Interview: MARK REID (TOUCH SENSITIVE RECORDS)
RESIST speaks to Belfast based record label Touch Sensitive Records owner, Mark Reid
Friday 25th August, 2017
Who are you and what do you do?
My name’s Mark Reid and I run a record label based in Belfast called Touch Sensitive.
How did the vision and concept for Touch Sensitive come about?
Touch Sensitive was born through a great friendship and working relationship I have with David
Holmes. We had been working on club nights and just enjoying music and sharing tracks for a long time. He’d been pushing me to explore the idea of a label and it had always been a desire of mine to start something. The initial concept was to release archival compilations - very much influenced by our shared love of finding and sharing new discoveries - but that quickly moved on to also releasing contemporary artists.
Why do you do what you do?
Initially, it seemed like a logical next-step from where I was at. Now, the music i’m working with is so good that it’s just a pleasure to be able to put it out and that just keeps me going. Hopefully giving it the platform it deserves.
What are the influences behind you and Touch Sensitive Records? I was always heavily into following labels when I was younger - buying every release, poring over catalog numbers, sleeve notes etc. Not as much of a completist now as there’s just too much good music being released but I definitely think that ethos is pushing the label. Hopefully it comes through.
You are doing something very different for a record label in Belfast, how has the city influenced and shaped Touch Sensitive?
If anything it’s usually the lack of a certain thing in Belfast that has driven what I’ve wanted to do - whether that be running this label or putting on club nights or other creative endeavours.
I do love the city but i’m pretty conscious there’s a limited amount of folks into what I’m doing so I’m trying to keep the label outlook as universal as possible. And, y’know, it being 2017 - I’m as likely to take influence from something halfway across the world anyway.
In saying this, I’m obviously every influenced and shaped by the musicians I work with and the new stuff they send through is constantly pushing the label forward.
Can you tell us about some of the artists on Touch Sensitive Records?
Yes! It’s pretty diverse, which sometimes worries me that it might confuse people, but it definitely represents the openness of my listening habits and the folks I work with. Hopefully people checking the label will come along for the ride too.
So, we’ve got David Holmes doing his soundtrack thing. Cherrystones from London who has produced an archival post-punk compilation and a 45 by Maya - he’s also a great inspiration with regards to sharing music. Documenta who are a 7-piece from Belfast. For me, their last album was a perfect marriage of soulful melody and more, far-out cosmic influences. Barry Lynn, better know as Boxcutter and The Host, who has produced 2 albums of deep-listening for us. Group Zero, who is Cathal from Girls Names, working in solo electronic zones. And, Gross Net - Phil from Girls Names - with quite a dark, minimal wave sound and politicised lyrics.
...and also some artists or labels that you think are inspiring at the moment?
Ah, there’s so much! I love the archival releases on labels such as Music From Memory, Palto Flats, Freedom To Spend and Frozen Reeds. Plus, they all have really nice attention to artwork and production etc. As for new music, I really like the new Laurel Halo album and always keen to hear what labels like Future Times, From The Depths and Optimo Music have coming out. The best thing I’ve heard this year is probably my mate Mo Probs live set from the Turbine Hall (check NTS Radio archive soon!)
Keep up to date with Touch Sensitive Records at: