Nuno Dos Santos is a familiar face in Utrecht and always stocks his vinyl releases in our shop. Representing this city worldwide, he has been spinning for over a decade and runs the quality Something Happening Somewhere (SoHaSo) label. Let's chat!
Hey Nuno! Could you tell us a little about the how, where and what around starting SoHaSo?
I was thinking about it for a while actually and then started the label in 2013 when the time felt right. Over 6 years ago when I first heard the demos by Love over Entropy, I remember being blown away by his music and I knew it was going to be the first release on the label. I’ve known Michel for a long time already, also from his previous releases under a different moniker. I then started to work on the release and connecting the dots. I’m a huge fan of Conforce’s alias Versalife and I wanted a remixer that I knew would turn the original into something completely different, and he did. I then contacted Jonne from the design collective Dietwee and they came up with the concept for the artwork. After I collected a few releases, I drove to Cologne to meet with Michael Mayer from Kompakt. When they heard the first three releases, they were very excited and so it happened that Kompakt is now responsible for the distribution of our label. A couple of months before the first release we also did our first label night in Utrecht, which turned out great and build the momentum to the first release.
Some of your releases combine electro jams by groups of legends such as on the latest Cosmic Force EP, the other time it’s you working your magic solo. Every release is a gem on its own of course, but are there specific highlights and could you share a little behind the screen stories?
All label releases are highlights for me since they all came together with a special story. But I'm pretty proud of this latest Cosmic Force one. I have known Ben for a long time and while ago was just sitting in his studio listening to music when he showed me these tracks he never released including this amazing collaboration he did with Legowelt and Orgue Electronique. Also love the first Kiani & His Legion EP. The whole series with him grew very naturally after I simply asked him for demo's because I liked his stuff. I really like how he creates a concept around all of his music, something that showcases best in his latest Lima Oscar Victor Echo EP and an interview with him for XLR8R.
As a visual-oriented store we are baffled by the artwork for the label too! How do you pick and craft 'em & and what is the philosophy in such?
I have graphic/art background so the design is just as important to me as the music in order to tell the entire story with the label. I keep the art direction and ask graphic designers to listen to the music or do something with the titles and create something that is in line within our Something Happening Somewhere ideology. It brings such beautiful and refreshing design. Vinyl is therefore super important for me in order to have a piece of art that sustains.
Recently you collaborated with the amazing Eefje de Visser, how is it to collaborate in such a crossover manner? We’d reckon it’d be very refreshing, did it change your view on producing music?
It was indeed super refreshing and exciting. She's a great artist to work with. We had a couple of hours at the Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam where she invited me and where we wrote the idea and recorded local sounds and a basic version - after which I produced and finalised everything in my studio. A lot of electronic music is more rhythm based and dance floor focused. To create something just for listening purposes is great! At the moment I'm collaborating with with another indie artist and I would like to find a nice balance between the two genres when it comes to producing music.
Secretly we already knew you have a soft heart for indie and folk. What are some of your favourite albums recently?
Japanese Breakfast, Jess Williamson & Marlon Williams albums are on high rotation at the moment.
Thanks Nuno! Any exciting things coming up this summer and beyond?
Sure! The Eefje de Visser vinyl only release Wit Blad will come soon, it includes a Matttheis remix and an 808 edit I did and comes on a silkscreened sleeve + an exclusive poster. After that we have the Roger van Lunteren EP in september. Then one by Joannes from the North of Holland reissue by Dexter and Cosmic Force. On the event side we are hosting a stage at Paradigm festival on Saturday August 11. And our next SoHaSo in Tivoli Utrecht on September 21 after which it is time again for ADE in October where we will host something special at Oosterbar on Sunday :)