This month we caught up with the Rose Records crew, hailing from Leipzig, who all took time out of their busy schedules to have a chat. Individually as producers, and collectively as a label they have been putting out some of the best house records of the past couple of years. From disco inspired groovers, to jazz-tinged broken-beat house, the catalogue of releases draws influence from some of the best music from the past half century. The result is a tidy back catalogue from a label which takes pride in every aspect of the process, from the samples selected, tracks chosen, and format of release.
Hi guys, thanks for taking the time to speak to us. First up can you tell us a bit about yourselves, the label and how it came about?
Hej Hej nice to meet you. We’re Lars, Luvless, Martin, M.ono & Eva. We’re located in Leipzig, Germany and we have run Rose Records since 2010. Our first record came out in 2011 and we’ve kept it vinyl ever since.
We all met in Leipzig but some of us know each other since our school days. We all love music (obviously), most of us collect records, we like to select & play music for other people and we do enjoy spending time together… even though sometimes it’s difficult to see each other. Since some of us started producing a few years ago we wanted to put the results out on a record – the medium we all love so much. We didn’t want to bother other labels to release our music and we thought we could do it ourselves, so we started the label for that reason primarily.
The first record was a various artist record with works by M.ono, Luvless and Martin. The feedback we got encouraged us to continue and we’ve released eight records to date. Mainly with works by Martin, Luvless and M.ono but we also had Ooft! providing a remix for Luvless’ EP and Junktion with a his own Running From Whatever record in 2015.
You distribute your records via OYE, which is a great store. How did that come about and do you have any other favourite stores in Berlin?
M.ono – When we started with rose records no distributor wanted us so we decided to do this on our own. We dropped a message to the shops and asked if they would be interested in our records. One of them was OYE records. So we got to know Marcus and Tinko, after a while they have asked us if we would team up with them and so we did.
Martin – When I’m in Berlin and I have the time I always go to OYE, but I’ve heard Record Loft is good so it’s on my to-do list for the next visit. For online shops I recommend Juno, Decks, OYE and of course Discogs. It all depends on the record you’re after.
Luvless – Back in the day I used to go couple times a week to Musikladen and to Freezone to dig for records and meet like-minded people. Both record stores were in Leipzig and sadly closed their doors. Internationally I like Rush Hour and there are plenty of thrift stores you can discover great records.
Lars – I usually order from OYE and Rekord.net. Also Discogs is a great way to discover and buy records.
Martin – You need to know Lars has a great knowledge in music and a record collection to die for. Believe it or not. That man is a serious dedicated record lover and dj. Period!
M.ono and Luvless recently put out a tidy record together through the label, do you prefer to use it as a platform for your own music, or are you looking to release more artists outside of the label like Junktion’s ‘Running From Whatever’?
Luvless – We founded the label as a platform for our own productions. The main reasons were that we didn’t want to ask around and bother people, and on the other hand we felt excited about the idea of owning a label.
Lars – Ooft! was the first from outside the crew who released on rose. He did a remix for Luvless’ Turning Points EP. Luvless had a track on Ooft’s Foto recordings and they stayed in contact. As ali is a super cool guy it felt quite natural to ask him if he was interested in doing a remix for us.
Martin – During a gig in Amsterdam we met Hans (Junktion) and Daniel (Leseman) and had a good time with them. We asked Hans if he would like to send us tracks for a Rose EP and he did. The outcome is Running From Whatever EP. One of our most successful records to date. I think there will be other releases from outside producers, as well as new stuff from us.
There seems to be such a great wealth of disco inspired house music coming out of certain corners of Germany in particular at the moment. What do you think has brought this about and how would you compare it to your experience with other scenes in the UK and Europe?
Martin – I guess there are a lot of young people who now discover disco music through ‘modern’ house tracks. At least when they look for the samples, so it’s good to dig further and get a deeper knowledge. Disco wasn’t really dead at all I think. It just comes back in different shapes. If you like to play and listen to the original tune, do it, and if you like the modern take on the tune then that’s cool too. As long as you use it in a respectful way it’s good I guess.
Luvless – I think there is a lot going on in cities like Amsterdam, Paris and London, as well as our own city Leipzig. There is a small scene with a lot of variations, but you can still find small venues where you can play obscure disco sleaze next to a house tune and some eighties glam without people leaving. They’re the parties we like. But of course there is also the other side where people focus on a specific sound the whole night. If that’s your thing well it’s cool too.
You both released tracks on Vinyladdicted’s ‘Diggin’ Disco Deep’ compilation, who we interviewed last month. It seems to be doing really well at the moment, how did you get involved with the series?
Martin – Akis (vinyladdcited) seems to have established himself and his labels, ‘editors kutz’ and ‘diggin disco deep’, as a guarantor for quality disco infected music.
Luvless – I had a track on the recent editors kutz compilation and got asked for a contribution for ‘diggin disco deep’ just like Martin. Now we have a wonderful double 12″ with great tracks from so many good dudes.
With everyone releasing their own music outside of the label, how do you balance your time and workload when managing releases?
M.ono – Everyone of us has specific tasks and for all serious decisions we see each other or talk via the internet. Most of the time it works out. The label will always be our priority but it’s also great to see everyone get their releases on other great labels.
You’ve put out some great releases in the past couple of months, what’s in the pipeline for the rest of the year?
Lars – For Rose we decided to keep the 10″ game for while and we will also continue our various artists 12″ series. I can’t tell you that much now but we hope you guys will like it as much as the other records. Also look out for other releases by M.ono, Martin and Luvless within the next months.
Are there any favourite records that you have purchased recently or are listening to at the moment?
We’ve selected some of our favourites. Old and new.
Yellow Socks – Flim Flam
Dj Spinna – Strange Games & Funky Things
Beach Boys – Pet Sounds (LP)
Sonya Spence – Sings Love
Francis Lai – Young Freedom
Otherlover – Backchat
Bicep – Closing Sequence
Detroit Swindle – Alright We’ll Be (M.ono Remix)