Home Featured Feature: Britta Arnold, Unders, Noraj Cue and their brand new label Happy Camper Records [Interview + Podcast]

Feature: Britta Arnold, Unders, Noraj Cue and their brand new label Happy Camper Records [Interview + Podcast]

18 min read

Good morning Campers! How are we all and what’s new?
Happy Campers : We’re doing fine thank you! Still buzzed from the first release which also launched the label on Jan 19th! We’re very pleased by all the love and support we received from all directions! Meanwhile were working on the new release which is coming up on March 9th. Which will be featuring an original by ‘Jake The Rapper’ with remixes by ‘dOP’, ‘Iorie’ and ‘Signal Flow & Pattern Drama’ Won’t be spoiling more on this one, as you’ll be able to hear it soon! In daily life, we're touring a lot, getting to meet some amazing humans all over the planet and spending all remaining time in the studio.

What’s the story behind the label, how did you get together to start the project?
I would love to pass on the mic to Duncan and Britta to tell that story. Because I always wanted to have a label at some point but not really thought of really having one, until I got asked by Duncan & Britta to join them on their journey before it became our journey J
Britta: Duncan and I met in 2016 at Katerblau at my party GRRR mit BRRR. In the first week we met, we hit up the studio together and finished 3 tracks. After this it happened quite naturally to start playing together. That summer some of our festival shows included camping and this brought out the best in all of us and our extended family. Renting campers or setting up our tents or running camps at Shoeless in Amsterdam, AfrikaBurn, Fusion, Garbicz and off course Burning Man got us hooked. We really love the camping life. In my past I used to live in a camper at Bar25 for 5 years. Camping is for me the way of living a life filled with freedom, cosiness, happy camper friends and surrounded by nature.
Unders: I never had the aim to launch a label unless everything came together naturally. This was the case for Happy Camper Records and with Britta and myself. Receiving so much beautiful and unsigned music from our close friends and beautiful souls we met along our journeys that works so well for us on the dancefloor, it deserved a quality home. A mobile one I guess J .

The label will form the backbone to our Happy Camper Tour. More about this later.

Your first EP, ‘Story At The Campfire’ featured a wonderful range of warm melodic techno, is this a distinctive theme you aim to create across your label?
: Yes, i think we love to collect stories. When you listen to certain songs from your childhood for example. It can take you back picturing that day including the feelings you had or even the smell of it. ‘Story At The Campfire’ was some sort of the other way around. I Wanted to create that cosy feeling of sitting at a fireplace in the woods somewhere with guitars amid of lovely people enjoying the moment.
Britta Unders: We don't have a specific direction for the sound on the label as we have quite a broad electronic taste and don’t want to limit ourselves. Then again we are curators when it comes to our dj sets and we use the same precision and pickiness when it comes to sourcing music for Happy Camper. We want to put out the music we love instantly when we hear it and which we love to play, sound amazing everywhere you hear it and have something unique about them. One necessity is that it needs to be made by passionate Happy Campers that resonate our positive attitude.

Who else will be making appearances on the label and how do go about selecting these artists to feature on the label
We have of course music of unders & Britta coming up! Some other friends that are joining us will be Marco Resmann, Madmotormiquel, Mike Ravelli, Robert Ravelli, Spaceandtime, Lee Jones, Iorie, Seth Schwartz, Oberst & Buchner, Alvaro Suarez, Yor Kultura, . But i really should stop here to not spoil all the upcoming fun eh? : -) We select our music by listening to it the 3 of us. We all have to feel it. That won’t be easy indeed. But it really cuts the number down to the content you really want to release and would love to play in your own sets, obviously. It won’t stop at a low quality mix though as we have a mix engineer on board ; -)

Who is involved in curating the label’s current and future artworks?
Unders: Gero and Erasmus have been dear friends of mine for a long time. They have curated my unders artwork from the beginning and have been the visual backbone of my music career. As for now they are responsible for the artwork of Britta Arnold, Britta Unders, Happy Camper Records, Unders and the Happy Camper Tour when this makes its debut. These guys always overimpress, are very versatile and flexible in their manner of working and know exactly what they want. We are very happy with their work.

How do you feel the underground music scene in the Netherlands has changed over the years? Does the label reflect the current musical soundscape or are you trying to push new boundaries?
: The music scene in Holland has always been a busy landscape. With both promoters, clubs, festivals and artists in overload and an abundance of experience, the scene has pushed all of these to step up their game and deliver better productions, more creativity and more experience. A lot of attention goes to International so they are making a big impact on the direction of the music scene. Holland has a healthy scene but it’s a pity the focus is often on ticket sales to pay for these headliners as opposed to talent or creating a comfortable space for people to be themselves. Luckily there are many exceptions to this. There are loads of little hubs that have a strong connection with their families and crowds they have built up over the years.

Any plans to take Happy Camper Records on the road? Can we expect label showcases to be on the way soon?
Britta Unders: Our first Happy Camper Showcase will be at Thuishaven in Amsterdam July 8th with almost all of the label artists on board + our dear friend Acid Pauli. Second showcase will be for unders birthday at the beautiful Xuma Beach in Bodrum Turkey. Others will follow in a very special manner.

We are currently setting up our Happy Camper Tour which we plan to do in a convoy of remodelled campers. Travelling from city to city, gig to festival and have a summer schedule with less airports, hotels and security check-ins. These little journeys are part of a much bigger journey. The blueprint for our Happy Camper Label. The inspiration for our documentary. The Expression of a lifestyle. This convoy is our way of making a difference. In a world of growing disconnectivity, solitude and fear, Happy Camper offers a vital and loving alternative. We believe it will have a positive social impact, on the electronic music scene and on the world we are living in. More about this very soon.

And If you each had three things to take on a camping trip, what would they be and why?
my camera / music / swimshort. Do you need anything else? Nah, my phone can stay home.
1. My favorite people (I think everything is more fun with your loved ones)
2. Speakers: with music (I’m a super happy camper)
3. Little Stuart my speaking mega minion.
1. The Happy Camper Convoy – once we come out with the full plan you’ll understand
2. Ableton Live – hooked on making music
3. Inboard Skateboard – by far the coolest electronic skateboard of the future.

What one thing do you think Happy Camper Records does different to the majority of other imprints?
Jaron: One thing? I think the average amount of smiling time is larger!
Unders : We are only releasing music from people with a Happy Camper attitude and treat others how they wish to be treated yourself.
Britta: Happy Camper Records has a Britta.


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