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Some record labels have no stylistic parameter and like it eclectic. An open door policy that sometimes doesn't work. Not so at Lovemonk, the Spanish label ran by the buddies Señorlobo and Lubacov. All their ramified releases have on thing in common: a sunny vibe. No matter if they are rooted in genres like Funk, Soul, Jazz, Hip Hop, House, Disco, or Electronic. Their free spirited release policy consists of legends like the NYC House veteran Louie Vega or the British multi-instrumentalist Quantic. Furthermore musicians like the Spanish Folk-Pop band Pájaro Sunrise or the psychedelic south German Disco trio Space Ranger are part of the Lovemonk catalogue. With their contribution to Carhartt Radio Señorlobo and Lubacov emphasise once more that they are hard to pigeonhole. We wanted to know where their boundless love for sound is rooted and tried to find out how deep they are lost in music.
(left to right: Señorlobo and Lubacov)
Where and how did Lovemonk start?
Señorlobo: It started in Madrid because we thought that the best way to become insanely rich was either to start an underground record label or open a video club.
How do you guys know each other?
Lubacov: Through a mutual friend called David Lapof. He was running the HiTop record label at the time, but these days he's the marketing director in Spain for... (drumroll, please)... Carhartt Work In Progress!
How did you first get interested in music?
Lubacov: My parents, obviously. My dad was a fan of American music, Elvis and Johnny Cash most of all, and my mum fed me Soul and Disco, especially Gladys Knight, Barry White, Sam Cooke, Otis Redding. My uncles are music freaks as well and they gave me my first 7-inch singles and made me mixtapes with all kinds of Funk and Disco.
Señorlobo: Quite similar for me, different names and I wasn't so lucky to have funky uncles though.
What is your musical background? What was the impetus behind the start-up of the label?
Lubacov: I have no musical background except for a brief stint as the singer of Solex, not the Dutch Solex, Spanish Solex, we were really big in Malasaña. After I left, I think their fame even reached as far as the area of Chueca.
Señorlobo: I am mainly a DJ. A guy who loves music and wants to share it, would love to be able to play an instrument but didn't get further than playing Chariots Of Fire on his melodica when he was 11. Although, come to think of it, I should probably say I was playing proggy electronics with blow organs in my early youth.
If you got a tattoo to pay homage to Lovemonk, what would it look like?
Lubacov: It would be a tattoo of a heart with two roses on each side, a dagger wrapped in barbed wire disappearing behind the heart and reappearing again at the bottom. And a banner that says "Pain is temporary, Lovemonk is forever". In Comic Sans. Oh and a drop of blood on the dagger end. No! Two drops. Two drops of blood. No. I would like the head of Señorlobo tattooed on my gut. With a banner that says "Lovemonk. Growing a beard since 1973."
Señorlobo: If I got a tattoo to pay homage to Lovemonk I would be a nerd. I hate nerds. Lubacov doesn't really need a Lovemonk tattoo to be a nerd.
What exciting stuff do you have in the pipeline currently?
Señorlobo: The new album by Linda Mirada is cooler than the other side of the pillow and Los Fulanos' new album is hotter than two bears fighting in a forest fire, not too mention Dead Capo's forthcoming album, wicked!
Do you have a "wish list" of musicians you'd like to see on Lovemonk? If yes – which ones?
Señorlobo: Of course we have one, with all the obvius names. But what we really wish is that Lovemonk musicians would listen us when we ask for something. We would love to see that happen!!
What influences your work?
Lubacov: Music, films, books, the usual stuff. My empty bank account.
Señorlobo: Music and common sense. To be honest it's mainly music.
What are five things we should know about Lovemonk?
Señorlobo: You don't need to know anything about Lovemonk but to hear the records we put out.
How does living in Malasaña/Madrid shape the work at Lovemonk ?
