Petra Digital is an open-minded collective based in Istanbul includes different kind of styles and producers. Always looking for brilliant emerging talents and never resting on their laurels or opting for ‘big name’ DJ/producers, the label has slowly but surely built up a cult following amongst fans of discerning house and techno, while often veering into more eclectic sounds in the process. Petra prides itself on ‘including different kinds of styles and producers’ across its discography. The label’s ‘primary aim is to release cool vibes without across borders’.
Ahead of their latest release, a killer 4 tracker featuring the sounds of emerging young German talents Júlio Cruz & Momo Arigato. We sat down wit Eren Erdol the label’s founder as part of our label watch series.
Petra Digital is a collective. Talk us through the collective and how this approach differs to most other labels?
Well, we established the imprint almost 7 years ago. Our original motivation was to be a home for Istanbul based electronic music artists. Unfortunately during this period, there were very few imprints for underground artists. Now we have grown to have over 25 releases from artists from across the world.
Do you think the ease at which artists and labels can put music out is beneficial in the long term?
Most of the music industries habits have been changing over the last few years. There has been a shift in importance towards things like social media. Unfortunately, now artists and labels must focus much more on these things. Now that the process of releasing music is easier it means the artist or label has more time to focus on these other distracting factors. I guess this is a benefit.
What is the most common mistake you have seen when people are trying to get their music signed?
Not acting professionally for sure! We work mostly with underground artists and of course, this can sometimes be a more random process however success no matter where comes from good planning. If the artists want a long career they need to have an element of professionalism when it is required.
Some labels release music on an almost weekly basis whereas others release only a handful of records each year. Which approach does Petra Digital take and for what reason?
The planning of our releases depends because our vinyl releases have a different scheduling pattern to the digital ones. Vinyl we tend to start the process much earlier as we have to deal with the pressing plant and run a bigger PR campaign. The process tends to be more confused with a lot of moving parts. Digital releases tend to be easier so we can often do this more regularly!
How has COVID-19 affected Petra Digital operations? Have you had to put anything on hold or change your approach?
Actually it affected us a bit badly like all other industries. The reaction of DJs or printed platforms has decreased dramatically because most of the people have lost their motivation. Also, DJs have cancelled their gigs and it has affected the circulation of tracks which is not good for imprints.
Do you think vinyl printing has a future given the huge impact it has on the environmental?
I think vinyl will always have some power in the industry because there is a huge demand from certain people. However, there is some positive changes coming around pressing! There are some new machines and tools which use less toxicity and reduce environmental waste unlike like old machines. So, plants will change their working style in the mid-long term I guess..
Finally, what do the next few months have in store for the collective?
We just released an EP for Istanbul based artist duo called Sublime Porte which includes two massive remixes from Berlin legend Heiko Laux and now, we are working for a split vinyl release for German artists Júlio Cruz& Momo Arigato. It will be out the end of May. Also, I will release my own EP with a Sebb Junior remix from Petra on June!