Suara Music is an awarded and well respected imprint based in Barcelona run by Spanish DJ/producer Coyu since 2008.
With 200 releases plus 25 showroom releases and several compilations out now, Suara has solidfied its place as one of the most prominent labels in the world of electronic music, especially given the who’s who roster of artists who have, at one point or another, called the label home to their music: Adam Beyer, Moby, Pete Tong, Paco Osuna, Mark Knight, Hot Since 82, Richy Ahmed, Alan Fitzpatrick, Patrick Topping, Nick Curly, Technasia, &ME, Julian Jeweil,Lee Foss, Edu Imbernon, Andrea Oliva, Dosem, Tube & Berger, Pig & Dan, Noir Andre Lodemann, Carlo Lio, Huxley, Catz n Dogz, Shiba San, Sidney Charles, Jay Lumen, Olivier Giacomotto, Pleasurekraft, Sonny Fodera, Ramiro Lopez, Akt and many others.
The secret to their success is quite simple: Music full of flavour guaranteed to provide maximum enjoyment on the dance floor, brought to you by some of the most innovative artists of the dance music world. But that’s modest, because Suara is so much more, as just its cat saving foundation can attest, as well as exclusive webshop and sub-label: Feline.
So, with that, we continue our new series here, and in conjunction with Deep House Amsterdam, highlighting some of our favourite labels from around the world, we thought we would catch up with Suara Music owner and globe trotting DJ in his own right, the big cat, Coyu to get the scoop on all things Suara. Here, you will find information on the label’s history, ethos, releases and future. With this one, we did things a little different as we had caught up with Coyu anticipating the massive Suara ADE event, back in October, held in Amsterdam’s Panama. Also, at the end of the article there is a slamming mix from Suara’s Ramiro Lopez so that you can get an idea of the Suara experience as it was meant to be heard…in the mix!
“It [was] fantastic to show to the scene, what we can do, because we don’t have an easy recognisable sound. “
How did ADE go?
We had a fantastic party at Panama club. We were a little a bit worried because the competition for Fridays used to be huge on ADE, but the party was fantastic! A lot of people from the scene came, a lot of fans. We had a super cool night with a quality line up starting with Jeremy Olander in the early hours, then Dosem, Yousef, Reboot B2B Javi Bora, and then Ramiro Lopez doing his thing at the closing set. It was great.
The worst thing about ADE for me was that before the party on Saturday I went with my manager and Ramiro Lopez to an Indian Restaurant and got food poisoned. So after I played with Umek at the Hitec party I went straight to the airport at seven in the morning, in two hours arrived to Barcelona and was hospitalized for the whole Sunday. ADE was magic but the end was terrible.
On your label night, who hit your string in your eyes most?
Its difficult to say, as you know Suara is a very eclectic label, we have pretty different artists, pretty different styles. I really enjoyed most of them, I think Jeremy (Olander) did a great set, deep melodic, then even though they are quite different, people really liked the housey style of Tube & Berger. Dosem did probably the best set of the night, bomb after bomb, people went mad, and Yousef is one of my favourites due to his energy behind the decks, he’s a great performer. It was fantastic to show to the scene, what we can do, because we don’t have an easy recognisable sound.
See also: Sankeys Podcast By Dosem
Do you see that as a strength, not to have a signature sound?
I don’t know if that is a strength. It’s certainly not common on the scene. You can imagine that the top labels like Drumcode or Hot Creations, they have a signature sound. But with Suara, it is just the opposite. And I like it! We have fans almost throughout the ranges; we are very open minded very eclectic. I guess it’s all about quality music, not styles. I’m very happy with the way we are working, releasing very different artists and records. Same with parties, we try to put the deeper guys at the beginning, the harder at the end and it ends up with a good balance.
How about marketing wise, isn’t it a challenge to expose such a diverse portfolio?
At the beginning it was hard. Especially the journalists from the magazines and the radio, they like to tag you: “this label is techno”, or put adjectives like it is “dark and deep” or “athmospheric”, “minimalistic”. So with Suara, I think people from the press have a problem in defining it, because we release everything from proper deep to proper techno, music at 118 BPMs and music and 128 BPMs, it’s a large range of music and variety. But it works.
Does the label style generally depend on and reflect your own style?
Suara is like my baby, if you check my sets, I started at 118 BPMs, played some hip hop at 102 and finished my set with 128 BPMs with a track from Kraftwerk. So I try to do something similar with the label. We try to have a foot in underground. But I am not aiming to be the ‘coolest’ or the most underground label, but be have to have a foot in the underground and another in, not mainstream, but a bit more commercial, a bit on music for the masses.
But, I think it works. It works with the sales, it works with the charts…we are No 1. In Resident Advisor for the last two years the most charted label of 2013, 2014. We are doing sold out parties everywhere: Sonar, ADE, Winter Music Conference, BPM. The label is almost everywhere. We used to have 18 or 20 tracks on Beatport top 100s in deep house and tech house sometimes we are in four different styles, sometimes even in Indie Electronica.
It works for us, but probably not for the others, because it is more difficult.
How do you select artists then?
Well, I choose artists that I like and ones who send us demos. I have a guy listening for demos almost 24 hours, sometimes I listen and sometimes I ask some artists that I like myself or ones whose music I play, so it’s half and half.
Sometimes I even think we are like four labels in one. Ten days ago we released a record called Kitties on Trance which is very melodic techno house music but with a very trancey elements, but one week later we released a very underground EP from Superlover, a young guy from Germany, who smashed the scene with a big track a few months ago which is more disco and housey, and in November we are releasing an EP from myself and music from Route and Harelstein, Maxxi Soundsystem, Ben Pearce, Lane 8. In January, we have a remix from Nicole Moudaber and an EP from Kaiserdisco and Carlo Lio.