Soul Motive Rewinds

Soul Motive, Soul Motive White and Two Floors Down, were labels running from 2007-2012. Primarily vinyl labels, the entire back catalog hasn’t been available online since the labels closed their doors. Before we get stuck into releasing new music from artists featuring on Lifted Icons proper, I wanted to spend some time and resources making this incredible history available. Available now, every single release is up on all streaming services and for purchase on our bandcamp.

Joe Muggs said this about the compilation:

The Soul Motive label out of Bristol was, on the sly, one of the best labels of the groove-infused, “post-dubstep” moment around the end of the ‘00s, but the music hasn’t been available digitally for a bit. So praise be for this compilation of the entire catalogue of SM and its sublabels. It’s packed with important names—UK garage don El-B doing Colombian-flavored broken beat, early releases from the mighty Joker, and Bristol house hero Julio Bashmore—but the quality from lesser-known acts like Presk and Isola Dusk is absolutely as high, and the whole lot has aged incredibly well.

What a good lad.

The incredible artwork came from a long time collaborator, very good friend and power creative, Zachary Saitoti from Kenya’s Shifteye Studios. Zach was always on board with our ideas of a high quality boutique label and each 12″ cover absolutely glowed with colour and story, inspired by the music.

If Spotify ain’t your thing, you can probably find it here: https://ampl.ink/nRqrZ

We were fortunate and privileged enough to form the label at the peak of Dubstep’s ascension in 2007, when all the artists above were exploring the offshoots and exciting sonic possibilities that the ‘post Dubstep’ era offered. The labels never focussed on individual genres, more of a related sonic thread, perhaps what Simon Reynolds would have associated with the Hardcore Continuum. UK Garage, Funky, Dubstep, Drum & Bass, House and alike. Each artists bringing their own slant, Hyetal’s post-pop shimmers, Geiom’s tropical island rhythms or Eleven Tiger’s melancholic introspections. The aim always being to put the artistry and creativity of our favourite producers, bands, DJs and photographers front and centre. To promote an underground sound and showcase it with all the pomp and grandeur it deserves.

Eleven Tigers incredible Clouds are Mountains is available exclusively from his bandcamp.

I started a sister label called Two Floors Down focussed bands and producers making that Soul Motive sound in a live or band setting. Featuring my band Isola Dusk, Coleco and 7 Arrows, all available on the Soul motive Rewinds compilation. The unique and most excellent artwork from Bristol artist Betty Black.

Adam Telford, Neil Kymatik and myself ran the label. It was a wild ride and we made so many friends and family during that time, it was truly incredible. Not without its low points. The hardest to deal with, still, was Neil passing away. A man with such a positive energy and vibe it seemed impossible that he wouldn’t be around forever through sheer determination and presence. It was heartbreaking.

Adam and I decided to carry the label on, knowing full well Neil would have fully chewed us out had we given up.

We loved vinyl and wanted everything to have the mark of quality, just at the time the streaming services were really making their presence felt, decimating income from physical releases. Two of our vinyl distributors went into administration in succession. First Alpha Magic, we had minimal losses before liquidation and only lost a couple of grand. We moved to Baked Goods, and when they went under, took a lot more with them. I remember getting the letter from the administrators and our name was at the bottom of a long list of very large names who were owed very large sums of money. We never saw a penny. Despite the disappointing ending of the label, I only look back at that time with fondness and going through the catalog whilst processing it all for release really did bring back some of the joy of when I first heard the music, or got to play it in a club to others. I hope more people get to enjoy it now.

Marching Orders

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Infinite Detail

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