Monochrome Recordings is an up and coming Drum & Bass label operating out of Poland and was founded by DJs/Producers Yankowsky and Self Definition. Like Cadence, Omni, and Offworld, Monochrome is consistently releasing deep and atmospheric Drum & Bass. With multiple releases and three dazzling compilations under it's belt, the label is doing it's part to ensure that the edgy, amen-infused Jungle resurgence that has taken place over the years continues in the right direction.
I was familiar with a few releases from the label (Limit's Cold Snap and Rainforest's Path of the Warrior immediately come to mind) so it was great to see that Yankowsky had discovered Inside the Rift by way of this interview, which I had conducted with another DnB legend.
I love what Monochrome is doing for the scene and it is fostering some tremendous talent. Yankowsky was also kind enough to submit a fantastic mix that I highly suggest you listen to while you read the interview. It will give you an idea of what the future holds for these astounding individuals. I spoke with him, and it is an honor to be a part of the movement.
Prox: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, when did you begin DJing, and what drew you to Drum & Bass over other genres?
Yankowsky: I am 34 years old and I was born in southern Poland. I started DJing back in 2008 but I got serious about it in 2010. I didn't choose DnB, DnB chose me.
Prox: What prompted you to start Monochrome Recordings?
Yankowsky: The main factor in starting the label was the huge amount of quality, unreleased DnB we started receiving back in 2011. Both of us worked as DJs for an online radiostation, so we noticed that we’d receive tunes which were, in our opinion, worth releasing. This was the perfect opportunity and motivation to start Monochrome Recordings.
Prox: Who were some of your favorite artists growing up? Did any of them influence the sounds you like to hear on the label?
Yankowsky: As a teenager I used to listen to artists like Snoop Doggy Dogg, 2Pac, Wu-Tang, and Dr. Dre. The Electronic Music era began for me in 2005 back in the days when I was living in the UK. In my opinion, you don't have to be in business for 20 years to become a specialist.
Prox: The label is really making noise in the underground DnB scene with it’s deep, atmospheric tracks. How does it feel to know that things are on the rise?
Yankowsky: It’s an amazing feeling to be honest. When we started Monochrome back in 2012, we never thought that our project would grow to it’s existing size. I think the last year and a half has been really crucial in setting up our main artists and getting bigger. You can observe it’s growth by looking at statistics of sales, plays, and followers on Social Media (Soundcloud and Facebook). Somehow, we feel like the old school Drum & Bass that we’re gearing the label towards right now is rising again. That's why we look to the future with such optimism.
Prox: Similar to Omni Music, Monochrome features some serious talent like Kasious, Rainforest, and The Drumkilla. How incredible is it to be actively involved with the future of Drum & Bass?
Yankowsky: The ability to be a big part of the Drum and Bass scene and actively contribute to it’s evolution is an awesome feeling. You've got the chance to get to know producers and fans from all around the world and bring them fresh releases. This genre connects weird souls from so many different countries and at the center of that connection, is Drum & Bass.
Prox: What have been some highlights for you guys so far?
Yankowsky: We won't name any "milestones" or "highlights". We're proud of every single thing we release on our label. Just listen to that stuff. Everything is so damn good.
Prox: Save us from some pitfalls! What are some challenges we should expect if we decide to undertake something like running a label?
Yankowsky: Patience is essential. Always pay attention to detail. It's easy to forget about artwork, setting up release dates, and signing contracts. That's the main reason why planning is so important when it comes to running a record label. You must be prepared for and understand that problems will appear every day and you must have the motivation to fix them. Build good relationships with your distributor and artists, stick to deadlines, and most importantly, stay positive.
Prox: What’s next for you and the label? Could you tell us about a few upcoming releases for 2016 and some hopes for the new year?
Yankowsky: For sure we wanna introduce new faces to the label in the next two releases. Some really big tunes are coming on Monochrome this year, so be prepared! The rest is top secret!
Prox: Favorite hobbies?
Yankowsky: I would say music, but I am also a massive fan of football (ain't soccer).
Prox: Tips for aspiring DJs/Businessmen?
Yankowsky: I don't recognize myself as a businessman but if you are asking about how to succeed, it's very simple - be passionate about and believe in what you're doing. That's all.
Prox: Final thoughts?
Yankowsky: Thanks to all of our artists & supporters. We're glad you’re all here with us and big ups to the DnB heads all over the world.