Yesterday, the awesome London/New York label Cascine officially began year three of the electronic-pop world-domination plot they undertook in 2010. To celebrate, they released Standouts 2010:2012, the perfect introduction to the many dreamy, referential sounds that the label embodies, featuring tracks from Chad Valley, Jensen Sportag, Pandr Eyez, and more.
While the Cascine sound covers a lot of ground on the indie/electronic-pop map, our favorite corner that it’s ventured into might be the odd space inhabited by Finnish band Shine 2009, who merge late-’80s British R&B radio (think Lisa Stansfield and Soul II Soul) and delicate ’90s house, and put it all together so gently in today’s Track of the Day, the lead-off song on their 2010 album, Realism, entitled “Graduation.”
Seeing as how the whole of Standouts 2010:2012 signals such a promising future for Cascine, we put the call in to label head Jeff Bratton to discuss its past, its present, and what lies ahead.
Give us the short version of how Cascine came to be.
Shine 2009 was looking for a label home and approached Service, a Swedish imprint I also work with. We didn’t think they were a great fit for Service, so I started Cascine with the help of Sandra Croft and Jason Romanelli to release the first Shine 2009 EP, which we still adore.
Describe the label’s vibe in one line.
Smooth and optimistic electronic pop.
Now give us the phonetic pronunciation of Cascine.
Cascine—the second C is silent. It sounds like sounds like “kaseen.” It’s named after a park in Florence, Italy, near my mother’s apartment. For us, there’s something peaceful about the way the word sounds and looks.
What’s been the highlight of running Cascine so far?
We’re literally humbled every day by the artists we get to work with, but Shine 2009’s debut album, Realism, is maybe the high point, given that it was our first ever full-length.
Is that really Paula Abdul on Shine 2009’s “So Free”? How’d that happen?!
[Laughs] Yep, that’s her. I met Paula a couple years back when I was living in LA and we grew pretty close. She liked what Shine 2009 was doing at the time and agreed to sing on the album’s lead single. Paula’s a gem, and we’re still touched that she was involved with the project.
What other labels are big on your radar right now?
We remain students of Ghostly International and Captured Tracks, and are really liking a boutique label in Norway named Brilliance, as well as the pristine Permanent Vacation.
What should we look forward to in the near future from Cascine?
Three big releases on deck for fall: a new EP by Southern Shores, Chad Valley’s debut album (which is massive and features guest appearances by Twin Shadow, Glasser, Active Child, El Perro Del Mar, TEED, and more), and then a solo release by an artist named Rush Midnight, who’s the former Twin Shadow bass player. George Lewis Jr. actually produced some of the material on the release and it’s excellent stuff. We’re also doing a joint showcase with Ghostly on Oct. 17 in New York, which we’re really looking forward to.