Liverpool independent label Edils Recordings chat to Getintothis about new sounds, what inspires them, signing Wham! and why there’s nothing quite like the smell of a fresh record.
Edils Recordings have been releasing super-cool independent sounds since 2011.
They’ve made their name by snapping up early cuts by the freshest sounds on Merseyside and combining them with overseas talent from across the world. So for instance, on one release you’ll find Liverpool’s Rhodes split with Sweden’s Moonlit Sailor. They’re good like that.
Like any indie label worth their salt, they go the extra mile and make their packaging especially delicious, so that not only do you like what you hear but you feel like you’re holding, feeling and smelling, something which is extra special.
After a succession of superb releases, they dropped their fifth full length compilation CD in June – I Smile, And I Smile, And I Smile – featuring seven acts from around Liverpool. Getintothis caught up with label founders Philip Rourke and James Dyke to find out more…
Edils Records’ James Dyke and Philip Rourke
Getintothis: Hey Philip and James, how’s tricks? For those who don’t know Edils Recordings give us an insight into the label and the artists you represent.
Philip Rourke: Tricks are good thanks. OK, Edils is a small indie label based in Liverpool. We’ve so far put out three physical releases and a few digital releases, most of the digi releases being our free compilation series.
We’re currently working with three bands (Coo Woo, Alta and I Am OK) at the moment on various releases and while those bands are all based in other countries we have worked closely with Liverpool bands on some of our previous releases.
Each of the five compilations feature Liverpool bands and the last compilation had seven bands from Liverpool on it. We’ve also released two split records and a Liverpool band was featured on each of those (Go Heeled on the first spilt and Rhodes on the second) alongside bands from Italy, Sweden, USA and London. We’re in the early stages of planning our third split series CD and again, it will have a Liverpool band on it.
James Dyke: We think its really important to work with Liverpool bands that we really like and hopefully we can get one to work on a EP or full album release really soon.
We’re not genre specific and and we think if you listen to our current ‘roster’ then you’ll hear a great range of musical styles. Coo Woo (USA) are shoegazey indierock type band, Alt (USA) are full on heavier style post punk band and I Am OK (Sweden, ex-Jeniferever) play lush dreamy indiepop. The compilations have had everything from grindcore to electronic music.
For us, the music we release is about en-capturing the listener and giving them something that they can relate and get excited by time and time again.
Getintothis: What or who who was your inspiration for starting up the label?
Philip: We’ve talked about it for a while. No massive inspirational story really. We’ve always wanted to do a label, put music out that we think deserves to be heard by as many people as possible.
We thought we’d give it a go and try and do it with a bit of style. Our three CD releases have really nice packaging and that is one thing that we will always try to achieve. Great
music in sexy packaging!
The Edils-released Zola three track, vinyl-style Gang limited run of 50 CDs
Edils has been tour booking agency for eight years or so now and we think that if your going to put something out to the public then you better go out there and promote it too.
So, we put something out for a band and then book them shows. It goes hand in hand. We’ve done this with each release and sent out Cut, Rhodes and Zola on tours around the UK to promote the release. I guess we just want to get bands that we really love out there and heard. Thats our (cheesy) inspiration if you like.
Getintothis: The best independent UK labels – Rough Trade, 4AD, Factory, Domino etc – have traded on unique ideas, branding, setting new trends, what are Edils bringing to the table? In effect what does brand Edils represent?
Phil: I guess a part of it is what we have just mentioned. We like to have a real nice package to go along with the music.
Something to inspire a person to want to have the actual CD rather than just the download. We’re not against downloads but we would like to bring back the joy of buying an actual physical product.
Obviously all those labels you mentioned are super cool and we would love to have our name up there with them one day but we would like to get there by putting stuff out that we 110% genuinely love and hopefully people will like it too and tell people about our bands as well as the label. A label becomes cool when it consistently puts out really good stuff.
There’s no master plan for us and we certainty wont be following any trends. So far we think we’ve put out some really good stuff that we love and we’ve worked with hard working bands who like to get out there and play shows. We intend to keep on working this way.
Getintothis: You spend a fucking long time painstakingly making the sleeves etc. Do you still see physical records, and indeed the album as a whole, having a future?
James: Yeah we think so, obviously not as much as it used to and even though digital records are boss, we still think people like to have an physical package in their hand to look at the art work, read the foot notes and lyrics – especially if its of a limited run. There’s nothing quite like that new record smell.
Does any one else sniff the paper in CD packaging like Phil does?… You should!
Edils Recordings fifth compilation, the 13-tracker – I Smile, and I Smile, and I Smile, featuring the likes of Liverpool bands Married To The Sea, So Sexual, Faded Gold, By The Sea and Kusanagi
Getintothis: There’s so much going well within Liverpool, not just the music scene, but all creative spheres, what would you like to see us improve upon. What are we missing?
Philip: We were only talking about this the other day. Just after the FestEvol shows – how boss was that… Liverpool seems to be buzzing right now.
