The Austin club producer expands his scope.

Supraman has spent the last several years exploring various strands of club music, from juke and footwork to happy hardcore and techno, while releasing music via Main Course, #FEELINGS, Loose Squares and others.

Now, he’s decided to start a series of off-label side-projects that explore different genres and monikers. First up is The Magic Valley Tarot Society, which toys with summery and pyschedelic Baleairc disco under the guise of “a fictional commune of mystics in the American Midwest who probably would have written this album 40 years ago.”

Future side-projects will explore techno, electro, ghetto house, hard house and gqom, with a happy hardcore release expected under his Supraman name. Stream the four-track Magic Valley Tarot Society EP below, and read our Q&A about the origins of the project and how the traditional label system has failed club music.

Can you explain the inspiration behind The Magic Valley Tarot Society, both in sound and name?

Disco has always been a big influence of mine, especially when I was first really getting into dance music, but I’ve never really felt comfortable tackling it creatively in the past. I’m not really interested in doing tracks that are just a loose composite of obvious genre tropes and cliches, and I think that up until this point, that’s what it would have been.

The release is inspired by a lot of things: warm-weather haziness, psychedelia, reactive imagination and fantasy, Youtube synth demos, old 8mm footage of the beach, nostalgia, and general feelings of displacement. Musically and conceptually, it’s something like Balearic Americana.

Outside of creative control, what are your reasons for wanting to go this route rather than through the traditional label and distribution channels?

I’ve become more sensitive to the power structures that are intrinsic in the traditional label model, which has made me question how much longer the whole system will be worth keeping around. I’m certainly not the first person to point this out, but the creative process is currently more democratized than it’s ever been in the history of our species–yet even though the channels are in place for distribution to be going in the same direction, the music community by-and-large still views label releases as being more “real” than off-label releases, which seems kind of senseless when you think about it.

There are really uncomfortable consequences to this. For example, a lot of American listeners didn’t really pay attention to footwork or ballroom or Jersey club until the right UK labels picked up on those genres. On one hand, kudos to those labels for shining a spotlight where one needed to be, but on the other hand, why would someone need a label on another continent to get them to pay attention to an artist who lives down the street? It seems really regressive to me for us to depend on having our own music repackaged and sold back to us.

“It seems really regressive to have our own music repackaged and sold back to us.”Supraman

Ultimately, I think the way to minimize these issues is to move away from the current label structure towards a more democratized/accessible format of distribution and promotion, and self-releasing this material is the best way that I can help move things in that direction. Loose collectives of otherwise autonomous artists will probably eventually replace labels, and the current electronic music landscape seems to support that this is the case.

That’s obviously not to say that I can’t or won’t work with labels again–labels are still a beautiful method of categorization, curation, and contextualization, and I won’t pass up on opportunities that otherwise make sense just because I think the whole system is becoming obsolete, but I’m definitely embracing a musical economy that gives artists more control over the presentation of their work.



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