Once a label, and now a club night hanging up its headphones for the last time this weekend, brstl put out debut records from Shanti Celeste, Samuel (now Ploy), Outboxx and Jay L through the years 2011-2016.
Started by Chris Farrell and Adam Jackson – the same year the former launched Idle Hands – brstl had a local ethos with a focus on house and techno; not such a head-turner today, but in 2011, house was the cowering younger sibling to the bassy heavy sounds dominating Bristol’s musical landscape. Shanti Celeste later joined to help run the label and start a party for local DJs, which was continued more recently by a new generation of Bristol stalwarts, Danielle and Daisy Moon, until the final party this weekend.
One of our favourites has always been Jay L’s debut Looking Up Pt.1, whose title track now defines Bristol’s house output in the early 2010s. He’s dug up a unused version that didn’t make the final cut as per request of BRSTL (and Idle Hands) boss Chris Farrell, who preferred a more condensed version for the record. Joe Kowton helped edit it down and push it through for completion, but Jay admits, “I always quite liked the switch up at the end of this original version”. He’s not remotely aggrieved though, thanking Chris and Adam, “for putting out my first record”, and to Kowton, “for his hand in helping me finish the tunes, way back when. It felt like a real furtive time in Bristol dance music.”
Our 2018 Advent Calendar is in aid of Julie’s Bicycle, a non-profit that supports the creative industry to take action on climate change. All money raised through Bandcamp sales goes directly to Green Riders, a new campaign that will help will create more sustainable collective practices in the music industry. If you’re a DJ, artist, venue, promoter or just curious, join the Green Riders campaign here.
More info about Green Riders
The Green Riders campaign will provide tools, resources, and a community for artists and their teams to exchange advice, ideas and experiences, working alongside venues, festivals, labels and promoters to take action on climate change. It will launch in full in 2019, Sign-up on the website to join the campaign and get more information from Julie’s Bicycle.
More info about Julie’s Bicycle
Julie’s Bicycle is a London-based not for profit that supports the global creative community to take action on climate change and the environment. We believe that the creative community is uniquely placed to drive positive change that can transform our world. Founded in 2007 from within the UK music industry, Julie’s Bicycle has established itself as an internationally trusted source of guidance supporting creative businesses to embed environmental sustainability into their work.
Artwork throughout the series is made by Emily Evans.