalogue going forward. More releases came thick and fast: Holloway’s ‘Agar Oud’ erupts with bass bin-bothering breaks and acid fuzz; Lisbon’s BLEID wills rhythmic distortion to wriggle and burst on the propulsive ‘Sidewinder’; Turin’s early reflex label founder Alec Pace lights a depth charge bass fuse on the aptly titled ‘Absolute Pressure’.

Photo of Simkin and DJ Pitch sitting on a red brick wall

Before long, Simkin was helping run the label, and he now manages most of the day-to-day release operations, while Pitch takes care of mastering, finances, merch and more general upkeep. All Centre quickly fell into its prolific groove, and by the time it celebrated its first anniversary, it had nine releases under its belt. Leeds’ BFTT, Sydney’s Hence Therefore, San Francisco’s Lara Sarkissian, Montréal’s Stacey Sexton, Bristol’s Yushh and London’s Endless Mow all graced the imprint in 2019, with adventurous EPs that touched on every point of the dance, from atmospheric openers and mood-shifting steppers into peak-time head rushes and blissed-out early morning rollers. 

“Since Rob started the label, it’s been crucial for us to constantly move forward, experiment with new things, and not second guess ourselves too much,” says Simkin. “A really beneficial aspect of this is that, instead of sticking to an established roster, it allows us to work with a lot of new artists. By extension, I think this also means we haven't had to sit down and decide on a particular style or genre that defines All Centre. We move forward with whatever we like the sound of and let the label's 'sound' organically define itself. The velocity of the releases is sometimes challenging, but the label wouldn't be able to operate in the same way without it.”

It’s an ethos that instantly set All Centre apart from some of its peers, whose release calendars may be carefully curated for maximum impact, but risk losing a sense of spontaneity and reactivity in the process. “I think we're more able to take a chance on things,” Pitch remarks, hammering the point home by paraphrasing Hyperdub founder Kode9’s 2010 RBMA lecture: “He said something about [there being] this obsession in music about an artist having to ‘be ready’ before you can put their stuff out, and I remember him saying [something like], ‘That’s bullshit. Just give someone a chance and let them get started. Maybe they’re already ready’... I think that still totally rings true.”

When the pandemic struck in early 2020, removing the “club” from whatever club music a label might want to put out, All Centre didn’t waver; it doubled down. EPs from hmurd, M T Hall, MISH and Duswunder pushed the rave-ready materials of acid techno, D&B and Different Circles-esque grime in exploratory directions, making sure the imprint maintained its FWD momentum.

This only increased when, during an extended period of lockdown-induced free time in September 2020, Pitch took the initiative to launch the All Centre Discord server. The digital community channel took shape as a space for like-minded producers and learners to congregate and share track feedback, collaborate, or just swap memes and chat. “The initial idea was just to have a way of continuing to connect with other people in the context of lockdown,” says Simkin. “We saw it as a very interesting alternative model to the forums that we had grown up using quite a lot,” Pitch agrees. “It just took off really, really quickly... and grew from there fairly naturally.”

Collage of photos from All Centre parties

Within a few months, they were hosting live streamed workshops and production tutorials, with artists like Jennifer Walton and DIESSA unpacking processes behind tracks they’d released on the label. One member, the Brooklyn-based DJ and producer Sobolik, was so active that they were eventually invited to take over. Through their curation of masterclass-style streams (featuring the likes of Martyn, Minor Science and K Wata), sample pack contests and remix competitions, they’ve gone on to become another core member of the All Centre team. Their own EP on the imprint, a buoyant four-tracker titled ‘Iris’, was released in December 2021. 

Other rising producers such as Amman’s Toumba, Nottingham’s Outsider, New York’s Sister Zo and Despina, and London’s DJ Double Oh! and Mossambi have all landed EPs on All Centre off the back of their participation on Discord. In a time when the purpose of a record label can feel increasingly vague, and the option to self-release music on Bandcamp is always there, it’s this sense of mutual support and community that makes All Centre stand out. “What a good label should be offering now is, essentially, context,” says Pitch. “And if you're doing people's debut, and it has all that, then you're giving them a place to start from.” Couple that with the distinctive artwork of the label’s in-house designer Bette Blanchard, who’s been there since day one, and it’s easy to see why releasing on All Centre is such a big moment for artists on the cusp of a breakthrough. 

Despite its proudly international catalogue, the sound of London still runs through All Centre’s system, says Pitch, who himself left the UK capital some time ago to move back to Watford. Nowhere is this more apparent than at All Centre parties, which have been thrown in clubs like South Bermondsey’s Venue MOT and Camberwell’s Spanners on a regular basis since 2021, with line-ups full of friends and breakout peers. “It was amazing when we did our first event,” says Simkin. “People who were longtime friends of the label got the coach up from Bristol for it. It was really sick to see that, and to have that physical space for the community around the label to come together.”

It’s something that’ll be built on too, with the DJ and producer Coe (whose ‘Pressure Makes Diamante’ EP dropped on the label in August 2022) primed to take the reins on the event front soon. In the meantime, the first of two fifth birthday parties has just taken place, with Milan’s Piezo joining DJ Pitch, Simkin and Coe at Spanners. This month, the crew returns to Venue MOT for a stacked celebration featuring Minor Science, Clemency, Nammy Wams, Martha, 96 Back and more. Get your tickets for that here. 

And that’s not nearly it. There are fifth birthday t-shirts in the works with Blanchard’s hand-painted artwork; there’s a second vinyl release in the pipeline (following SHE Spells Dooms ace ‘Bossano’ from November); the artist blu-e is making video content; and there are even ideas about All Centre ceramics. And all the while, All Centre is still doing what it does best: putting out release after release of forward-thinking, genre-breaking bangers.

“The label was never meant to get here, so we’ll do as much as we can,” Pitch says with a smile. “We’re doing what we've always done: trying out new things, seeing what sticks and keeping it moving, basically. Because planning things too much doesn't work.”


soltura - London Fields at Night
Alec Pace - Absolute Pressure
Hockeysmith - Je Ne Serais Pas La (SHE Spells Doom Remix)
Endless Mow - Merrily, I hastened to the chicken shoppe
Despina - Packing (Phallus)
Sobolik - Ski Tool
laced - Caustic Reverie
DJ Double Oh! - MmFugaz
qgb - untitled
Outsider - Good Bone Structure
Sister Zo - The Fool
SHE Spells Doom - Soaked
Endless Mow - romance me
Mossambi - The AI Told Me To
Vod Kasat - Mavi Maskara
Simkin - Bag of Frogs
Holloway - Dust 2 Dust
Plesk Parallel - Morpho
Rackz282 - DTRU
Gagaddi - Daddichill
Endless Mow - Benevolent Mutoid
Mucho Sueño - Relacional