Denver DIY record label and collective Quite Right has been dropping an eclectic mix of electronic music from mostly Colorado artists. The label's latest effort, The World Is Ending, is a compilation of mainly house-music and techno tracks from hometown producers including JourneyDeep, Sartorius, Dzhef, Rex Buchanan and more.
The label is run by Brandon Loyche, aka Dsqise; Josh Wolf, aka Shua; Andrew Bosher, aka Andrew Bon Bosher; Joe Hoffman; and Nate Natividad, aka Mynus. The relatively inexperienced crew has created a platform for artists through the pandemic and released the weekly Internet Rave, a broadcasted audiovisual DJ performance that showcases local talent, including Mynus's kaleidoscopic visuals.
Westword caught up with label co-founder Dsqise to talk about Quite Right's philanthropic efforts, what it took to start a scrappy yet stylish label, and what its plans are going forward.
Westword: What was the inspiration for starting a label?
Dsqise: Initially it was being friends with and knowing so many talented producers that made amazing music but weren’t putting it out or sending it out. I would be in studio sessions or collab sessions or just have friends send me over demos, and I'm like, "Why aren’t you putting this out?" Much of the time they just wanted to focus on the music.
I'm a graphic artist and co-own a small creative agency with the visual artist Mynus. It was around when QR started, as well. I knew we were able to make the artwork, create the ad images, size things for social media, promote on the platforms, create merch designs, and other things that a creative agency can do.
The large boost to actually get things going was from a conversation and “label collective” idea that myself and a few friends had. There were three of us that had varying expertise in certain genre areas. This idea was to have three labels that focused on different genres of the music we love as a collective. We all had wide-ranging tastes in music. It’s something, honestly, I have always prided myself on — being a lover of good music, no matter the genre — and we wanted to deliver and find incredible musicians and producers to be able to bring that same joy and diversity to the people around us.
After a few months of gaining momentum with the label collective, some major life events happened in Shua and the other guys' lives that shifted them a bit off of the label route. At this point in time, I had the momentum and commitment of Quite Right, and so I kept on with my plan to release my friends' music.
Quite Right was first built on the idea of releasing any and all fantastic electronic music. This has shifted a bit to focus more on the four-beat styles like house and techno, but we aren’t tied to only that.
A few years after Quite Right had been running, we started its sister label, Quite Low Records, covering all things bass music, with a drum-and-bass focus. Quite Low is led and run by Shua, who took care of the things he needed to in order to feel like he was ready to work on the label. Since Quite Right had been around for a few years, we thought we would play off the name and keep it in the family, and thus Quite Low was born.
From having that groundwork and drive to put out amazing music from people I knew, that was the initial kickstart to this all. I am so grateful for music, and it’s in my life absolutely every single day. Quite Right has made it possible to add a soundtrack to people’s lives, to help to heal and inspire the better in this world through music.
Quite Right has always had an activist ethos, as well, supporting nonprofits like Impact Locally and funding homeless relief organizations through the clothing store Humanity. When did you decide that you needed to make a difference, and how has the response been?
I have known Travis Singhaus, who runs Impact and Humanity, for many years. Seeing displaced humans on the street has always struck me as something that I feel no one should have to endure. Travis works his ass off for Impact and Humanity. His purpose, mission and drive are unparalleled.
When events were happening, people are gathering there, and what better way to get donations for an organization than to have a bin and advertise to donate your jackets, hats, scarves and sleeping bags to help a local organization [that] truly believes and works at educating, helping and bringing about real solutions to a severe problem.
It’s been more difficult to gain items since there are no events, so we continue to promote and share what Impact and Humanity are doing so others can donate, learn and help to solve this.
I wish we could do more. I know we can, and right now, it’s about trying to find those ways. I wish to be able to lease or purchase vacant buildings and turn them into shelters and programs that can help and care for displaced peoples.
For us, now, it’s trying to figure out how to take that action further, using the music community, music, and our connection as humans to really show that we can make a difference.
Speaking of the pandemic, what pivots are you and the label making during it?
When we had to cancel one of our larger events in March, we decided to take it to the stream world as a way to still bring the music and partial experience to those who were going to attend. We refunded all the tickets to those shows and got to figuring out streaming. We weren’t completely new to it; we had been setting up cameras and recording audio/visuals of our after-hours and other events to build more content to have online. But we really hadn’t streamed anything live before this. We did some small test runs for a few days to work out the main kinks and then went live with the event. From there we just decided that for as long as lockdown would happen, we would bring an event every Friday to keep up with playing and making and sharing music. It’s one of those things where you just say, “Okay, this is what we have to do.”
