Sixteen Records is the brainchild of Lotte van den Berg, a 22-year-old musician and producer who wanted to find an outlet for the plethora of electronic and alternative music currently being made in Leeds.
With help from Jack Simpson, who co-owns Eiger Studios and Hyde Park Book Club, she set up a label whose debut compilation, Volume One, is “quite female-orientated”, featuring acts such as Hannah Slavin, JOULE, Imi and van den Berg’s group Luna Pines.
Van den Berg, a graduate of Leeds College of Music, took the production helm on the majority of its tracks. “I wanted to show loads of different sides of music that I can produce as well,” she says.
The lion’s share of the album was produced at home. “I’d say 90 per cent of it was done in a bedroom, which I think is kind of cool because it doesn’t really sound like that,” van den Berg says. “Because it’s electronic music a lot of it is laptop-based and the majority of the songs I either mixed or produced and some of them the artists produced themselves, but we didn’t send it off to anyone or use any big studios.”
Many of the artists on the album van den Berg knew from their connections with Leeds College of Music. “Some of them are bands that I’ve seen live around Leeds and I’ve really liked so I reached out to them. I’ve got quite a big network now of people that I know from going to Leeds College of Music as well.
“A couple of the bands are from Nottingham – Jack Segal and Eyre Llew. Eyre Llew are quite a big band now, they’re touring the world at the moment and my friend knows them and said ‘You should just ask them if they’d do it’. I didn’t think they would but they said yes.”
I want to get to the point where we can really help a band to grow with their own sound.Lotte van den Berg
Eyre Llew are going to headline the album’s launch night at Hyde Park Book Club on May 23 – the same day the compilation is released on download and streaming channels.
Also on the bill are Ryan Hawkins, Dokkodo Sounds, Imi, JOULE, LELO, Hannah Slavin and Regista Music.
“We’re going to have it in the top room and the bottom room of Hyde Park Book Club,” says van den Berg. “The bands downstairs and then solo acts upstairs.
“It will switch between ambient house music to post-rock electronic music.”
As for her longer-term aims for the label, van den Berg says: “I want to get to the point where we can really help a band to grow with their own sound. I don’t think we’d do another compilation, I’d like to do someone’s EP. We’re going to focus a lot on events as well. We’re going to do an event for every release we do and that will entice bands, I guess, into getting in with us. Some vent with bands through Sixteen Records would be cool.”
Luna Pines also have a new single, Spring, out tomorrow, followed by an EP, The House We Lived In, on June 3. They launch it with a gig that night at Oporto, with support from Laminate Pet Animal.
For full details visit www.sixteenrecords.com