Downstream Records say of themselves, “We’re a label dedicated to bringing you ‘electronica’ in all its forms. From downtempo to minimal techno the aim is to deliver the best music we can, with both consistency and regularity.” With a steadily increasing catalogue of music available through Lisnmusic we thought it was about time we caught up with their top man Damon Vallero for a chat.
When was the label created, what was the reason for setting up your label, who is behind it and what is your musical background?
The label was started in 2004 and was a means for me (Damon Vallero) to release different styles of music to that which I had previously been producing. I had/have been running the Electracom label since 1996 which was predominantly hard techno and it was difficult to vary too much from that style when releasing.
My background is that I grew up in South Africa where I started out on a musical path dabbling in synth based music in the 1980s. I formed a duo with a friend and we got signed to Warner Bros for two singles which didn’t really achieve any widespread success. In the late eighties I joined with another friend and formed The Swanhunters who released an anti Apartheid single in collaboration with the Sheffield band Chakk, of whom Mark Brydon of Moloko was a member.
Moving to the UK in 1988 and after a break of three years or so I began producing dance music, predominantly techno and started the Electracom label in 1996. I produced a number of releases for the label as well as releasing other artists and in 2001 began DJing and playing live around Europe. In 2004 I started Downstream Records to allow me to produce other styles of electronic music under different guises.
How would you describe the style(s) of music you release?
I have released a number of different styles of music on the label. Downtempo/lounge music under the Admon name resulted in the 2005 album “4AM Life”. Following that I released “Let The Trend Be Your Friend” as Megatrend which had elements of broken beat, techno, dubcore, glitch, ambient and most points in between. The next album I released was as Displayaz called “Control The Event” and incorporated elements of Dubstep and Drum & Bass. In between these albums I have released singles mainly in the tech/deep house genre. All the releases have been my own projects and I have not worked with any other artists on Downstream to date.
Your output covers a number of different styles within electronic music when many other labels tend to stay close to one sound they can be identified with. What was it that made you take this broader approach?
With the proliferation of music genres and the advance of technology, I found that producing one style of music was becoming quite restictive. In the electronic field it is much easier to be able to produce under different names and so I wanted to experiment and explore areas I had never tried before. Latterly more and more labels are diversifying their music style which can only be a good thing for artists and listeners alike.
What successes have you had in the music industry so far, and in particular any in synchronisation?
My tracks have been played out by the likes of Ritchie Hawtin, Dave Clarke and many others and my music has also been aired on Radio 1 a number of times by John Peel years ago to more recently Mary Anne Hobbs. I won the 2002 Diesel U Music competition in the house category playing at Fabric in London and was interviwed on MTV. Three of my downtempo tracks were used by a US company to launch a new product.
What are you goals for the future?
The goals for the future are to keep releasing a diverse range of music that is both enjoyable and challenging and try and reach as wider audience as possible.
To license music from the Downstream Records catalogue for TV, film, advertisement, game, corporate or other media project please visit the Downstream Records page on Lisnmusic. If you are interested in Damon Vallero from Downstream creating a bespoke composition please contact us.
If you’re an artist interested in licensing your music for media projects please get in touch to see how Lisnmusic can help you.