18 years ago my good friend Russell Coultart (who owned Transient & Automatic Records), suggested I start my own record label due to the amount of unsigned new music that I was uncovering while crate digging in record shops. From his experience running two very successful labels, he quickly identified myself as having the recipe of what makes a great A&R boss and put me forward for the job asking me to take this lead role whilst he provided the business infrastructure. Handshake was done and we became partners. From that day I took the stance to support and provide a platform to uncover new emerging talent and showcase those producers that are making forward thinking music. Still today 18 years later, that ethos has stayed in tact. Though we have many, many well established producers wanting to come onboard, I don’t want JOOF recordings to be a commercial label, the day that happens we lose our musical freedom. We simply identify producers with something unique, daring to be different for us to showcase to the world.
Over the last couple of years we accumulated so many producers that JOOF was at full capacity having releases almost every week, and this certainly wasn’t a place we wanted to be in, being like a factory churning so much music out. We originally had no genre rules but had to address this problem to take the strain off JOOF. As you all know, we did a slight rebrand launching two sub labels, JOOF Mantra now takes care of all things in the Psy world, whilst JOOF Aura heads in a deep progressive direction whilst JOOF continues to concentrate on Trance. The results after just six months are phenomenal and we can’t thank you enough for the support.
Running a label can also take it’s toll and at one point ten years ago I nearly closed down JOOF. Russell closed his labels as he moved to another area in the music industry, this was at the time where vinyl sales had significantly decreased, download sales had just started along with torrent sites hitting those digital sales hard. Suddenly the income for all artists and labels in the industry were hit hard, we could no longer employ the team of staff we had in the office and some serious thinking to be done as it was impossible for me to work full time on this along with my DJ/producer career. You all have to thank my long term friend Marnik from Bonzai, if it wasn’t for him JOOF would no longer exist. It was one of those fate moments, Marnik called me at the time when I was struggling, being a close friend I opened up to him with my dilemma. Marnik has always been one of the most forward thinking guys in this music industry I’ve known and for the next two hours I fuelled off his excitement has he predicted the future of the digital age that was heading our way. As always he was right. I’m so glad he reached out on that day, I accepted his helping hand and JOOF instantly became a label partner within Bonzai labels and distribution group.
Alongside the Bonzai team; Marnik, Fly, Katja along with Gary, Daniel, Glen, Darren and Selma this month we celebrate JOOF Recordings 18th birthday. We won’t make a big fuss, we’ll save that for 20 years, but we’ve made a little album full of remixes of JOOF favourite from over the years.
We also must thank all the producers that make the foundation of JOOF records, and of course you the fans as without we wouldn’t be where we are today. Happy Birthday to my baby I’ve dedicated 18 years of my life too.
– John ’00’ Fleming