Shapes of Rhythm are a South-London based record label and radio show run by DJ and producer duo Tom Central and BodyMoves. The label is known for its variety in output, from Jazz to Disco to House, with artists such as Gaijin Blues, sneaky jesus and Octo Champ featuring on their roster. We caught up with co-founder Tom to chat about what inspired them to start a label, the South London influence, and what they’ve got coming for us in the near future.
What made you want to start ‘Shapes of Rhythm’ the label?
Mark (Shapes of Rhythm’s co-founder) and I had been hosting a radio show of the same name and it felt like a natural progression. Plus, we’d been working on music together and felt like our own label would be a good platform to do it on. I had already worked on one label – Keep Up! Records – so I wanted to carry on doing a label thing but with a different musical direction.
You’re based in South London, has that had an influence on your output?
Yes, definitely. Labels such as Rhythm Section, YAM, Blip Discs, 22a (although technically not south London) were coming up around the time we were thinking about starting a label. Some of those definitely inspired us to get started with their DIY attitude. We were also hanging out in Peckham venues like Canavans, Bussey Building and Rye Wax checking out the music and DJs coming though there.
What was one of the most exciting/interesting releases you’ve worked on and why?
Most recently, probably the sneaky jesus LP, For Joseph Riddle. We’d received a demo out of the blue one day as the band were Polish and well connected with Gaijin Blues who we’d released a number of projects with. It was as if they’d read our minds as behind the scenes we were trying to get involved in more jazz-focussed projects. They are a young, super enthusiastic, pro-active jazz group and wanted to release an LP with us plus do some real damage on the live scene. Their LP was finished, mixed and mastered which obviously helped but it was great to experience their sense of ambition and help them on their journey and grow their fanbase. Because they were so new there was a sense of not knowing how it would go, but very quickly it was clear this was going to be our best-selling title so far.
Awkward Corners new LP, Amateur Dramatics was also fantastic to work on as we got to experience the artist developing his sound as well as bringing more collaboration into his music.
Do you have anything exciting coming up in the near future?
In the longer term we hope to do another LP with sneaky jesus and another LP project which is top secret. In the shorter term we’ve got a Beat Tape from BodyMoves coming as a cassette, plus a collection of remixes of the For Joseph Riddle LP coming on a digital EP called Joseph Riddle’s Evil Twin.