Domino Records is pushing further into electronic music with a new imprint focused on the genre.
This new label, Smugglers Way, soft-launched in March with the announcement of a collaborative EP by French Touch legends Braxe & Falcon. This four-track EP, Step By Step, was released in June, with the title track featuring Panda Bear of Animal Collective.
“It sounded very exciting to us to be part of this new adventure; in a way it reminded us of the early days of the French House scene back in the late ’90s,” Alan Braxe tells Billboard. “Moreover, when they had the idea of releasing our first single in the most simple manner, on an anonymous white label vinyl, we instantly knew that we met the right partner for releasing our music.”
“Dance and electronic music has long been an important thread in the musical fabric of Domino,” says Domino and Smugglers Way U.S. Label Manager Peter Berard. “We launched our new imprint Smugglers Way — named after the London offices’ street address — as a means to explore deeper into these genres and to provide a unique outlet for our roster of artists, as well as those newer to our world, to release 12” singles, collaborative projects and more.”
Today (Aug. 4), Smuggler’s Way is announcing the label’s second release: a collaborative project by Colombian electronic artist Ela Minus and New York-DJ/producer DJ Python. This three-track EP, ♡ (the project is being called “corazón”) will drop via Smugglers Way on September 16. Hear the first single, “Pájaros en Verano” (“birds in summer”) below.
“Smugglers Way simply feels like making cool things with my friends,” Minus tells Billboard. “This EP with DJ Python just happened, we did not plan any of it, the music just flowed out of a budding friendship, the most natural thing. And then it found its home just as naturally at Smugglers Way. It just feels right to make things with like-hearted people.”
“Listening to ♡ reminds me of the brisk sublime moments in day-to-day life – the birds chirping before sunrise, cicadas in late summer, or even a just a familiar hug from an old acquaintance,” adds Domino’s Director of A&R Carlos Lopez Jr. “It became evident that Smugglers Way, our new electronic imprint, was the proper home for this inspired collaboration between two vibrant musical personalities. Big or small, it’s important that labels document and encourage their surrounding artistic communities. Ela Minus & DJ Python’s ♡ EP is a continuation of this ideology.”
Founded in London in 1993, Domino has a long history with electronic output, with artists including Jon Hopkins, Bob Moses, Hot Chip, Joe Goddard and Four Tet all releasing music via the label over its nearly 30 year history.