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Next up in the Ace & Tate Sounds guest mix series hot seat is Banoffee Pies – a DJ duo and record label operating from our beloved Bristol, U.K. We were drawn to them for their sweet releases and party-starting personas. This mix comes from one half of the duo DJ Autumn and is one of our strongest in a while, it's stuffed with juicy downtempo rhythms, soft-spoken word, and what they describe as ‘leftfield beats from a cosmic garden.’ That sounds good to us.

Q&A

Hey guys, can you introduce yourselves and describe the kind of sound you’re looking to pin down with your label Banoffee Pies Records?

My name is Ell and I run the label platform but when we are performing we are a DJ duo, together with my good friend Sandy. I guess the whole idea is the opposite of finding a specific sound. Although there is a clear theme in some of the sub-labels, the idea was to not pin ourselves down – any sound is the concept. I like all kinds of music so for me it’s important to create an open space working with artists with all kinds of musical interests on any project we feel like. Good music is good music.

What’s the idea behind the mix you’ve submitted? And are there any tracks we should look out for?

The submission I made is more of a mixtape format but was all recorded live. It’s mainly some spacey lounge tracks that I listen to around the house, partnered with some downtempo dance music, drum rolls, ambient soundscapes, spoken word, and leftfield beats from a cosmic garden. I like to blend tracks from different genres with similar moods - these mixes are my favorite to create, it takes a little extra thought. The mix includes the opener from Banoffee Pies Beats 02 (our hip hop series), “Time Will Let Us Go ft. Merryn Jeann” by Slim., and a load of other favorites like “Shankara” by Saptha Shakti and a new piece from label member Ishmael Ensemble with “The River”.a

We like a lot of your album art. How do you go about finding the work/artists?

A lot of our design works come from Ellen Pearson, who is a really great artist, and has an excellent style with her fine art background creating clean and sharp looking illustrations, even though her main work is in short film, she rocks. On top of that we have a few other designers for more playful drawings and also a lot of art comes naturally from collections of images from photos we have taken along our travels.

Who does your SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? You guys outperform recipes for sugar loaded pies — that’s impressive.

I’m always surprised about this! The SEO’s are crazy. I have no idea how this has happened - but we have grown to realize that globally, a lot of people have no idea what a Banoffee Pies even is! We’ve had a fair few pies made for us at gigs we have played though, all across Europe - but some of the interpretations are hilarious.

We couldn’t help but notice that you’ve released quite a few artists from Amsterdam, where we’re based. How do you go about finding and selecting new artists for the label?

Amsterdam is a great city full of talent. Finding artists is a process that seems to constantly change though. For the most part, it’s people we have found online, friends of friends and beyond, word of mouth, people we’ve met, late nights on SoundCloud, even later nights on discogs, and a lot of messaging people directly through Facebook. The digital platforms available these days are constantly excelling creativity and it's accessed. It’s great.

Where are you guys excited to play in the next few months?

In the next few months we have some shows around the UK mainly, looking forward to getting back to Leeds this time at Sheaf Street on 8.03 and then a few London shows including Queens Yard Summer Party on 04.05.

We just opened a store in your town Bristol. Give us some hot tips on how to get acquainted with the city.

Bristol is great - I’ve told so many about your glasses already so I’m pleased to see you in our city! There’s a lot to do here and the people are amazing. It’s hard to summarise the city into words, but if you’ve lived here for a few years you will understand. There is a feeling and energy. We have some amazing independent businesses, important social projects, deep musical heritage, beautiful surrounding landscapes and countryside, and on top of that, some areas feel completely lawless, which gives the city it’s flame.

Weird one, but we always ask: if your mix was a pair of our frames, what would it be and why?

I am a big fan of Ace & Tate and wear your glasses already. I was actually wearing them when I recorded this, so I’d say the Pierce model. It’s my middle name too, and the tracks are mainly clean and simple, just like the frame.  

That was great. Thanks guys!