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Label Profile: Double Standard Records

By Christine Kakaire
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Chances are that if you’ve shaken a tail to some deep dancefloor music in the last handful of years, that Gadi Mizrahi has had something to do with it. Wolf + Lamb Music, the label that he has run with Zev Eisenberg for more than a decade, has itself become a descriptive phrase for a particular brand of house music that takes as many recognisable cues from pop, disco and R&B as it does from house and techno. The duo’s infamous gatherings at New York’s Marcy Hotel directly influenced a worldwide shift towards more party-friendly sounds, and vaulted the pair into a nonstop touring schedule of the globe. The Wolf + Lamb label marked the first appearances of Nicolas Jaar and Deniz Kurtel, and the offshoot edits label W+L Black produced a run of early reworks that helped to raise the profile of Soul Clap and Hot Natured.

In between it all these things, Mizrahi, who is based between Berlin and Miami, and now also goes by the purplish stage name Baby Prince, found the time to start his own vinyl-only label Double Standard Records in 2010. This month sees Double Standard hit the digital realm for the first time, and the first four releases – Joint Custody EP by Soul Clap and Mizrahi, Greg PaulusWhat’s Mine Is Yours, the collaborative effort She’s Bad / Beautiful Thang, and Nicolas Jaar’s Love You Gotta Lose Again – can all be snapped up exclusively on Beatport.

What better opportunity then to get the scoop about the label directly from Mizrahi himself? Not only can you find a full interview with him after the jump, you can hear the latest edition of the W+L podcast mix (comprised solely of tracks from the Double Standard label) in full, plus watch the new video for Voices of Black’s forthcoming track “Atom Bomb”, and peep brand new charts from Double Standard artists Tanner Ross, Slow Hands, Voices of Black, Soul Clap and Greg Paulus and Gadi Mizrahi.

Is there a story behind the label name ‘Double Standard’?

It’s all pretty light-hearted. I’ve been known to be sarcastic in the past, making stickers that say “Since When Do Jews Make Techno?” and t-shirts that say “I Promise I’ll Change” and “Dumb American”. When it was time to name the label I was thinking that Double Standard was always a very negative term that I’d like to somehow make positive…I think of it as twice the standard in quality.

Double Standard began in 2010 specifically as a vinyl-only label. What made you decide to go digital?

Even though vinyl sales are going up, an increasing number of DJs are joining from the digital side and are left out of these releases. I’ve come to believe that more people need to have access to these tracks – for instance the whole Wolf+Lamb crew has been playing the shit out of Double Hill‘s EPs, and I think it’s time for more people to be able to play them. The label has always sold out of as many copies as I printed, but at this point I’d really like the Double Standard artists to be able to tour and make a living off making and playing music, and the best chance of reaching that goal is releasing in both mediums.

From what I understand, Double Standard has been more of a Gadi/Baby Prince solo project, is that still the case? Or is Zev also involved in defining the sound of the label now? And what criteria do you have for tracks that appear on the label?

Actually Zev has been helping me out a lot with Double Standard these days; I love A&R, and I wanted to do more of it. I’ve always wanted Double Standard to go in a more experimental, more R&B/hip hop direction, trying to release stuff that was even slower than the music we put out on Wolf + Lamb. The first EP that really had me considering to open my own label was Greg Paulus’ What’s Mine is Yours EP. It’s the perfect balance between electronic/hip hop and hipster indie rock.

Greg Paulus – Hard Drankin Whiskey Line [Double Standard Records]

Many Double Standard artists have also appeared on Wolf + Lamb, where do you see the line being drawn between those two labels?

I’m not sure. I guess it’s just a gut feeling. Some tracks just feel like they belong on one label and others on the other.

Both Wolf + Lamb and Double Standard are associated with the same close-knit crew of producers, why is that? And is there anyone from outside the family that you’d like to work with?

Double Standard was originally a project that I started when I really wasn’t sure were it was going to go, but as time went on it really developed into a sister label to Wolf + Lamb. I’ve always wanted to work with Robert Owens and I recently met him at the Garden Festival in Croatia, and he turned out to be so incredibly cool. 

What’s your own personal favourite Double Standard release?

I really like the Covers EP that Slow Hands and Benoit & Sergio did as well as the Greg Paulus remix EP and both Double Hill EPs.

You’ve kept up a very steady pace of releases over the last two years, what does the future hold for Double Standard?

Voices of Black have a single for their album called “Atom Bomb” out in a few weeks with special sleeve artwork and white vinyl. Tanner Ross has a really cool EP coming out after that, and Night Plane also has some really cool indie rock meets electronic dance music slated to come out this year.

There’s been a lot of discussion recently (from an editorial perspective and from artists themselves) that has cast a critical eye on DJ edits. As a DJ/label head connected with these types of releases, would you like to weigh in with your opinion?

I love edits! some of my favorite tracks to play out the last few years have been edits. Some times when you’re playing for a very difficult crowd an edit can really turn things around. I really believe that edits could be a way for producers to get their feet wet with productions that they wish they had the skills to make themselves.

There’s also been a bit of press attention recently about ‘hipster R&B’ vs. ‘authentic R&B’. You’re obviously a longtime fan of the genre, what’s your take on that?

I haven’t really heard much R&B or hip hop of late that I love but I don’t mind hipsters or anyone giving it a shot as it’s been on such a lull for so many years, maybe someone will have some great ideas coming from another genre. I like Shabazz Palaces.

Gadi Mizrahi’s I Love My Crew Snowbird Chart

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Greg Paulus’ Chart

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Slow Hands’ DS Equestrian Waterpolo Club Chart

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Soul Clap’s Drug School Summer Camp Chart

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Tanner Ross’ Nunchucks Out The Window Chart

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Voices Of Black – The Swan Diaries chart

Click here to get Voices Of Black’s chart on Beatport.

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