Vicious Recordings: open minds and good music

Vicious Recordings celebrates 30 years as Australia's leading Dance Music label and they continue to impact the global scene with an annual stream of hits. Responsible for 800+ club anthems produced by the likes of Avicii, Madison Avenue, Sgt Slick, Peking Duk and Dirty South the label is well respected as an imprint that consistently breaks cutting edge dance music releases and and continues to garner global support from DJ's, radio stations and curators alike, 30 years on from their first release.
We talked to the label founders to find out more. Enjoy!
30 years is a massive milestone that any label would be proud to celebrate. How does Vicious intend to commemorate this landmark occasion?
— A full compilation with 20 remixes of our highlights all with fresh new remixes drops at the end of AUgust. Prior to that many will land as single including Mark Knight remixing Avicii & Sebastien Drums 'My Feelings For You' and also Don Diablo. Joshwa on 'Dont Call Me Baby', Mind Electric on ' Dreams of Heaven'. Mell Hall remixing Peking Duks massive Australian hit 'High'... Sgt Slick remixing Avicii's Streetdancer, Cube Guys remixing AVicii's 'Malo'... SO many…
Wow, that certainly is an impressive list. What is driving the inspiration behind the Vicious 30 package that you're putting together?
— Bring the old and get it remixed by the fresh new artists around the world. You cant be a dance music label and only look back so it was important the remixers were super on it and happening in 2022.
Over the 30 years, who is an artist you thought wasn't getting heard and you've helped grow and develop?
— No one label, person, manager or entity breaks an artist single handedly, but we were there at the start for Avicii, Dirty South, Peking Duk, Rogue Traders, The Potbelleez and Madison Avenue as just a hand full of the many who's careers were on an upward projection from their first release with us to their last… and thats what a label should do… Uplift their artists and music to a greater level.
—Your choice of remixes for this year's releases are phenomenal and really on point. Tell us more and what it means to have so many great names representing the label.
— As mentioned above, dance music is a forward thinking medium. You have to be 'on it' and we feel our remixers of choice deliver on that front… Be it the progressive tech house sound of PAX, or Joshwa's house vibes, or Sgt SLick and Mell Hall's disco vibes… We're really stoked with the team of remixers and genuinely appreciate their support to get on board and be part of so many great records.
What other impressive names have graced the imprint as an artist or remixer?
— Patrick Topping, Mousse T, Gerd Janson, Hotmood, Spencer Parker, David Penn, Cube Guys, SGt Slick, Ivan Gough, Dom Dolla, and many more have all delivered remixes for us over the years, but honestly, with 30 years of remixers, we've had legends like Xpress-2 25 years ago do a remix, and way too many to list here since we started.
So many great artists to mention. Let's start with Peking Duk, they have made a huge impact on the Australian dance scene, released via your sublabel Be RIch Records, achieved multiple platinum records and won ARIA awards for Best Dance Release, will we be seeing anything new from them in the 30 Years of Vicious celebrations?
— Yes, "High", their biggest streaming single ever, will be remixed by Australian Disco queen Mell Hall (Its a killer mix)... Reinvented for todays dance floors and sure to resonate with Peking Duk fans as well.
What other highlights from 2022 should we be expecting?
— New music from Sgt Slick, Andy Van's Super Disco Club, house aficionado Mind Electric has some super new music coming… Proppa, KPD, De Saint all have new music coming… Always busy at Vicious HQ.
List a handful of your favourite moments or tracks, that have really impacted you over the past 30 years.
— Hearing 'Dreams of Heaven' by Ground Level at a rave in London on our first ever UK trip was epic… "Dont Call Me Baby' hitting number 1 on the UK Pop charts…. AUstralian made, written, produced and originally released by us… EPIC. Peking Duk's releases crossing over and them becoming huge with out releases. ARIA awards to Sgt Slick, Pendulum, MAdison Avenue, Rogue Traders… So many highlights.
The music industry is currently evolving and adapting, how have Vicious been able to maintain its relevance over so many years?
— Firstly, by remaining in touch with music. We are owned and run by DJs, founded by myself and Andy Van who still DJ (and Colin Daniels who although not involved anymore is a logn term friend and always had a great music outlook). Secondly, by finding good music, which is massively helped by point 1. Thirdly, by evolving as a company… 12" vinyl, to CDs, to illegal downloads, to legal downloads, to streaming and through all that magazine and radio advertising to social media of today. You cannot operate for 30 years without embracing change. Finally, by not fu*#ing people over. We've never missed a royalty statement. Never stitched up an artist unfairly. You reap what you sow and we partner with our artist for mutual success… We cannot have success without our artists and their music.
Casting your vision forward, what is a new trend that you're most intrigued by?
— I think music breaking through social media and synch is a very interesting trend. People power breaks music through Tik Tok and music sharing… Streaming services by and large follow that, and radio is in 3rd palace, following both of those… Its the reverse of 25 years ago.
You are a never changing chameleon but remain relevant and at the forefront of charts and clubland alike, what is your secret to success?
— Open minds and good music.
If you could celebrate your 30 years without restriction of budget or location, who would be on the list, who would you have playing and where would it be?
— Place - Ibiza - Club Pacha - DJ's all of our artists who we know can smash it / After party on a beach with friends. Guest DJs Carl Cox & Mark Knight.
Are there any names we should watch out for moving forward?
— De Saint (female DJ and producer from Australia), Proppa, Super Disco Club and more from Sgt Slick and Mind Electric (but theres always more new ones being found)
— Give us a personal footnote of what this great achievement means to you.
Are there any names you would like to thank that have really helped your journey to the top?
— It's gratifying and humbling to have been doing this for 30 years and still be respected by our peers. We thank everyone who ever helped and believed… It takes an army of supporters to remain around for one year, much less 30. And of course, our staff and artists, the backbone of any indie label.
— Australian born and bred but with a global footprint, how do you guys manage to discover or break so many hits?
— We're DJs so were always finding new music and signing some of it has been a natural extension of that ethos.
— Tell us some of your many monikers and what we should expect from you both as artists.
— Andy Van has his Super Disco Club project. I release as John Course and am also one half of the disco edit duo JARC who've had a bunch of 12" vinyl stuff released and have things available on Beatprot and Traxsource.
— What's the next release we need to stay tuned for?
— De Saint 'Girl DJ' and new music from Sgt SLick, Proppa, Super Disco Club is a start :)