Ok, there has been some venue closures over the last 12 months but there is a massive amount of cool bands, still some nice venues like Mello Mello, Kazimier, Studio 2, Leaf, the Lomax and pubs where you can put on a small show like the Caledonia, the Ship & Mitre and the Pilgrim.
All of those venue’s are really helpful too. I think the city has the most diverse scene its had in years…
James: Punk, indie, folk, post rock. Its great. Its nice to have a wealth of great promoters here now too. It really is hard to find something worth having a good moan about at the moment.
What do we need? Probably a few more American pizza slice joints around town.
Edils Recordings split series #2 with Moonlit Sailor, Rhodes and Elk
Getintothis: Any shithot Liverpool tips too?
James: I’m really liking Some Rabbits at the moment.
Philip: I loved the last By The Sea single, Dream Waters, and we both really liked a band called Pixels when they played FestEvol last week.
Getintothis: Your compilations regularly feature bands from all over the place – give us an insight into some special vibes from outside Merseyside.
Philip: Yeah, some of the tracks on those compilations have been submitted to us, some of the bands are recommendations from friends. We’ve always said a great song is a great song, music is all about stirring up emotions and that’s an important part of selecting a track for a compilation or a band to work with on a full release. If we like it and we have the opportunity to put it on a compilation then we will! It doesn’t matter where the artist is from geographically.
James: There is no one specific place out side of Liverpool that we have concentrated on I guess. Coo Woo and Alta are both from Wisconsin. Maybe that’s a super boss place!?
Getintothis: It’s Edils‘ Fantasy Record Label Time – you can pick five artists to be on your roster who’ll it be?
Philip: This is where we may fall out! I think we can both agree on Iron Maiden and Cult of Luna.
James: I would really like to have Elliott who have now broken up. We both really loved them. Two more…
Philip: I think the coolest band on the planet right now are Diiv so that would be a nice addition.
Getintothis: Great choice. That’s one of my records of the year, no doubt.
James: I guess Wham! would be pretty cool. Lots of royalties around Christmas time… Shall we agree on Wham?
James: OK then, The Smiths.
Getintothis: What have been your highlights on record and on the live scene this year?
James: At The Drive-In in spain was good. I haven’t bought anything new this year to be honest… So im going to say my recent Iron Maiden-o-thon was something I enjoyed.
Getintothis: I can only imagine…
Philip: So many great records this year. Captured Tracks is ruling this year!
The new Wild Nothing album is great, as is the Diiv record, the Dignan Porch album is really really good too. I saw an American band at Mello Mello called Still Flyin(Getintothis review). They where awesome and their album is great too.
I saw The Drums back in February and they where pretty good. So Many Wizards at Bumper – their record is boss too.
Zola, who have sadly now broken up, we released their EP earlier this year, they where an awesome live band. Two of them now play in Tropicartel, they should be up here before the end of the year.
Of course we have to mention the Coo Woo album – Love Exposure. I don’t think we have received one bad review for it yet or heard any one who has listened to it say a bad thing about it. It really is a great piece of work.
Locally. Again, Pixels at FestEvol. Mashemon are always very, very good live too.
Getintothis: Are you big footie fans, where do your loyalties lie?
James: We are both huge footie fans – both on opposite sides of the fence; I’m a Blue and Phil’s a Red. We often have heated debates over this subject.
Getintothis: You’re hosting your own celebrity dinner party – dead or alive, fact or fiction – name five guests to invite to Edils‘ gaff.
James: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Corey Haim and Corey Feldman – the 80’s versions. Eddie Murphy but he would have to come and dine with us as Chandler Jarrell from The Golden Child and Optimus Prime – the cartoon 1985 version.
Getintothis: Apart from these questions, what are you reading at the moment?
James: I just finished reading First Blood and I’m about to start Marvel Civil Wars.
Philip: I just read the book by Mike Skinner from The Streets.
Getintothis: No cheating, what were the first records you bought? If it helps mine was Bananarama‘s Greatest Hits.
James: The first tape I got was Iron Maiden – Killers. The first CD was Cathedral – Carnival Bizzare.
Philip: The first one given to me was Iron Maiden‘s Live After Death. The first one I bought was Nirvana In Utereo. Both on tape – pre-hipster!
Getintothis: You’ve a guest coming to Liverpool, where do you take them by day, to eat and for a night on the tiles?
Philip: Daytime we would usually have a walk around the Albert Dock and the museum area.
Then onto an American Pizza Slice. Get some drinks at the Pilgrim, spend an hour or two in the Grapes, maybe Mello Mello followed by a cocktail bar.
The night would probably end up in the Magnet or if we are up for it Reflex or Popworld!
James: I think this actually happened recently, and every time we have band over!
Getintothis: This is the end of the interview, I’ve enjoyed it a lot. Can you rate it out of 10, please, and tell us what your favourite biscuit is?
James It was naturally a 10 and I like a good old fashioned Foxes Classic.
Philip: Yep, 10 and a Cadbury’s Cookie.