Exclusive: Simone Gatto and Andrea Santoro on promoting underground dance music with record label Out-ER

Out-ER is the brainchild of Italian DJs and producers Simone Gatto and Andrea Santoro. After spontaneously meeting, Gatto and Santoro started the label to foster the talent of under-the-radar artists. With dance music at the heart of Out-ER and a catalogue of releases from artists like Aubrey, we ask what it takes to set up a record label that defies musical monomania.

How did the collaboration between you two come together to start Out-ER? 
We met many years ago as we live in the same area, we were both djing and so it happened and we spontaneously became friends.

What’s the story behind the name of the label? 
‘Out’ is the opposite of ‘In’ because we didn’t feel ‘trendy’ and we always liked to stay outside of the mass, following the underground scene more.

To anyone who is unfamiliar with Out-ER, what kind of artists have you signed? What is the label’s musical aesthetic?

We worked hard during these years to express our ample inspirations and to communicate ourselves through personal sounds and not following trends. Gloomy, acid, dub and smooth sounds unite into one record label – created to let artists communicate themselves through personal sounds and not following trends. We released music from Orlando Voorn, Juan Atkins, Christopher Rau, Terrence Dixon, The Analogue Cops, Aubrey, Regen and other artists.

You recently signed Aubrey. How did that come about?  

He played together with us and we shared a lot of free time and speeches about music. It came in a natural way due to a mutual respect.

Previously working as DJs/producers, how predisposed were your ideas of how to start a record label? Did you know what you were in for?

Of course we started driven by passion so we did make some mistakes at the beginning, but as time passed we became more experienced. It turned out to be a very big investment in terms of work and money to do things how we would like, but it is all worth it.
What would an upcoming artist need to do to catch your attention and potentially get signed to Out-ER? 
We like to release music that gives us a strong emotional response. It comes from a natural way by artists who we know personally from different experiences around.

Is there someone you would love to sign currently? 

Actually there are a lot of big names that we are about to release in the near future, but we cannot say anything more about it. We will see.
What problems do you think exist within record labels that people rarely consider?  

There are so many labels around, of course there are good and bad labels, so it takes time to be known if you want to be remembered. To become a big label you need a lot of people working for you most of the time, and we are just a little group doing our best. 

How do you personally define underground dance music? 

Underground dance music should be thought as a restrict movement made by people who express their art with passion and not following trends. Nowadays with the Internet globalization, it is very common to see this word spread around by lot of people who don’t know the real meaning of the term.
What are the five albums of all time that have influenced you both?
Aphex Twin – Selected Ambient Works vol. 2
Massive Attack – Blue lines
Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
Nightmares on Wax – Carboot Soul   
Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest

Lastly what lies ahead for 2016? Any upcoming releases? 
The next Out-ER is a various artists record including track from Fabrizio Lapiana, Luciano Esse, Hydergine and Farron, it’s coming up in July. The remix series of Population One’s first EP on Out-ER including mixes from Cosmic TRG, Simone Gatto, Voiski and Pangaea.

Moreover in December we are going to celebrate our 5 years anniversary. We’ll celebrate it with a 2×12″ LP with lots of big artists involved. We will reveal all the details about it soon!

By Hanna Duggal

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