Only in the summer of 2011 did My Favorite Robot surface under my radar, and it was only this month after one of the best sets we saw at The BPM Festival of 2012 did I deem the Canadian trio one of the most promising acts of 2012. And that’s not even mentioning the label they’ve built as a home for productions from artists such as Nitin, Dead Seal and Miami’s own Jonny Cruz. Made up of James Teej, Jared Simms and Voytek Korab, My Favorite Robot will be gracing us with their presence tonight at Mokai on South Beach.
We linked up with James Teej and Jared Simms to talk more about their history, the label and what they have planned for Winter Music Conference.
The trio also recently released a podcast for Electronic Groove that you can listen to and download below.
In the last few years, you guys have done a great job consistently releasing music on your label from a slew of different artists as well as yourselves. Have you seen a style change in the kind of music you put out? Do you search for a specific sound?
James: We don’t emphasize on a specific sound, more on a level of quality. We really look for interesting music that we like, and that has been made with some heart and soul — raw, organic, synth-driven music, “music” being the key word there. The label will continue to grow, and expand outwards stylistically as we try to put out projects that we think can stand the test of time.
How do you go about finding great artists that are up to the MFR label standard, for example Miami local Jonny Cruz?
James: The three of us are always listening to music. In the beginning, if we liked something from someone, we’d take that chance and put it out. In the early stages, we tended to match up younger artists with more seasoned artists and remixers to help with a release’s visibility. But as the label has grown, and more people are understanding our vision, artists, both new and seasoned, are approaching us because they know they can do something that might allow them to venture into different territories with their music. It’s a standard that is the fundamental basis of why we are doing this: to put out quality electronic music.
My Favorite Robot began with just Jared and Voytek. How did you eventually get incorporated?
James: I was involved early on in the project as an artist and remixer. As Jared and I began working more closely on the label, as well as beginning to work together in the studio on MFR with Voytek, it was a natural next step to join full time. For the past nearly two years, we’ve been working incredibly hard together to make some unique music and to guide the label, and grow it. It’s a labor of love for all of us, and all the artists we work with as well.
How did you guys come with the name My Favorite Robot? What’s the reasoning/logic/concept behind that?
Jared: Well it would be nice to say that there was some master concept behind the name, but really it was more of a brainstorming session over a few drinks. To us, the word “Robot” correlates to our musical style and taste, which tends to have more of a synthetic and electronic edge to it. As far as the “My Favorite” part, we wanted something that was a little more on the human side than “Robot”.
What does the label have coming up in 2012?
Jared: It’s going to be a big year for our little label. We are going to continue to push our boundaries, and while we will still be moving forward with the same overall musical vibe, we will also be digging deep into the eclecticism that has characterized the label’s output. We’ve just released our seventh Stimulus Package compilation with five incredible tracks. Next up will be our Best Of Year Three release, which will be released in late January. Also look for releases from Nitin, DisCemi (Jori Hulkkonen & Tuomas ‘Phonogenic’ Salmela), and Slok in the coming months, as well as remixes from Brett Johnson, Subb-an, Anthony Collins, and many more. Were very excited about what the year holds for us!
Are there any new artists being added to the roster we should look out for?
James: We have some new amazing releases coming out from Sid Le Rock, DeadEcho, Tim Paris, Tiger Stripes, a new project from Jori Hulkonnen, and too many more to list. It’s going to be a big year for the robots.
This party in Miami at Mokai on Thursday is going be a shitshow, but we’re pushing a new sound in a venue that hasn’t yet seen its share of underground music. What do you think about sharing our music with the mainstreamers? I mean, is that the goal?
James: I think that there is a lot the underground has to offer. Having been doing this for over 16 years, there’s a balance where the underground needs to meet up with the mainstream at some point. There are a lot of people that find out through their own discoveries of electronic music that the underground has so much to offer, and often in much less obvious packaging. So I don’t think it’s as simple as sharing our music with ‘mainstreamers’ per se, we want to share our vision with ALL people that might like it and get enjoyment out of. That’s what music is for, not solely for the bedroom and DJ ‘elite’ to hold on to.
What do you guys have planned for Winter Music Conference? Any live shows?
James: We are currently working towards a label show, My Favorite Robot’s first Miami Melee, and are looking to debut the My Favorite Robot full on live show in the fall.