Happy Tuesday! It is time for our weekly mix installment and we have a pretty special one for you today. We have been huge fans of Juliet for some time. With releases across some of our favorite labels such as Material and Suara and really too many others to mention here along with running and releasing as well on her own label Kittball Records. Which in my opinion has been and continues to be a leading label in all things house and techno. If you have been following LAMP for a while, then you are probably familiar, as we have featured the labels work here on multiple occasions. It is a pleasure to have Juliet Share her talents with us and hope you enjoy what she put together. We had a chance to ask Juliet some questions check them out down below along with the full track list.
LAMP: Hello Juliet and thank you for taking the time to put together mix for us this week. We have been huge fans of your label for quite sometime and excited to have you join the mix series. Lets get started and let our audience know what they can expect from your mix?
Juliet Sikora:The mix is 100% the sound that I love and what I play at all of my gigs.
LAMP: So for those that are not familiar you are the co-owner of (in my opinion) one of the top labels for house and techno that is out there today. Along with Tube & Berger you have all been pushing out great music since around 2005. Can you give us some history into the beginnings of the label, how the idea came about, and what do you think have been the keys to developing and maintaining a successful label?
JS: In 2005, Kittball was initially founded by Tube & Berger and I met them through the company I was working for at that time. It was a company that provided label management for several well-known labels and that included Kittball. In 2009 Tube & Berger headhunted me from that company by asking if I would like to come and join them at Kittball as an equal partner and co-owner.
LAMP: Congrats on your recent EP Fat Soda really enjoyed the funky vocals and tech laden grooves. Also huge fans of Black Girl/White Girl. Can you give us a little insight to how this EP came together.
JS: Earlier on in the year the name Black Girl/White Girl popped up on Instagram on a regular basis. I don’t know why, but I wanted to know who was behind the name. One day our paths crossed, and I asked them if they had any demos for us because I liked what they’ve been releasing. Their sound is so fresh and unique and you can hear their own special style in all of their productions. I saw a lot of potential in them and wanted to support them and these girls work really hard. After we signed the FAT SODA EP, they asked me for a remix and of course I said yes.
LAMP: In a recent interview with Change Underground you mentioned that having Pete Tong pitch one of your tracks on his show was a defining moment in your career and Kitball’s success. What else has surprised or delighted you along this journey?
JS: My life as a DJ is a journey full of surprises and it’s always hard to choose. I definitely rate my first tour in India as being pretty intense. I really didn’t know what to expect as I’d never been there before and I was delighted to find out how friendly the people are there. The scene in India isn’t that big, but it’s very active and a great experience because everything is so different. Do yourself a favour; don’t judge a book by its cover and you will see things you would never have thought possible!
Also playing on Reunion Island was mind-blowing – what a place to visit and DJ at. For me it was one of the most beautiful places in the world and I was lucky enough to travel there through my job. Coral reefs, tropical jungles and even an active volcano, plus the island has such a nice mix of people from all races and religions that live there in peace with one another. If you ever get a chance to go there, do it. It’s well worth it.
LAMP: You wear a lot of hats for the label. How do you manage and keep your days and weeks in order? Do you have some help now that the label has grown?
JS: I have to be honest, Kittball needs more and more of my manpower reserves, but of course I have some helping hands around me. You have to be well organized and I try my best to bear the brunt of the work, but I struggle from time to time, due to touring, producing, family, husband, and friends.
LAMP: When deciding on releases you have said in the past it’s always a team effort and decision. Are there ever any moments where one of you pushes for a track that you feel passionate about? Do you ever respond to artists that have a track that’s really “close” but needs some work?
JS: We often have the situation that one of us sees more potential in a track than the others, but we usually trust in each other’s decisions and it usually gets released. We also have tracks sent to us that aren’t quite where we want them to be, in terms of suiting the kind of sound we put out on the label and I don’t have any problems with sending the artist a response, with some tips on how he or she might improve the track.
LAMP: Knowing that it takes time to develop something special what advice can you give other artists and labels when they are starting out? What is the most common misconception about running a label that you hear from others?
JS: Every record label has its own storytelling. Go with the flow, as it is never as easy as it looks. There is no perfect way in which a successful label works and that is the common misconception that everyone has.
LAMP: As the landscape in electronic music continues to change, what new directions are you and the label looking towards? Are you starting to experiment with less traditional house and techno sounds?
JS: At the moment we are trying to move Kittball forward by reverting back to the initial idea we had for the label. When Kittball was founded we had a very distinctive sound and that is where we want to get back to again. Instead of releasing all kinds of genres on the label, we are starting a new sub-label to release different genres like Afro House, Melodic House and Melodic Techno.
LAMP: Where do you see Kitball in the next 10 years?
JS: It’s hard to say. I would be very happy if we’re still around in ten years. We will just have to find a way to keep re-inventing ourselves and stay fresh and ten years will turn into twenty.
LAMP:If you could host a show of your favorite DJs for one night who would you invite and where would you host it?
JS: Carl Cox for sure, I LOVE his energy behind the decks – what a legend! Larry Levan (of course) for the smooth disco tracks and myself to round things off! I would host it on top of the TV tower in Dortmund in the revolving restaurant, which has a view over my entire home city.
1. Dezent – Gregada (Original Mix)
2. Marcoa & Andy Peimbert – Make A Smile (Original Mix)
3. Victor Vera – Generation (Original Mix)
4. David Penn, KPD – Disco-Jockey (Original Mix)
5. Juliet Sikora, Return of the Jaded – What Did I Tell Ya (Original Mix)
6. Kevin Knapp – Step Up (Original Mix)
7. Paul Darey, Joe Red – Jano (Original Mix)
8. Hauswerks feat. Solo Tamas – Flash Life (Original Mix)
9. Tapesh – Brigade (Original Mix)
10. Dennis Cruz feat. Martina Camargo – El Sueno (Original Mix)
11. Flo MRZDK, Juliet Sikora – The Get Down (Pete Sabo Remix)
12. Elax – Reaktor (Original Mix)
13. Anek & GruuvElement´s – Zommer (Original Mix)