Owner and head honcho at Vicious Circle, Ben Stevens, talk to us about the success behind one of hard house’s biggest labels, one that has stood the test of time and is still going strong today.
When was Vicious Circle founded?
Vicious Circle was founded in 2000 by Paul Glazby & Les Harris.
Why was the label formed?
The label was setup as an output for Paul’s productions and then later scaled up into releasing lots of the other major hard house artists music.
What was the first release and how many copies sold?
The first release was Kick It & Rough ‘n’ Tough from Glazby. The vinyl sales for this will have been around the 10,000 mark.
Who supported that first release?
Kick It was championed by most of the top hard house DJs. Everyone from Lisa Lashes, Andy Farley, and Ian M played it regularly. Even though it’s not a favourite of Paul’s it became one of the big Tidy Weekender anthems & played as the last track at most of the events.
When did you take over the label and how did that happen?
I started working for Paul in 2003 and ran the online vinyl store. Unfortunately in 2008 Amat, the distributor that we used for all the vinyl releases, went under just as we had the next 3 vinyl releases at the test pressing stage. This pretty much ended the label and any hope of future vinyl releases. A few years later I spoke to Paul and offered to continue the label and that’s where we are today.
Who would you say has been your biggest supporter?
Andy Farley has always been a major supporter of the label, from having the second ever release ‘Out Of Control’ to mixing many of the compilations we have released.
Who releases on the label?
These days we have a mixture of releases from all the top producers all the way to up and coming artists.
Why do you think Vicious Circle is still special today?
I would hope that the main thing is we’ve been consistent with the release schedule and quality of music. I’ve always tried to stick to the harder end of the spectrum with the releases and this seems to be what the followers of the label want!
Is there a record you turned down that you wish you hadn’t?
The release that I’m most gutted we didn’t get to release was Captain Tinrib & Disturbed – Something Heavier. It was all setup to be a vinyl release & had to be pulled because of Amato going bankrupt. Unfortunately we couldn’t do a digital only release of it and it was never able to feature on the label.
What has been the label’s most successful release do date?
Paul Glabzy – Hostile
Which other labels have you licensed tracks to from Vicious Circle?
Over the years out music has been licensed to Tidy, Ministry Of Sound, New State Music, Toolbox Recordings and various others.
How many compilations have your tracks been signed to?
Good question! Probably 100 or so I would think.
Do you prefer digital releases over vinyl release?
I have always loved vinyl as it’s great to have a physical product with the artwork. Unfortunately it’s just not viable these days for every release so digital it is!
Are there any plans for any special vinyl releases?
Yes! We are in the process of putting together a limited edition picture disc release with a brand new track from Paul Janes. We will be looking to release it at the end of this year.