I first came across Blackred when searching the internet many years ago while seeking for German Electro labels and artists. I found countless Blackred party flyers and every lineup was amazing. I eventually got in contact with them and developed a friendship with Headnoaks, their lead non-stop DJ machine. On my second trip to Germany in 2007, I was invited to meet the crew in Leipzig while they hosted an Ultradyne show in Distillery. Throughout the years they have been an inspiration of what can be achieved through consistency. For an update, I visited them for their second record release party to find out more about how it all started and where they are heading.
Coming from Leipzig, East Germany, Blackred was envisioned by Marcel along with his friend and co-worker Disko 69. These two are also known as the artists duo, Doppeldenk. Marcel’s desire to hear the music he loved on a loud sound system lead him to found and without a doubt a crew in 1999. Since, they have continuously hosted Electro events, promoted with a specific aesthetic that makes Blackred distinguishable. The events first took place in various locations and while Marcel worked as Graphic Designer for the Distillery Club it gave them the opportunity to successfully steam up the club’s basement and remain there for several years.
Blackred operates within somewhat strict guidelines. For starters, Electro presents itself in it’s purest form i.e. Electro Funk, Detroit, Synth. Second, hardware only guests. They have invited, with a few exceptions such as DJ Assault, just about every hardware live Electro act there is from Mr. Velcro Fastener to Dopplereffekt. Why fly in a DJ when there are excellent local DJs in Leipzig and neighbouring cities such as Dresden? Part of their mission is to offer people not only music but also a visual show referring to machines which are appealing and special for the viewer.
The group is made up of several DJs who combined forces at different times as well as friends helping out on a regular basis. Disko 69 has been there from the start. Shortly after, Headnoaks, who is native to a neighbouring city, joined the crew after regularly attending Blackred events. Then came Magnetic who also shared the same musical interests. Recommended by friends, he wandered into one of the events and naturally connected with the crew. This combo went on strong and lasted several years until they reached a crescendo by hosting Aux 88.
They have collaborated with allies such as Screwtec, with whom some of the crew have hosted events affiliated sound to Electro and focused on more on Bass orientated genres such as Booty Bass for the Shake n’ Bounce events. In recent years, the group added Rekorder and Usunov, who now are the most active members.
Everything comes to end, or does it really? Looking back to the previous years made the crew question their direction and future. Should they reinvest in events or in something more lasting, such as a label? The answer was clear and with Rekorder’s dedication it made the new adventure promising. They founded the Blackred label in 2012 with a first release, BR1, that encapsulated the facets of Electro represented by Blackred and the long awaited second, System Neuroscience by Headnoaks, that further defined Blackred.
Birth of Lunatic Rec.
Rekorder and Usunov who came later wanted to contribute their vision of classic US Techno and House (i.e. Detroit Techno and Chicago House) as a complement to the crew’s essence. This intent is clearly understood but Blackred remains Electro. Both have been hosting events offering these two perspectives of their sonic world, on the one hand Blackred’s Electro vision and Techno and House on the other. They as well wanted to expand their idea by creating a sister label, Lunatic, with the first release Le Box Dd by CVBox and Jennifer Touch’s first solo EP as second.
Knowing Marcel as an artist there is surely a meaning behind the name Blackred. Also knowing that he grew up during DDR times in East Germany I had to ask if it could be related to the Communist/Anarchist liaison, he answered in an affirmative way, maybe. Well, I didn’t get a clear answer but by his reaction I thought this would probably need a separate interview.
If you are in Berlin in the coming month be sure to catch Headnoaks, September 12, in Berghain. He will be playing for the Finest Friday night with Aux 88, Morphology, Klen and DJ Glow.
VARG – Mount Analogue
JORGE BULE – Helios 1
ABDULLA RASHIM – Aksum 5
LUCY – The Self As Another
HEADLESS HORSEMAN – Legend (ANCIENT METHODS Sharp Cut)
ANCIENT METHODS – When All Is Said And Done
MARCEL FENGLER – Mayria (THE EXALTICS Remix)
ALEXEY VOLKOV – Self Control
HENNING BAER – Fierce Hundred
ADAM X – Mital Regurgitation
VROMB – Episoscopie (Histoire De Camion)
REFRACTED – Convolution 4
ULWHEDNAR – Najden fran Norra Vastbyn
GOSUB – Traveling The Mepathal II
PHOTODEMENTIA – D’s Groove
ARNOLD STEINER – Spirit Horse
MORPHOLOGY – Subsurface Ocean
GOSUB – I Know You Know
EKMAN – Cosmic Acceleration
ALEQS NOTAL – Ancient Theory
CEEPHAX – National Grid
ULTRADYNE – Program 1-1
MAJESTIC 12 – Work For Idle Hands
GRAGEE – Mating With Humans