Seeing Red: An Interview With My Favorite Robot

in Bittles' Magazine/Porträt & Interview

Music | Bittles’ Magazine: The music column from the end of the world

Whichever way you look at it, launching a brand new imprint with the deep electro groove of Femur Loveseat is some statement of intent. Released on the 26th of January on MFRred, the track sees the welcome return of label heads Jared Simms and Voytek Korab, or My Favorite Robot as they are better known. By JOHN BITTLES

Their first record since the excellent Want Some EP from April last year,  Femur Loveseat is a one-sided slice of crisp wax which positively demands to be played loud. Rich, atmospheric, and driving, this is the type of track which could make even the most hardcore of unbeliever give in to the power of house.

Created as the more dancefloor focused accompaniment to its elder sibling My Favorite Robot Records, MFRred’s mission is a simple one – to make your body move. Moving away from the dark synth-pop undertones which have become a vital component of MFR releases (see Jori Hulkkonen’s Don’t Believe In Happiness, or My Favorite Robot’s own Atomic Age LP), the new imprint will specialise in no nonsense club based tools. With more new releases for the fledgling label in the pipeline, 2018 already promises to be a stellar year for both imprint and band.

With preparation for their label’s 10 year anniversary in full swing My Favorite Robot took the time to answer my questions. In the resulting interview we discuss new song Femur Loveseat, MFRred, parent label MFR, a great new EP from Fairmont, how they first met, and lots more.

So, slip on your dancing shoes, check the track out here, and let us begin…

Franco My fave Robot Claude 208 650

By way of introduction, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
We are My Favorite Robot, a Canadian electronic music duo based in Montreal and Toronto.  We’re an indy electronic type act and also owners of two record labels: My Favorite Robot Records and its sister label MFRred.

January 26th saw you launch MFRred with the dark electro throb of Femur Loveseat. How did the song came about?
It was the first time in quite a while that we were both together in the studio in Toronto having a jam at the always amazing Treatment Center studio owned by our good pal Matthew Butterworth (Butr). We’ve been kind of on an electro vibe in the last while and this tune is what came out of that session. We’re pretty happy with the result.

Was it created before or after you decided to set up your new label?
Yeah at that time the idea of a sub label was just something we were throwing as a possibility. Once we had done Femur Loveseat we realized that it would be a perfect first release for MFRred as it embodies the whole idea of the sub label.

The single is coming out on a brand new label, what made you decide to set up MFRred?
We wanted a way to showcase strictly dance floor oriented and DJ friendly music that doesn’t always fit on our main label.

What is the main difference between MFRred and its sister label MFR?
MFR is an eclectic label yet fairly specific in style and not always dance floor and DJ oriented. We receive a lot of music that we like that doesn’t necessarily fit the label. MFRred is a way to showcase this stuff but also focus on the dance floor and DJ functionality. Simple one track releases with no remixes straight for the floor.

After Femur Loveseat, what else do you have planned for MFRred?
The next tune to follow this one is a tech driver by Italy’s Cristian Viviano and then we have a sweet summery tune by Spain’s Mordisco, so things are already rolling quite well.

You formed the band My Favorite Robot back in 2002. How did you first meet and what made you decide to work together to create music?
We met in Montreal at a loft party and hit it off so we decided to DJ together since our styles of music had a nice contrast. After a while we decided to take it more seriously and get back into making music, something that we weren’t really doing other than as a fun hobby. At the beginning, neither of us really thought of this being anything other than just a hobby but things were growing so we went with it.

Your LP Atomic Age came out back in 2013. Is there any sign of a new album?
We’re still very proud of that album and if there ever is another one it will also be a song based one like Atomic Age was. Can’t see an album coming any time soon, though. In the electronic music scene, with few exceptions, albums are kind of a waste of time as people look more for singles to play or whatever and frequently albums go under the radar. That’s why we focus more on individual tracks these days. For an album to happen again we need to get that itch. It can’t be forced and it has to mean something, and for now we are busy enough with everything else. I do feel a distant itch developing, maybe a slight tickle but not yet.

In 2008 you started My Favorite Robot Records, what made you take the leap to setting up your own record label?
Well we were already DJing some cool places and making our early synth poppy tracks, and our pals Jonny White (Art Department) and Nitin (No.19) basically said »why don’t you guys just start a fucking label already?« So we were like: »OK«.

When My Favorite Robot Records first started what was the main aim of the record label? And looking back now, how well have you achieved this aim?
We wanted to be different and not follow the same old trends. We knew who we were and so we wanted to make music that we felt something for. Our post punk and shoegaze influences made our sound pretty different than the other side of dance that comes from disco or hip hop or whatever. We’ve carried on with that notion for all these years and we’re pretty proud to say we haven’t strayed from our original mantra to ignore the norm.

Fairmont returns to the label on February 9th with the storming two track EP You’re Already There. Jake has been releasing on the imprint for a while now. What makes his music such a good fit to the MFR sound?
He comes from bands and he’s a true musician and a great songwriter. And he’s funny, the first MFR prerequisite. We’d skip out on a close family member’s funeral to go hang with Jake. Or maybe just bring him with. His Automaton album is one of our favourite releases on our label and signing it remains a major milestone for us to this day.

What else can we expect from My Favorite Robot Records in 2018?
Franco My fave Robot Claude 208 650We have another new My Favorite Robot tune coming out called Pink Horror, which is the other track that came out of that jam session that resulted in Femur Loveseat. It will have remixes by Jori Hulkkonen and Entschuldigung who just recently released an EP on the label, so let’s just say we’re looking forward to that. Sebastopol is also releasing an EP with our main imprint shortly and it’s a beauty, so look out for that one, and we have music from Kenny Glasgow also coming up in the next months. We’re bouncing around all of 2018 with our 10 years of MFR label showcases with some great artists from our roster, so we hope to see everyone there, somewhere.

Do you have any final words for our readers?
Just a big thank you to everyone who’s supported us for all these years. We wouldn’t be anywhere without the people who bought our music or talked about it or came to see us play. We’re very grateful to be where we are and we hope to make 2018 our best one yet!

Femur Loveseat is available in all good record shops now. I would urge you to be quick though, as this won’t sit on the shelves for long.

| JOHN BITTLES

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