Interview: Wally Stryk ‘s Hermine Records, studio talk and forthcoming music.

Congratulations on the release of your recent EP Siete. Can you tell us a bit about the process behind making the two tracks that we hear on the release?

I make some beat since 2007 and released a large number of tracks on a variety of labels for the last ten years. However for 3/4 years, I felt the need to express myself through an album: a more complete and studied project. Both of the tracks on “Siete EP” come from the sonorities search I did to design my album but I decided to release these 2 tracks on their own because they don’t share the same musical identity as the album, which is deeper.

When did Hermine Records begin and can you remember initially why you set up the label and what you wanted to achieve from it?

I created Hermine in 2011, I was living in Argentina back then. I imagined Hermine as a bridge between tones of south american and french artists. Today the label is well-known in South America and have a strong following in France. Between 2011 and 2014, it particularly allowed me to introduce many south american talents in Europa (such as Alexis Cabrera, Juan Zolbaran, Lolu Menayed, Christian Berger, Deaf Pillow, Figueroa, LondonGround, Nacho Bolognani, Pablo Inzunza, Gruuve, Santierri…). This is a great satisfaction for me and the label team.

How does it differ releasing an EP on your own label rather than someone else? Do you feel like you have more control?

Exactly, that’s also an introduction to the upcoming album.

How do you find new music to release on Hermine?

As I mentioned previously, I work very often with south american artists, as I’m myself French Argentine, a lot of my friends and acquaintances in the music field live there. Besides, the previous Maxis vinyl (Hermine Rec 059) is the work of the Chilean Camilo Gil, with a very latin view of House music. These are my selection requirements: bring new sonorities to the label while staying qualitative and underground.

You’re from Argentina, how do you feel the South American music scene differs to the French and European. Did you sound adapt to your surroundings?

Frankly the South American scene has nothing to envy to the European one! You find great clubs and festivals with a quality programming, going from Techno to Deep House and Minimal. Even the small cities generally have an electronic club where it’s possible to play. As a DJ, mixing at an Open Air event is just the best thing that can happen to you there. The public has a boundless energy and there is a special vibe specific to South America – the good and warmth weather might have a role into it. Personally, I always enjoyed the South American scene more because I find it more open and accessible. My music is influenced by the 8 years I spent there so you of course find very Latin tones in my sets.

Let’s jump into your studio, what is your current set up?

When I came back to Europe two years ago, I rethought all my set up because I sold everything when I moved back. I now work on a pair of Monitoring Focal CMS65, a Universal Audio Apollo sound card and a Macbook Pro with Ableton as work station. Regarding the synth and plugins I got the Komplete Ultimate with the MIDI Komplete Kontrol keyboard and I also have the Arturia Essential suite. Although I mainly focus on a few hardware equipment in order to master and exploit them better, such as my Korg Monologue for the Acid sonorities and bass lines and my Rythme Arturia Drumbute box.

Do you have a favourite piece of kit that is most definitive throughout your songs?

I often use the same kit from the rhythm box 808 or 809. Even if lately you can hear it everywhere and I’m a bit tired of it, it’s still hard for me to work without it.

Playing live are you a vinyl only mixer, or do you use CDJs too?

I prefer playing vinyl only but I use both depending on the situation. I think that nowadays we don’t have the choice to be able to do both.

Vinyl sales generally are on the up, have you seen a difference for a label of your size when it comes to the wax selling?

Yes the sales are increasing, however there is also so many more labels on the market today than five years ago so I think it balances everything out. On Hermine Record anyways, we always press 300 copies by release so we are at least sure to sold them.

If you had to save three records from your collection, what would they be?

1. Hermine Records 053 :
Lovo is an artist from Mendoza (Argentina), this EP is just amazing.

2. Hermine Records 043 :
This Maxi is a concentrate of new talents of the emergent Argentina scene. Leonardo Tou, Gruuv, Santierri and Dani Labb.

3. Hermine Records 024 :
Masterpiece from the French Ange Siddhar and Illan Nicciani. House and groovy.

What can we expect from yourself and the label in 2019?

Today I focus on vinyl with the objective of two releases per year. I also created my own festival located on the Brittany beaches in France –  Les Electros de Quiberon – which is a lot of work and leaves me less time to find new talents for the label. However the festival is also a great showcase for Hermine and allows me to invite the last signed artists on the label.

Thx a lot !

house Minimal tech Wally Stryk
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