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From the Soul of Brunswick
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From the Soul
of Brunswick

From their hometown hood of Brunswick, Melbourne, artist-run label HopeStreet Recordings focuses on the lively local music scene around them. They make old school inspired analog recordings and work mostly with a close-knit group of artists they consider friends and family. Soul and funk from around the block, reaching the rest of the world through records.


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“I love sample-based music. I came to old soul and funk through samples in golden era hip-hop,” tells HopeStreet Recordings co-founder Bob Knob. “We started the label as a studio focused on getting old funk drum sounds for use in hip-hop. So please sample our sh*t. It’s meant to be sampled.”

From that hip-hop ethos, Bob Knob (who is a bass player himself) and Tristan Ludowyk (trumpet player) submerged themselves in local soul and funk, based in a garage on Hope Street, Melbourne, Australia. Geared with nothing but two Otari reel-to-reel tape records, a handful of mics, and a couple of laptops, the first sounds of HopeStreet Recordings echoed from the garage doors.

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“It was pretty raw,” recalls Knob. “We didn’t really intend to start a label – we just wanted to put something on vinyl, so we did. I found a font I didn’t hate and did some pretty crude work on Illustrator and we were off. Paper sleeve 45s are pretty forgiving design-wise... People liked it and we did another. Before we knew it, we did the first six records from start to finish in that garage.”

Bob Knob (right) with Joshua Tavares a.k.a. Zillanova (left)
Bob Knob (right) with Joshua Tavares a.k.a. Zillanova (left)
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Within a decade they’ve expanded that into a label mainly releasing music from befriended artists. Groups such as The Putbacks, Leisure Centre (f.k.a. The Do Ya Things), San Lazaro, and The Bombay Royale all come from a five square kilometer radius in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne, including Brunswick. Knob: “It’s a small scene but there’s a lot of talent. And you might notice it sounds like the same guy plays guitar on every record. He does. His name is Tom Martin.”

Circling back to Knob’s call for their music to be sampled, that’s where Tracklib comes into play for them: “The current system is messy. Big labels with big songs want to control their rights to get top dollar for their samples. But there’s so much indie stuff, like ours, that benefits from a legitimate and transparent mechanism that’s worth it for both the creators and the sample users. So Tracklib’s model is good [for that].”