Interview: Paradise Rhythm

Bernard Chillcuts, the internet alias of Paradise Rhythm’s busy founder, took a few minutes to speak with us at 1833 about his net label and the artists that call it a home.

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With the changing landscape of the  internet it can sometimes be hard to pinpoint exactly what one company does. With this in mind, how would you characterize ‘Paradise Rhythm’ and what are some of your general goals?
Paradise Rhythm is a label but also at the same time a moving family as I like to call it. As shocking as this may sound, I never thought through our first year, we would have 11 releases with at least 5 to 6 more planned for 2014. The goal of the label  was and is simple, to give people music for free, and give people stuff that wouldn’t have a home anywhere else . With the internet there is so much music and it sucks cause a lot of good stuff isn’t even being heard, and we just want to change that. I also want to make sure we aren’t trying to put out the beyonce remix album or try and sign this band who released on this label. I want all our artists to have their first release with us, Hopefully that sums it up
What do you think the function of a music label is in 2014?
The function of a music label has changed completely in the last 5 to 10 years. I mean labels used to have these all-star rosters and now some artists are on like 10 labels and it just doesn’t have look its just this label gets this artists then they get big go to a bigger label with more money then do it again. The label also has to do more promo, more shows and merch, the label isn’t in charge of releasing music. I also this function is good because it allows labels to be creative with tours merch and art. I also think and maybe im nieve but A&R people at labels are more important then ever because so many net labels and labels are popping up. Souncloud digging might sound funny and stuff but it exists and it actually is a good thing but you can’t just use that, you have to as a label be creative and find artists in a multitude of ways.
Are there any music labels or artists that inspired you to begin this project?
A ton of labels have  inspired, Paradise Rhythm. I would say lately labels like, Trilogy Tapes, RIP Society, Captured Tracks, Italian Beach Babes, Suplex Cassettes, Mood Hut, Proibito, Her records, LIES, Night Slugs, Fade To Mind, Sex Is Disgusting(RIP), Future Times, Forbidden Planet, Dance Mania, Metroplex, Strictly Rhythm,Body High,DFA, Stones Throw, 4AD,Unruly,Mixpak, Lit City, Gang Fatale … and I could keep going on and on. Punk Labels were for me a big thing in college, seeing the DIY art, posters, shirts, getting into that music in college really affected my idea of what a label does and should be. Early on though No Limit and SubPop and early Mad Decent before they started putting out dubstep, those were huge. I think hip-hop labels had those awesome but rare logos, you couldn’t mess with that and seeing that every on release you, well if it says No Limit or Cash Money or Sik Wid It, it has to be good. As I got older I got like that with certain labels, especially punk labels like Hozac, Italian Beach Babes, Slitbreeze stuff like that. I actually only lately really got into dance music maybe since 2008,2009. I think(s/o the hollerboard and low end spasm) I starting really getting into music like Night Slugs and stuff because it already had that grime, feel and by that time I was heavily into Dizzee Rascal. I feel like that and hip-hop/punk and now all this club stuff that kind of puts everything into a mold and that is what Paradise Rhythm is.
Do you think diversifying genres across 1 single label will become more commonplace in the coming years? 
I think it will and it already has, I mean I can’t speak for other labels, but the original plan for the label was to be all hip-hop(under a different name) but people weren’t taking that project seriously and I just stopped, put it on the back burner and said lets not force this. The whole reason I did this wasn’t to cross genres, but it happened. I eventually had wanted to put out some music from Brian (Botaz), he had sent me a track for a compilation, I was floored,  and wanted to hear more and we just got to talking and things came together. I figured with  my connections with this little hip-hop blog I started , that it could  possibly  work.  Then I started trying to piece together people I wanted to release stuff by, some worked some didn’t. I never thought to release just this or just that stuff just fell into place. Example is the Action Bastard cassette, he posted up this like short mix of unused beats and I was like yess and I have been a huge fan so honestly that release was like a dream release for me. Then John aka Jumbled liked what I was doing and we got to talking and we were able to make some cassettes even put them in a few shops, shoutout to the Good Company.
I  think putting different genres together, not only builds a fanbase but makes your label unique. Obviously our sound has done a complete change from hip-hop to a more dance centric tone in the last months, but it wasn’t planned. I have always liked club stuff, especially baltimore club,  but I think people will really enjoy where we are taking the label. Our latest release from Dylan Check sounds nothing like our release with Pazz Cherofoot or even Split Saber but yet put them in a mix together and it can work.
Is this something you would recommend as a helpful strategy to other up and coming netlabels? 
I wouldn’t recommend putting genres together, but its what works for us and at the same time it could change. Paradise Rhythm is Paradise Rhythm, I don’t want their to be anything like this ever again. When you look us up on google or you see our logo, I want you to think  right off the bat, hey we know what we are getting, a eccentric label. Ill say this,  way to many people in music, are trying to be like something rather then taking something that they love and turn it into their own.  Sorry to stray from the question but, no I wouldn’t recommend it.
The intersection of visual and auditory art has never been so strong, as a label how much focus do you put into visual art? Is it important to you to have a cohesive aesthetic  (in terms of branding) 
I didn’t at first, and I guess thats something I learned from a few people, is visuals, whether they be videos, or art or what have you. However, when you think about it logos are really key to branding and how you get your label out there. if you have something people can recognize and see visually they know what they are getting. I think as a label we are really working on that. I want to get better at that for 2014 and beyond.
Can you name 5 quintessential Paradise Rhythm tracks
I don’t want to name 5 because honestly it is really tough haha but I will just talk about forthcoming stuff along with some surpise stuff and even possibly the first Paradise Rhythm show.
Botaz– The Slammer(forthcoming)
I think this track is  really what the label is going to be heading into the future, I mean it was given out as a freebie and it has really taken off, along with his first Superatchet, Botaz has a way of just destroying the club and this is a perfect example.
the______moon-ep or album coming late summer
I am not really sure what this dude is on but his music is amazing like noise meets witch house meets hip hop meets idk. I have enjoyed all the demos he sent so far.
Kieran L– EP(coming summer or spring)
The man makes music and his tags always say Philly Vacant House, so I mean you can def feel the club everytime this stuff comes on. I can’t say to much about the ep just yet but trust me when this hits the ears of people they will get buck.
Jacob Marley-Bali(forthcoming split single with Boogie Madison)
Drums, drums and more drums. Jacob is a young kid from Baltimore and makes some serious powerful music. Bali is one of my favorite tunes for 2013/2014 and I can’t wait to release that badboy.He does a side project called Blackb!rd so make sure you check that out too. Again I can’t say to much but he has a lot on the horizon for 2014.
Txdr-Pump(forthcoming Pump EP)
House music at its finest right here, Txdr has been working on this track and then sent it to me and man, I asked if we could put this out right away. When this gets out, heads will roll.
I also want to say a special thanks to everyone who has released music with us or helped the label grow, and these are people that you need to check out on the music tip.
Botaz
jacob marley
phil and uncle flex
Tunio
the_______moon
txdr
The Good Company
Jvck Kennedy
Adam Es
shoutout to the Bullet Coonect
ovJeff
Connected Goods
Soufseas
everyone that supports us
especially the team at 1833 [editorial note: daww :)]
Also a huge shoutout to John aka Jumbled for the help on the cassette
Keep the Beaches Clean!