Everyone was in from the moment and every day since we have shown up, for 36 weeks now, and not only gained immense knowledge around streams, but started to build up a great community there, too. We wanted to start getting into streams and more online content before the pandemic, but we were very busy with shows and club nights, and this threw us into it.
We were already pretty merch-focused and building that out, but all of this has really helped push us to what else we can create and work on with our merch and other digital areas of value for our fans and artists. We have definitely developed and are really starting to output all of that work now with our new collections and series.
Besides that, it has given us time to focus on areas that were overlooked or not worked on as much, when we were constantly planning events and releases.
It's been difficult but nice to be able to work on areas of the label, the community, our artists, and things that sometimes go to the wayside when everyone is playing shows and doing events.
With nothing to do, imaginations must run wild. What has Quite Right been planning for when everything opens back up?
Depending on how the situation looks next summer, we are planning an outdoor camping weekend event and have been playing around with patio parties when the weather is nice, possible park-day things that can keep with social distancing even when hopefully coming to a better crossroads with the pandemic. So we take that day by day; right now it’s difficult to plan much, as we have realized that right now things are going to be stagnant in the live-music world for a bit longer. We will be ready when the times come, but a lot of that is ideas and speculation.
We will continue to do our streams and work to improve those each week, along with other programming that we are adding to the Quite Live network, from tutorials to studio sit-ins.
Tell us more about Internet Rave and what needs to be done to run one of those successfully. Is this something you plan to continue when things are normal again?
Internet Rave is our weekly live stream that covers both Quite Right and Quite Low’s styles of music, plus occasionally other electronic genres outside of house, techno and DnB, in 1.5-hour chunks for a three-hour jam. We start out with house or techno or some variant, and then the second half is usually DnB or a style of bass music.
We love all genres and really like to give this vibe as an homage to the rave days, where you’d have one room of hard house and a room of DnB, and a room of some other experimental weird shit, and you would get this nice spectrum of music. We hope to introduce fans of one style to others and cross over, because it’s all fantastic.
Each Friday there’s a few of us behind the scenes running the show. We have a few computers set up to run the stream and the processing of video and sound, and then another computer is the live-visuals computer run by Mynus. We have the chat on the screen of the TV behind the camera. Bosher helps man the primary computer, while many times, if I'm not playing, I'll run promo and posts as the stream starts and is happening, along with managing some of the chat. For the past few weeks, Bosher has been doing some things remotely from his house to help run them, while Mynus and I are at the helm here.
We were having guests each week, with proper sanitation and temp checks plus masks in place, but the past few weeks, we've had to switch that up and just do myself and Shua on the decks with Bosher remote. The entire QR house rallies each Friday to make it all happen.
We definitely plan to keep the streams going once the nightlife and events open up again. We may change the time or day when that happens to make it more convenient, but it’s now something we have developed, and will continue to even once everything opens back up.
Quite Right mainly consists of Colorado artists, with a few exceptions. What makes you want to pretty much exclusively sign Colorado artists?
Well, since it was started to put out my friends' amazing music, that is really why Denver is the hub and where a lot of artists originate from. Word of mouth in the beginning from Colorado artist to artist brought more people to QR, and also a space for newer local artists to get their music distributed and out into the world before many times really starting to make waves.
I want to provide this platform of knowing we are a small label and can work with small artists and hopefully build them up and give them something really solid for their first few releases. A lot of artists we have worked with, many good friends, are really starting to grow and make waves, and I'm not saying that we were responsible for that — they are, and their music. But it’s cool to start with someone and then see them grow into larger labels and fans and all of that.
As we are starting to grow, awareness and recommendations from friends and connections start to come in, where we are meeting and connecting with artists outside of Colorado — which is super honoring, that these artists see something in us that makes them want to work with us. That’s super fucking cool.
The goal is not to stay small. I want the movement to be global, things like what Desert Hearts does, and Dirty Bird — obviously household names for many at this point, and there’s a reason why. They are fantastic with their community and what they have done through the music. But since I have lived and [grown] up in Colorado, I will always want to hear the artists that are here first and give them a foundation, because there’s always so much amazing talent right where we live. Even if we don’t know it yet.
What was the reason for releasing a compilation of dance songs during a pandemic rather than waiting until people could dance again?
Music is being listened to no matter what. The music and ideas and songs don’t stop just because other things have slowed down. We did combine our fall/winter releases all into a compilation, because I thought it made the most sense to bring something that has some proper club tracks, but also, many of the songs are great for general listening and can work in many different contexts. Something for different moods and energy levels. I truly don’t think we can just put a pause on the music; there’s plenty of ways to listen and connect, although different from normal that we can use, and keeping that momentum and inspiration, I think, is important. It’s what drives us.
"The World Is Ending" is out on Quite Right Records. It can be found on Beatport.