VALE. Various Artists, Limitless Expression. The name already speaks for itself.

While the drum & bass scene has been subject to the rise of a plethora of talented new artists during the last few years, only a handful of labels have been capable of uniting most of them together into one single project. And the US-based imprint VALE is surely one of them.

With its new compilation, Global Extraction Vol 1., the label run by Josh & Nik P confirms its unique positioning in the bass music industry, pushing innovative sonics, no matter the cost. From the intriguing sci-fi-like futuristic visuals that illustrate each of their releases, to the alien-like sounds that make our brain melt, VALE’s identity has been clearly defined and its artistic direction precisely articulated. It’s not just music they’re offering to the world, it’s a goddam ideology

We couldn’t resist but to have a chat with VALE’s gurus to celebrate the release of their new project, a 13-track long compilation full of talents but also to learn more about the way they successfully created a platform dedicated to giving a voice to a whole new generation of music innovators, and weird sound-design lovers.

Global Extraction Artwork FINAL
Global Extraction Vol. 1’s artwork

From the start, VALE seems to have a strong identity. So, what’s the story behind the label?

Josh – VALE originally began as a musical collective/premiere channel known as IDM Collective. Eventually, this channel grew to the point where it made sense to transition to a music label and to take on a fresh identity, “Various Artists Limitless Expression” a.k.a. VALE. The label is run by myself, Josh, and Nik aka NIK P. The aim of the label has always been to highlight forward-thinking bass music, which originally put a lot of emphasis on halftime and neuro. It has since evolved to be more broad in what we release, and generally, we take on the mantra that if the production is cutting edge and truly sick, we want to work with it.

A USA-based label isn’t something very common in the global drum & bass scene. What’s your relationship with the American D&B scene? And, was it the local scene that got you interested in the genre?

Josh – While Nik and I sometimes have disagreements about specific sub-genres, one thing we have always had in common is our love for drum & bass. The expertise and the skills necessary to make quality drum & bass closely correlate to what we are trying to achieve as a label. It just so happens that the American drum & bass scene has not yet evolved to this quality threshold, although that is showing a lot of promising signs of change. Nik is sort of the frontman for our presence on the drum & bass scene nationally.

Nik – Unfortunately the drum & bass scene in the US is not as prevalent compared to the drum & bass scene in Europe, however, we took it upon ourselves to start pushing the genre more seriously in order to cultivate more fans and presence out here. So, it was the lack of a drum & bass scene here that truly inspired us, as we are very tuned into the underground as it is. Locally, you will not find much appreciation for the genre, however in almost every set I have played over the past couple of years I have been playing much more drum & bass and I find that people enjoy it, so it’s just a matter of time and proper exposure that will allow for the genre to flourish in North America.

There is a mysterious & intriguing category on your website named ‘Axon’. Could you give us some insights about it? Is it an upcoming project from VALE?

Josh – AXON represents a core group of artists to the label that we work with consistently, and also span many genres. The AXON crew is responsible for engineering collaborative, completely outside-the-box tracks that feature multiple distinct drops and interesting story arcs. We will have our next AXON compilation release sometime next year.

You’re currently releasing the V.A. Global Extraction Vol. I. What’s the idea behind this project?

Josh – The idea is pretty simple. We recruited several drum & bass acts that we feel most closely correlate to the “VALE” sound, and luckily we had a lot of success convincing them to participate in the VA. Our main goal with this project was to sort of plant our flag as a premiere outlet of drum & bass in the U.S. and beyond.

Nik – The name “Global Extraction” comes from the idea that we are “extracting” all these tracks from producers all over the globe, and centralizing it for a common purpose: to curate quality drum & bass for North American listeners and beyond.

Speaking of curation, we can see promising names on the compilation like Tom Finster, Result, or latesleeper, some of the best rising talents of the modern drum & bass scene. Tell us more about the curation process!

Josh – Nik and I have a long-running list of artists in the drum & bass scene that really stand out to us. One thing VALE has always done is shine a spotlight on artists we believe deserve more recognition. This release is a nice blend of more established acts and truly some of those “who in the world is this!” artists.

Nik – To be honest we just sought to put on producers we’ve been big fans of over the years, while also simultaneously highlighting really fresh upcoming artists in the scene like TRINIST, Moytra, Bold Theory & Mirror Maze.

So cool. That’s a total of 13 producers for 13 tracks. How long did it take you to finish the compilation?

Josh – It only took us probably 3 months to collect tracks, but it took us much longer to arrange things at the label level where we felt comfortable with the quality of the release process to move forward.

Nik – We compiled all the tracks back in 2020, and then we internally spent about 8 months trying to make sense of it all, and planning out the release how we wanted to – from the artwork to the physical merchandise, all the way down to the release strategy and timing. We didn’t just want this to be like every other VA compilation in the scene, we wanted this to be a meaningful release with the goal of pushing quality drum & bass in North America.

Also, one last interesting point is that while you identify as a ‘genre-indifferent’ label, this project is mostly based around drum & bass. Why? And why did you choose not to include a larger scope of bass music like you usually curate on your imprint?

Josh – The specific aim of this compilation was to push-forward high-quality drum & bass on American soil with a mixture of international talent and at-home producers. That being said, this isn’t totally indicative of how VALE will operate moving forward. Our next release won’t be drum & bass at all.

Nik – Yeah, exactly what Josh said. We really wanted to hone in on drum & bass with this release to push forward something cohesive, especially since we both have been long-time fans of the genre. There’s been a lot of really fresh stuff coming out of the scene over the past few years, and we wanted to capture a small glimpse of that for our American listeners.

Sonically & visually, VALE is turned towards the future. We can see it from the sci-fi-like aesthetics & the cutting-edge songs that come out of it. So, for a project always looking at what’s coming ahead, where do you think drum & bass will be in 5 years?

Josh – Drum & Bass is both rooted in tradition and innovation. As far as VALE’s role is concerned, we aim to continuously push the most innovative artists and give them a stage to perform on.

Nik – Hard to say honestly, but with a lot of the experimentation that we’ve seen lately in the scene from producers like The Caracal Project, Gyrofield [read our latest interview with her here], Buunshin, IMANU, and so many more, I feel like drum & bass is going in a very forward-thinking direction that will continue to draw more inspiration from other genres like techno, house, indie pop, experimental music, and beyond. One of the things I love about D&B is how fun it is to blend techniques from other genres into it, creating many different styles and even sub-genres.

Thank you to Josh & Nik for this amazing chat.  It’s a great feeling to see labels exploring new sonic territories while giving a unique platform to up-and-coming artists.

Global Extraction Vol. 1 is out on the 11th of November. You can buy it here.




Leon Ross – ID
emjulate – ID
Integrate – Lidocaine
Moytra – Sliga
Result – Bone Bender
Mirror Maze – Double Take
voljum – until the last breath
Uprising – ID
Result – Heisenberg
TRINIST – Silenced
emjulate – ID
Connor q – Nightfall
Waeys – Time Out
NIK P – The Arrival
MISSIN – Your Love
KLIINE, DMR & Walrus Tales – Eccentric
d:enigma – question mark
VCTRE – Intolerable Acts
Poseidon & ÆTERNA – Zen Mirage
Phizicist & Zain Wolf – Stages of Depression
SISKA & Leon Ross – ID
Poseidon, ÆTERNA & Leon Ross – ID