Dubtek was founded by Leeds DJ and promoter Omid Mahmoudi as a party night for lovers of underground techno music. This weekend marks its evolution, with the launch of a record label offshoot, Dubtek Vinyl.
Mahmoudi says it’ll be the fulfilment of a long-held dream, explaining that when he began the club nights at Wire and other venues around the city centre two years ago he felt he “didn’t have the required level of network to make a success of the label so what I decided to do was start the parties in Leeds focusing on the producers and the DJs that I felt deserved the attention that maybe weren’t getting they deserved within the party scene”.
“The way the industry works is the promoter is generally a DJ and they’ll get a couple of their mates DJ-ing with them and they’ll pay for a big DJ that’s on the circuit that’s big in Resident Advisor, let’s say, to get the footfall in and try and recoup the money.
“I’ve DJ-ed since ’91 but never DJ-ed at my own parties specifically for this very reason, because I wanted to open up a slot where an additional DJ could play. It was never about me, it’s about the UK talent for me. I had people from all over the world – be it Mexico, Russia, Belarus, Italy, Spain – contacting me consequently to come and play in Leeds; in the nicest way I turned them down because, like I say, the focus is very UK-based. The plan was once I felt I had enough exposure globally to start on the label journey.”
Mahmoudi has chosen to make his releases vinyl-only for two reasons. “I’ve been buying vinyl for 25 years, I’m a massive vinyl junkie myself, it was a dream, really, and an ambition to fulfil in a selfish kind of way, but also I feel that with the digital generation a lot of decent music seemed to be getting lost within the digital sales network such as Beatport, Tax Source and so on.
“There are about 900 tracks being released daily in individual genres and as you could imagine things get lost. Far more investment is required for a vinyl release, ultimately you have to believe in that track more to invest money into it. I just feel you get a bit more exposure with vinyl as well than just, ‘Oh, my track’s on Beatport and here you go’.”
Dubtek Vinyl’s first release features four producers that Mahmoudi rates “very highly”. He’s made an exception to his UK-only rule by leading the EP with a track by David Meiser, a Spanish DJ and producer. “He’s from Zaragoza,” says Mahmoudi. “The reason he gets in is because he has released on a London label called Darkflow, who I respect highly.”
The remaining tracks are by Kereni, from Bristol, Jake Conlon, from Birmingham, and Louis Ray, from Leeds – all of whom are DJs and producers that Mahmoudi has liked over the two years he’s been running his underground techno parties. “I felt that they had the right type of talent to hold the dance floor and were producing the right type of music that I was after.”
The EP is available from the label’s website http://dubtekvinyl.co.uk/ and other online stores. To coincide with its release, Mahmoudi is staging a launch night featuring all the artists plus InnerCystem at Wire, by the Corn Exchange, on Saturday from 11pm. Visit the website for details.
Mahmoudi says the next record is “almost ready” and may be released “around December time”.
“003 has been commissioned as well and I’ve approached the producers I want on Number 4, so full steam ahead. Realistically I’m hoping by next summer I’ll have had all four releases out.”