Señorlobo: Madrid is one of the most open minded cities in the world but unfortunately the previous mayor started a race to make it a hard place to live, and he won. The new one is doing exactly the same. That said, the people is really friendly, we have great places for food and we love our social lives, usually involving friends and cañas (small, cold, nice beers). Malasaña is one of the best places in Madrid for cañas.
What old albums you rediscovered lately and what makes them special?
Lubacov: There's one album I rediscover every so many months, which is Right On Time by The Brothers Johnson. It was the first LP I bought combining some coins I had saved and a typical gift in the seventies and eighties in The Netherlands, my home country, which were record vouchers - you could buy records for the amount on the voucher. It's a very cool record, very funky, produced by Quincy Jones and it just sounds incredible, very slick but in a good way. And it has that Shuggie Otis cover on it, Strawberry Letter 23, my favourite song on the album after Q, an instrumental track that blows my mind. Also, the sleeve is so good, in fact that's why I bought it, I had no idea who The Brothers Johnson were but it was half-priced, so I could get a couple of 7-inches, and the sleeve was talking to me. "We are two very cool dudes in yellow disco suits. Buy our record. Go on, you know you want to."
Señorlobo: Lubacov has been working on that story for the last 23 years, and now every time he tells it somebody sheds a tear and a little white rabbit dies.
Lubacov: Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story!
Who are you listening to these days?
Lubacov: My mum. You should always listen to you mum.
Señorlobo: I am listening to my inner voice saying "you should have gone for the video store!".
What were some of your favorite albums of 2011?
Lubacov: In no particular order:
Hanni El-Khatib: Will The Guns Come Out
Triptides: Psychic Summer
The Stepkids: The Stepkids
PJ Harvey: Let England Shake
Space Ranger: What About The Magnetic Fields (and that is no shameless self-promotion!)
Peaking Lights: 936
Señorlobo: I really loved James Blake's album. It was so hyped that the inner snob we all have inside was wishing I did'nt like it, but yep, I did. I also listened a lot to Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle by Bill Calahan, which is actually a 2009 album. And I really love all the albums that Lovemonk put out, but you already know that.
How did you select the tracks for your Carhartt Radio show?
Señorlobo: Initially I chose about 30 songs. Then I removed 10. Then I changed my mind and put 2 songs back in again and removed another 5. And that went on for a couple of days more until finally I decided that this selection was as good as any other one I chose before or may choose in the future. Then I changed it two more times and sent it.
Do you collect anything beside music?
Señorlobo: No, but I behave strangely when it comes to sneakers.
What superpower would you like to have and how would you use it?
Lubacov: I would like to be able to tele-transport myself to anywhere I want at any given time. Is that a super power? It should be. I would use it to tele-transport myself to anywhere I want at any given time.
Señorlobo: I have a few superpowers but I am not allowed talk about them. I use them quite randomly and I assume that's the reason why they aren't that effective. Superpowers don't come with a manual and that is a shame.
If you could spend a night partying with any of your icons, who would it be?
Lubacov: None. I think meeting your idols makes them not be your idols anymore.
Señorlobo: My eleventh year music teacher. I need to learn a different song, Chariots of Fire is cool, but I must broaden my horizons.That's what I call a party.
Can you name us one memorable line in a film or song?
Lubacov: "Cunnilingus and psychiatry brought us to this." Tony Soprano dixit.
Señorlobo: I can beat that...shit!
You are located in Madrid. What are your favorite spots and secrets in your hometown that you would recommend to somebody that comes around for a visit?
Lubacov: El Trebol for the (Argentinian) pizzas, the underground Chinese restaurant in the parking lot on Plaza España, for the music El Junco, Marula, and any classic Malasaña bar, for the view El Templo de Debod, and for some fresh air La Casa de Campo.
Señorlobo: El Pez Gordo, El Bocho, and Sudestada for food, Méntrida for Tortilla de Patatas (yes, that is food, too), Marula for good music and drinks, Del Diego for its Gin Fizz, El Palentino on week days during the day time is essential to understand Madrid and Malasaña. And the El Prado museum is not what I would call a secret spot, but it's definitely worth a visit.