Established in 2011, in three short years FINA has become one of the most essential and respected house imprints of its time, counting electronic luminaries such as Move D, Leif, Roberto Rodriguez, Cottam and Francis Inferno Orchestra as part of its artistic family.
Originally an offshoot of Ralph Lawson’s 2020 Vision, FINA is now under the sole ownership of Leeds DJ producer Simon Morell, with plans to build on its ever-growing reputation for quality and consistency into 2014 and beyond.
One of the biggest challenges of the modern-day label is to forge its own path in the inescapably overcrowded landscape, but its one that FINA seems able to overcome with every record. Setting its distinctive stall out from the very release – the shimmering deep house of ‘Live East, Die Young’ from a then relatively unknown Mic Newman – FINA’s releases possess that extra morsel of quality that makes them shine just that little bit brighter.
While FINA undeniably releases a wide variety of music, there is a common thread that connects each release; a rich vein of funk and soul than lies at the heart of the label. More musical than your average house records, recent releases in the manner of Rick Wade’s ‘Sweet Life’, Powel’s ‘Cloud City’ and Borrowed Identity’s ‘Bang Bang Boogie EP’ have taken the label in an ever-more considered direction, the slowing tempos and intricate melodies of these records belying FINA’s absolute indifference to following the bassline-focussed bandwagon-jumping of many of its contemporaries.
“I’m looking for originality, something that stands out from the norm” says Morell of his A&R policy. “Depth, warmth, funk: something I can play in years to come and still think that it’s ace. I have zero interest in following the trends and signing stuff just because it’s Beatport Top 10 fodder.”
Recent EPs from Rick Wade (complete with a remix from Mr. Beatnik) and Borrowed Identity have already started FINA’s year in exemplary style, while upcoming EPs from Taron Trekka (idiosyncratic Berlin house duo) and Appian (up-and-coming Detroit talent) continue the impressive release schedule into the summer. And with plans afoot for FINA parties in Ibiza this season, and a Room 3 takeover at London’s iconic fabric scheduled for 02 August, FINA’s year is only just getting started.
“[FINA] has adopted an adept A&R operation, cleverly acknowledging, while never pandering to, recent house music trends.” Resident Advisor
“One of our most trusted labels.” Forward Disco
“A label [we] like to keep an eye on…FINA has released some excellent records by up-and-coming producers still in their ascendency.” Little White Earbuds
“FINA continues to impress.” Ibiza Voice