Interview: Titonton Duvante
While the likes of Detroit, New York and Chicago tend to dominate the headlines in the U.S. when it comes to all things electronic music, a number of cities outside of the main cities still boast fertile and buoyant scenes.
One man responsible for spearheading a scene outside of these aforementioned spots is Titonton Duvante. A native of Ohio in the midwest, Duvante is best known as the man behind the discerning house and techno-focused Residual label. The imprint has played host to some of the scene’s foremost players in its time, and aside from Duvante’s own excellent (yet often criminally underrated works), Residual has also featured music from Fabrice Lig, Boo Williams, John Tejada and more. 2018 marks 20 years since the label kicked off, and with a new release on the horizon, we felt it a good time to pick the brain of one of the scene’s best such producers…
“a firm foot on the dancefloor while offering something for the mind.”
Residual Recordings has now been in business for twenty years now. Looking back, was there one moment where you felt you were on to a good thing with it?
It is difficult to pinpoint one moment. It has been a learning experince for certain. Making mistakes and learning from them. But it realy felt like we hit a stride with the fourth release by John Tejada [‘Selling Memories’]; that was a big moment for us for sure.
What have been some of the highlights for you as the label owner in these past twenty years?
Simply the opportunity to present some fantastic artists – Fabrice Lig, Todd Sines, Dan Curtin, Garrett David is an excellent talent too.
What release on the label are you proudest of?
Honestly, I am very proud of the very first release, “The Arousal” EP, which I released in 1998 as simply Titonton. The tracks state exactly what the label is about – a firm foot on the dancefloor while offering something for the mind.
And is there one release that you maybe felt didn’t quite get the props it deserved?
So much effort was put into the ‘Selections for Intercourse’ LP, a release of mine I released in 2000. The tracks were written between 1996 and 2000 and I do not really feel as though it clicked with people. That’s a pity, of course, but not every release can be a success I suppose.
Do you feel the same drive and passion for running the label now as when you started it back in 1998?
Oh, absolutely. The pure excitement of having a physical product out in the world is just as much of a joy today as it was in 1998.
What have been the biggest challenges in running the label over the years? Has your vision changed much since the beginning? What is Residual’s mission statement today?
Getting the music into the hands of people that want it is always a challenge. With there being so much music out there (and so much great music at that), it is rather easy for releases to get passed over. But the vision has always stayed the same today as it was in the past. Residual wants to present music that other labels may feel is too risky but the producers and label know need to be heard. Quite a few of the releases are tracks that were supposed to come out on other labels. High Quality Music with Emotion and Groove!
Lets chat a bit about the latest release. What made you pick these artists to contribute to the ‘Refraction Vol. 3’ release?
With the Refraction series – as with most of the other releases – the label is in a fortunate position to get sent some rather high-quality unreleased material its way. Producers will send tracks to play out and there will be that just something about certain tracks that I hope the tunes are not already signed. Needless to say, this spplies to every track that’s present on the series.
Are there any artists that you would like to see releasing music on Residual?
Names that come to mind immediately are Frits Wentink, Stark, Daif, Manuk and An.drea, but there are so many producers out there doing quality stuff that it’s tough to just pick a few.
What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own label?
Patience and low expectations, for sure! Running the label is a labour of love, plain and simple. If you are starting a vinyl label to make money, give up now.
Do you think Residual will still be here in ten and twenty years time? When will you know when it’s time to call it a day?
Yes, the label will be around for as long as people are making dance tunes. The moment to call it, I will just know, but right now I have no plans of slowing down or stopping any time soon.
Refraction Vol. III (featuring music by Titonton Duvante, Garret David, Andreas Saag, xtrak and FYM) is out soon by Titonton’s Residual Records label