Behind The Scenes – Octopus Records

For our next Behind The Scenes interview, we caught up with Sian, well known for his own productions as well as being the main man behind Octopus Records and the sub labels.

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Hi guys nice to catch up with you, how are you doing today?

Hey, thanks for taking time to catch up, a pleasure to chat. We are great, hectic as usual but all is well.

Let’s start by asking, how did the birth of Octopus originally happen and how long has the label been running?

Octopus was born 15 years ago with just $50 because I needed a place to release my own music, to take complete control over my artistic vision. I’m so grateful for the guys who took a chance on releasing my music before then, but I decided I had to do my own thing when I got to a certain point, since I had a sound that was not represented fully elsewhere.

Do you have any Octopus residents, if so who are they?

The Archer is a new addition to Octopus, and he is our main artist alongside myself. He is bringing a house and melodic influence into the fold, which really compliments my sound nicely as I’m bringing Octopus to a wider audience. Since we are both USA / California based it’s ideal for label showcases.

Do you have any upcoming releases we can talk about that are planned in the pipeline?

Sure. We just dropped a bunch of new stuff from Rafeal Cerato, Charles D, Loco & Jam, Risa Taniguchi & Yigitoglu. Definitely check those out if you haven’t already. Next up we have our label co-owner The Archer, new stuff from Aardy with a Vhyce remix, then my collab with Sacha Robotti under our Third Culture alias.

When receiving demos from artists, how long do you normally take to come back to the artists with an answer?

It really depends, but I try to get back as quickly as possible. Everyone is guilty of being super busy at times, but generally I get back as soon as possible out of respect for everyone’s time. We do try to listen to everything.

If you don’t like the music that’s been sent, do you go back to the artists with any feedback?

I do my best to encourage artists, especially if they are new. Just because someone might not be a fit for me, doesn’t mean all is lost – if they have great music, it will always find a home.

Do you tend to road test the tracks before signing them to the label?

I definitely road test unreleased tracks, especially if I am going to pursue helping them evolve, also unreleased music from our artists gives the audience new experiences.

How would you describe the sound of Octopus to someone who hasn’t heard you before and would you say the sound has changed over the years?

We started Octopus with a signature modern spin on classic electronic music, we have evolved over the years sonically as we have evolved as artists. With an ear to melodic and vocal based music. all the way back to early 80’s electronic and disco, Octopus has always pulled inspiration from non-techno labels and musicians. Those tastes and influences poke through the surface of our sound, but you will always hear the raw, edginess Octopus started with as well.

How far ahead is your record labels release schedule looking like?

Pretty much the rest of the year is already scheduled with upcoming releases. By not overcrowding the release plan, we try to give each release the breathing room they deserve. The schedule tends to fill up really quickly this way!

Will we see any events from you guys this year?

Right now, I am on a Sian summer tour , for 10 dates around the USA, with some more label nights in the pipelines. We are always adding new shows & events to the schedule, so be on the lookout on our socials.

If so, where, when and what artists will be playing?

Academy LA on July 16th is our next label night, featuring The Archer, Charles D, and Brennan Grey. I am playing Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Phoenix, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Salt Lake City so far, with more to be added.

We just launched an Insomniac radio show every Saturday at 6pm PST called Sian & The Archer presents Octopus Radio, where we feature tons of Octopus artists, our own original music, as well as what we are playing out at shows.

Does Octopus have any sub labels, if so how is the sound different?

Yes, there are a few labels in the family group. Hydrozoa features futurist dancefloor music, Anemone sticks to raw, hypnotic techno and electro – very old school, vinyl influenced – and Manta Recordings, which is the newest edition. Manta started out with a heavier electro and industrial influence, spanning to pure indie dance.


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July 29, 2022