Label Spotlight: HIFI/LOFI

We’re excited to shine a light on HIFI/LOFI Records, an artist-run label led by Franz Matthews. As a part of our commitment to supporting independent artists and labels, we’re proud to endorse HIFI/LOFI’s quality-oriented approach to the music industry. Their aim is to give back to new artists by providing qualitative music, top remixers, and great promotion.

Read our interview with Franz below to know more about the label & their plans for the future! 

Franz Matthews

Q: In short, tell us about the people behind the label?
A: HIFI/LOFI Records is an artist-run label led by me, aka Franz Matthews. I’m taking care of the day to day label activities, but I’ve also got great partners helping me out : On the publishing side, I’ve got Steam Music helping out with the whole publishing administration, as well as developing the sync side of things. On the distribution side, I’m lucky to be working with Paradise Entertainment, who have been very supportive of my last releases so far and done a great job getting some nice label features on the different stores & platforms, so thanks for that guys!

Q: Who are they and where do they come from?
A: I’m a franco-german music producer, DJ & Live act, trying lately to blend Electronic Music, Indie Dance and Spirituality as best as I can, with previous releases on Eskimo Recordings, Heimlich, Everything Will Be OK, Days Of Being Wild… I also run a production music studio, the MOWD. I grew up in France but am now happily based in Berlin since the last 10 years.

Q: Why did you decide to start a label?
A: I’ve been producing and releasing music under different names and projects and on different labels for over 10 years now. Basically I wanted to channel the experience I gathered in releasing in promoting music by developing my own imprint, where I could try to give back some of that experience to new up & coming artists by cooking-up qualitative releases and associating top remixers and a good promotion to them, but also to release my own music more regularly, without having to depend too much on other labels schedules or styles. I also feel that a lot of electronic music is produced and released too quickly nowadays, in terms of production, artworks, etc, and it’s important to me to bring a slower and more quality oriented way of producing and releasing music by putting more love throughout every step of the process, even if it takes more time in the end.

Q: What is the most successful release on the label so far?

A: The ‘Prophet In The Peacock Garden’ EP by World Wild Web & Tritha seems to hold the top-position as of now. It’s a great EP mixing a blend of traditional & psychedelic singing from Indian vocalist Tritha Sinha, on top of Manuel aka World Wild Web’s very special touch of Electronic Music. I was also very happy to get The Juan Maclean from DFA on remix duties on this one, as I’ve been a long time fan of his music, and I also saw that as a nice supportive sign to push things further with the label. Having said that, it seems that my last release, As I Am, is on the right path to dethroning their pole position if it keeps on going like that, which I also see as a great sign for upcoming releases!

Q: How do you usually find the artists that you sign?
A: Until now, all releases have happened through personal connections. But the label is still very small and just getting there to be honest. I’ve just sent out an open-call to get more demos from artists I don’t necessarily know, and I’m really looking forward to finding the next hidden gem(s) via my demo folder. So please feel free to send me your demos, my ears are wide-open!

Q: If you could sign a track from any artist in the world, who would it be and why?
I’m hesitating heavily between WhoMadeWho and Zero7, which are 2 bands that I’ve been growing-up with and listening for years now. Two very different styles actually, which also represent my ongoing schizophrenia of wanting to release interesting music that you can dance to, along with music you can listen to 24/7 and not necessarily in a club, hence the HIFI/LOFI idea of not being tied too much to any specific genre or boundary, and finding the good stuff in every musical world, the Yin and the Yang so to say.

Q: What advice would you give to your younger self as a label manager?
Consistency is key!

Q: Where do you see your label in the future?
To double-down on what I’ve answered just before, I do want to release much more regularly throughout the label, as well as develop label showcases in different cities in order to push the artists / remixers of the label and allow us to meetup and have fun in real life, and all become a big happy family.

Q: Who are some of the artists from your Label that we should keep an eye out for this year ?
: I do again think that World Wild Web is starting to develop a really interesting live performance blending improvisation and a lot of musical influences, so be sure to catch him live whenever you cross his path.

Q: What’s coming up next for your label?
A: My latest EP as Franz Matthews “As I Am” is currently being released, featuring incredible remixes from Vhyce, YAME, Tegel Boys and Arsanit that I’m very happy to have on board. It’s already been getting some nice traction on Beatport and Spotify, and I’m really looking forward to the full EP release on March 17th.

Lined-up right after that we have a joint EP with Bonnie Spacey in the makings, which is surely gonna be a dancefloor killer (in the good sense ;), and I’m also working on a first label showcase in a nice Berlin club, more on that very soon…

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