We Like This! w. Mr. Puzl + LAMP 5 Year Anniversary
We Like This! is a new mixtape series we're kicking off, created without constraints or expectations, simply bringing you great music from artists we like.
First up is a fantastic set from our longtime friend Mr. Puzl, co-founder of Los Angeles based artist collective, event house and music outlet LAMP. And because they happen to be celebrating their 5-year anniversary this Saturday in LA, with a do-not-miss show featuring heavyweights Simian Mobile Disco and Matthew Dear, we also sat down with Mr. Puzl to catch up on where LAMP's been, where they're going, and babies 👶 Enjoy!
Get tickets for LAMP's 5-Year Anniversary here.
First off, a huge congrats on 5 years of LAMP! That’s a big milestone and we have such an appreciation of what you guys do for the scene.
Let’s begin by hearing a bit about what went into this incredible mix you’ve made for us.
Well, to be honest I wasn’t even sure this mix was going to materialize in the first place. I recently became a proud father and the due date of my child was sort of a catalyst for putting together the mix the way I did. Depending on what kind of mix I making and what kind of audience I’m picturing I usually do spend quite a bit of time selecting the tracklist. This time around it was a much more condensed timeline so I combed through a few of Caveman Sound’s latest mixes, to get a vibe for what some artists had recently put down. I literally worked through about 600+ new tracks I’d recently collected in the past month in one night, narrowing it down to about 60. I started matching songs up to see if I could get a flow going and by about 4pm the next day I’d got about 20 tracks that I felt really good about. I called up my business partner at LAMP Josh and asked him if I could use his studio to record a mix. I grabbed a seltzer water from my house, filled up my USB and hammered out this mix. I have to say it’s rare that my first run of a mix track selection goes this well, in that I usually need to swap out a few songs and move my order around a bit… but this one just felt so right as soon as I recorded it. I guess I love a challenge and to come back and do a follow up mix for Caveman Sound 3 years later was such a pleasure!
How about a quick walk down memory lane – what are a couple of your top accomplishments with LAMP over the past five years?
Firstly. Thanks for all the love and support through the years! As I mentioned before, I remember listening back to my first mix I made for you guys… time flies. It was at the start of my own personal path to taking DJ’ing seriously and LAMP was still in its relative infancy. We had just started transitioning from event production and getting our feet wet in the A&R and music distribution game. As many brands and groups were doing then, we were focusing on building out our collective of artists. We started promoting their releases on our Soundcloud channel and with the help of awesome blogs and companies like Caveman Sound, disseminating their music to a wide an audience as possible.
I’d say our biggest and probably most notable accomplishment to date was signing a phenomenal single entitled Coexist by our own family member Leo Islo and Finish producer Tontario. A track you guys are obviously familiar with since we enjoyed an awesome premiere collaboration with you when we first released it ;)
Originally we had made the track a free download on Soundcloud, but then we started to see the track take off and other media outlets, artists and fans in general started to really take interest. Eventually once we reached several hundred thousand plays a representative from iTunes reached out to us and asked if we were planning to officially distribute the track. I had been planning to launch my distribution label PUZL Records in the coming year but this was the perfect catalyst to accelerate that plan.
Long story short, Coexist is our most successful track to date with over 1 million streams on Spotify alone. Leo continues to release singles with us and has been to date our most successful artists. Big ups Matt!!
Some other notable moments have been reaching the milestone of 200 consecutive weekly mixes at the end of last year featuring some incredible artists like, Plastic Plates, Marques Wyatt, Giom, The Golden Boy, Third Son, Illyus & Barrientos, Bebetta and so many more. Check out our series on Soundcloud and our Q&As with those artists here.
The latest accomplishment and most recent project we’ve kicked off that has received some great feedback is our SPECTRUMS compilation. We decided to look back at what made a lot of artists successful on Soundcloud; high quality, remakes, covers, remixes and edits, and promote them as this awesome collection. You can check out Volume 1 here. (Stay tuned for Vol. 2 in March!)
What kind of impact has Los Angeles had on what you guys have built and continue to do?
You know it’s interesting that you ask that since we talked about this in my first interview with you guys way back when. I think a lot of what I said still holds true, but some things I think are definitely not as communal as they once were. The market here in LA is now extremely saturated and thus has created a very competitive landscape. A lot of the collaborative vibes that I experienced initially when I moved here are not as strong as they once were across the board. There are still amazing pockets of music loving groups that truly embody that collaborative spirit and I hope that we at LAMP are perceived that way because it’s certainly our intention to be as inclusive and open as possible with our music and events. I think our willingness to be open-minded when working with other groups has allowed us to learn so quickly through the ups and downs. The most positive result of that has been our partnership with Orlove Entertainment and L’Affaire Musicale, who have been so amazing in helping us curate our anniversary shows for the last 3 years!
Since the start, LAMP has championed young, rising talent. With so much shifting in the music industry in recent years, how have you seen the opportunities change for new artists to be heard, and ultimately succeed, in the today’s climate?
Spotify changed everything, Soundcloud was a catalyst that never grew out of it’s high school shoes and brands like Apply, Google and Amazon are all playing catchup. I think its amazing to see so many platforms and avenues available for artists to share their music and be heard by so many more people. However the landscape of music distribution is becoming more vast and it is still hard to make a song that will actually generate sufficient revenue, so the game still lies in getting a tour or booking gigs that wills sustain an artist’s career.
Audiences are becoming more intelligent / demanding and thus DJ had to pivot and bring more hardware back into their performances and take on a role of studio producing to truly standout from the crowd. Live acts are also taking bigger steps to incorporate hardware that blends studio style sound design with on-the-spot mashups of their own originals.
Per usual, you guys have put together a stellar lineup for the anniversary party, including heavyweights Simian Mobile Disco and Matthew Dear. Why did you choose these artists in particular, and what can guests expect from the night?
Thank you! This is by far our biggest booking to date. I’m a massive fan of SMD and of Matthew Dear. Dear’s career is very inspiring, especially the narrative surrounding the formation of Ghostly International. That label is probably the one I would say we at LAMP and I personally try to emulate in both quality releases and visual aesthetics that are uncompromising in the detail and complexity.
We just sold out of our Tier 2 tickets for the show so if you’re in LA don’t sleep on this. You can purchase tickets here.
Can you give us a preview of what else you have in store for the rest of 2018?
Like I mentioned before we’re working finalizing Volume 2 of SPECTRUMS with Volume 3 hopefully to follow suit sometime in the summer. We’ve narrowed our event production focus to just 4 events a year but with an emphasis on quality of over quantity with respect to how frequent we put together a show. We are continuing to see the rise and success of our LAMP family members on our parent distribution label PUZL Records so be sure to stay tuned for more releases coming out on that channel.