October 14th, 2018
Label Boss: James Henry
Country: United Kingdom
Release Type: Vinyl / Digital
Welcome - Introduce yourself and your label. Anything special you would like our audience to know?
I’m Henry and I run a label called Mint Tea. The label started just over two years ago and has been one of my main projects since. The label is a constant work in progress and I like to think of it as snapshots of my musical tastes and I’m hoping it will continue to evolve alongside me.
Mint Tea - How did it all begin and why vinyl?
I’m very much driven by what excites me, by creating an opportunity for myself and other artists to release on a physical medium was something that felt right. I feel that releasing the music on vinyl helps secure the music's validity within the scene. It also feels great contributing to the ever growing mass of music out there and if the tracks find there way to a dance floor and continue the party then I’m
"I feel that releasing the music on vinyl helps secure the music's validity within the scene."
As a label owner in 2018, how do you feel about the current state of music distribution? What avenues are you taking to stay ahead in such a competitive field?
I try not to get swamped down with competition, there’s so much good music that has been released in 2018 so far that it would be silly to compare. What drives me is keeping Mint Tea rolling so I can always start planning the next release.
Based out of Bristol, how does the city influence the sound represented by the label?
Bristol provides a rich ground for inspiration, opportunity and like minded people.
When it comes to signing music, is there anything specific you look for in an artist or their productions?
I generally try to listen with open ears and let my initial impressions lead the way. I think with anything creative, the biggest tool we have is our intuition.
"I think with anything creative, the biggest tool we have is our intuition."
Give us some insight on the current artists releasing on Mint Tea.
MT004 sees WD41, Toke and El Choop providing a combination of late night and early morning soundtracks.
I was over the moon when Toke sent me a bunch of demos just over a year ago. The tracks felt timeless to me and I knew that having him on the label would be the right thing to do. WD41 being a housemate of mine in Bristol, it only felt natural that one of his tracks would find its way into the release as I’m constantly exposed to his music most evenings (definitely a good thing).
As for El Choop, I met him on a train a few years ago and got chatting about his music and the releases he was working on, little did I know that he and WD41 are friends from home, so again it all fell into place when he sent me some tracks a few years later when I was finalizing the latest release.
In the past few releases I would usually meet people through social media and put together artists I would find on those platforms.
Lets talk artwork. Who is behind the design and how are the ideas conceptualized?
Artwork is created by me, the early artwork focuses around edits of photographs. The first and second release were photos taken in Berlin, MT001 being taken by my friend Giovanni and the other me. The third release saw a cross pollination from another project I was working on were I would create video
installations. MT003 and MT004 are both screenshots from some of these visual explorations.
Give us some insight into the future of Mint Tea. What can we expect?
I’ve left MT005 open as I wanted to really focus on MT004, but the unknowing can be massively exciting as I feel I can really push for a new direction. Now this festival season is over, I feel like focusing on sleek and psychedelic party tunes that make you feel like your piloting an exploration into deep space. There’s also some tape and specialized digital releases in the pipeline to fill the void between now
and the next vinyl release. Keep your eyes and ears peeled!
James Henry, in a few sentences. Tell us about this mix you made for us. Where did you get your inspiration? Is there anything special you want the audience to know?
This mix is a combination of all Mint Tea music.