Launched in January 2021 with the release of Alchi’s debut long player Full Of It, Mylja is an independent Dutch record label that expounds experimental landscapes within the electronic genre, carefully focusing on the individual artist’s qualities to create an open space for unexpected moments and bright tunes. Fresh off the back of Alchi’s inaugural album release, we sat down with Mylja founders Daniël Leseman (pictured left) and Yaron Cohen (right) at the label HQ in Utrecht to discuss creative direction, their artistic vision and where they see the label in five years time.
Hi Yaron and Daniel, a very warm welcome to We Own The Nite! How are you?
Thanks for having us! We are still healthy and given the circumstances, we are doing fine 🙂
First things first, a huge congratulations on the launch of your new label ‘Mylja Records’. Tell us more…
Yaron: Thanks! It’s still kind of crazy to think we actually did this in times like these. After having contemplated the idea for a pretty long time, pieces started falling together over a year ago and we decided that Mylja had to come to life. We can’t help but feel this might just be the right time to offer a platform where people can express themselves creatively and expand their musical horizons through experiment and collaboration.
Daniel: Setting up a new label like Mylja feels very rewarding during these times.It makes me happy to see that there are a lot of talented people still going strong!
What’s your creative vision for the imprint and what was the motivation behind setting it up?
Our main focus lies in electronic music, yet with lots of room for experiment. So we essentially don’t want to confine Mylja to one specific genre. Expect to find electronic paths engaging with neoclassical sounds and danceable tracks therein. We are also constantly looking out for fresh sounds, stemming from both young and established artists.
Do you have any specific goals for the label over the next five years?
We’re very much looking forward to organising live performances, of course in close collaboration with the artists signed on our label. The experience of music outside our homes, connecting with one another through unique sounds each and every time, is a core value behind the label that we cannot wait to make happen.
The first release is the amazing album ‘Full Of It’ from up-and-coming producer Alchi. Can you talk to us about this project and how you connected with Krijn?
The three of us attended the art academy in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Albeit through separate tracks, the art scene here connects us. Alchi and Yaron are actually neighbours, making it easy to drop by and share music. We started hearing fragments of Alchi’s work roughly a year and a half ago and meeting regularly to see what he was concocting. The idea of releasing an album organically evolved from there.
Do you get particularly involved in the creative direction when it comes to music videos, artwork and content creation for the label?
As a label, our biggest priority is to honour the artists’ creative process; they have to have the space and time to externalise their art on every level, of course through productional and instrumental experiment, but also regarding choices in artwork, visuals and performance. At the same time we love exchanging ideas, touch base whenever, a process that has cultivated equal relationships.
Will the album and future releases also be released on vinyl?
Definitely! The album ‘Full Of It’ is out now through various on- and offline record stores and on our Bandcamp. Of course we encourage you to support your local record store! 🙂
What were you both doing before you decided to make a leap into the world of music?
Yaron: It’s hard to think of a time where our worlds didn’t revolve around music. Music is what brought us together in a time we were experimenting in attic rooms, and has led us to where we are today.
Daniel: I’ve been active in the music industry for about 20 years now. First as a dj and slowly making my way up as a producer as well. Most people know me as part of dj/producer duo Fouk and co-founder of Outplay Records. What started fifteen years ago as having mutual interest in music has grown into a great friendship and I’m very happy to be working together with him on Mylja Records.
What do you have coming up over the course of 2021? Any more exciting projects you can talk to us about?
Yes, we have more amazing music coming up! After Alchi come Maarten Vos & Nils Davidse, with a record that may be described as organic improvisation work born out of a mutual love for modular synthesizers. A beautiful album that will certainly convey the experimental element that Mylja is all about.
We will be wrapping up the year with yet another debut album from a Rotterdam based artist who gladly plays with and around the lines that reconcile the electronic and classical music genres: Winterdagen.
And who knows what may happen between now and then!
Any final words for our WOTN readers?
Thanks for reading and lots of love and stay healthy 🙂
Thanks for your time and we wish you all the best for 2021!
Alchi – Full Of It is out now via Mylja Records