2020 marks a significant milestone for Lawrence and Lenny Burden‘s imprint 430 West. On May 24th, the latest addition to the label’s extensive discography will be an Octave One series of EPs entitled “Locus of Control.” The term “Locus of Control” is a psychological concept that refers to how strongly people believe they have control over the situations and experiences that affect their lives. We catch up with the Lawrence and Lenny for this issue’s Label Watch and get them talking about 30th anniversary plans, the label’s perserverance and longevity, adapting to the continual evolution of technology tools, their “Top 5 Picks” for essential listening and what the future holds ahead.
430 West is approaching it’s 30th birthday in 2020. How does that feel and how will you celebrate?
Lenny and Lawrence: Yeah, we’re approaching that Big 30 with the label and we can’t be more amped and pumped about reaching this milestone! So we got some serious celebrating to do around here and we have already been in the studio paving the way with some new productions straight from the mixing console from our flagship group Octave One, Random Noise Generation, KSR and others. One of those others that we’re extremely amped about is a new production from our artist ‘Never On Sunday’ and the production is a big departure from our usual dance floor releases onto something strictly downtempo and for the ears.
There are not many indie labels that have been in the “game” as long as your label. How has 430 West adapted and evolved in respects to the ever changing music industry models and technologies over the years?
Lenny and Lawrence: Well over the years styles change so rapidly and technology pushes the envelope for all of that change for sure. So to keep our label pretty grounded we’ve had to first streamline our approach first to limited the amount of releases we were going to work with a year. So instead of multiple releases we decided to concentrate on what we consider to be our key material and give it a concentrated focus. This keeps us from running after a trend for this and another for tomorrow , so on, and so on. But on the side of technology, we have decided to really step things up a bit and really aggressively go after things that we feel can help drive our label to be more competitive on the audio side of things. It’s no good to have an awesome production if it sounds like it was recorded in 1994.
If you had to choose 5 essential picks among 430 West’s massive catalogue for a time capsule, what would they be?
Lenny and Lawrence: In no particular order: Octave One -“Believe;” Random Noise Generation- “Falling in Dub;” Mind Readers feat. Malik Hart -“Living My Life Underground;” Octave One- “Empower” and Octave One-“Blackwater.”
Will there be new music coming this year?
Lenny and Lawrence: Yes, new music is on the way…a new 3 ep. set from Octave One is the focus entitled “Locus of Control.”
What does the future of electronic music look like through the eyes of 430 West?
Lenny and Lawrence: We have a deep love now and have always had it for the sound of electronic music so our outlook is really from what we’ve observed over our years as a label. There’s shift in the sound of dance music once again but mainly on the side of tempos between the genres of House and Techno. House music will be adopting more elements from yesterdays Techno grooves but really slowing the tempos down quite a bit and it’s time once again for Techno to pick up its tempo pace as the newer wave of festival dj’s seem to be speeding things up a bit!