Sound of the underground: Nautilus Rising
The people behind legendary Sub Club's first label are determined to see Nautilus Rising go all the way
Sub Club is a Glasgow institution, having long established its position as a permanent fixture on Scotland's electronic music scene. Its 30-year history is epitomised by a near-constant flow of exceptional residents and guest DJs, an ever-faithful community of regulars and a consistently impressive programme of events. But these credentials extend far beyond the city of Glasgow, thanks largely to the club's reputation as one of the best places to dance, sweat and hear great music. To start a label, then, is not just a natural progression, but a way for Sub Club to widen its reach and further cement its growing prominence.
Nautilus Rising may have only launched in 2015, but plans had been in the works for a significant period. 'Sub Club had a long-term ambition of starting a label, to both inform and be informed by the sound of the club's weekly Saturday, Subculture,' explains Telford, who has been connected to the Sub Club since 2005. 'I suppose it's a slow convergence of factors built over the three-decade period, which meant this ambition was realised in 2015.'
The label's first EP release, NR01, featured tracks from Lord of the Isles, Vince Watson, Alex Smoke and Stephen Lopkin, while Cologne's Lazaros was sought out for the NR02: GE EP, reinforcing their international outlook and wide-ranging focus. 'There is no geographical status or demographic agenda,' Telford notes. 'The nature of the club's network is such that we have a lot of friends all over the world and NR02 and then NR03 both came about through referrals and introductions by some of these friends.'
This desire to evolve and remain perceptive has continued to be a central ethos for the label as they make their first foray into the world of visual arts with the upcoming release of enigmatic producer V's NR03: Faux Pas EP. The music video for this EP's title track signals the beginning of a brand extension that's as vital to the growth of Nautilus Rising as the music itself. And part of this growth is down to the label's make-up, with resident DJs and Sub Club veterans Telford and Domenic Cappello on one side, and Edinburgh College of Art sculpture graduate Richard Phillips-Kerr, on the other. 'I see the label as uniquely positioned to have a brand and visual output that goes above and beyond, supported by music which does the same,' says Phillips-Kerr. 'Also important to all of this is learning and development. We've developed a lot with NR03 and we'll only become bolder.'
The music video was shot near Barrowlands, with choreography by Stasis, drawing attention to the strength of the female collective. It provides an appropriate accompaniment to 'Faux Pas', the EP's stand-out track, with its ominously pronounced percussion and 80s-sounding instrumentation. It's certainly a strong release for the label, but Phillips-Kerr is keen to stress that the EP isn't necessarily indicative of the direction that they're heading in. 'There isn't really a "direction"; I guess it's a focus on the quality of the output, rather than the shape that output takes. We view each release as an island: each one requires its own brief and approach; intuitively getting that right is important.'
With two EPs under their belt and the third to be released, Nautilus Rising is soon to be an institution in itself. So what's next for the label? 'To keep getting better,' says Phillips-Kerr. 'Release some clothing, start doing parties and more music. The reason there isn't a Nautilus Rising t-shirt yet, or a bi-monthly party at Sub Club is because we're working on it, and we have been for a while. We're going to do it right.'
NR03: Faux Pas is released on Nautilus Rising