My favourite record labels are usually the ones which cultivate their own unique sound. Variation is of course essential but I like a music label to have a musical philosophy or creative vision which runs through all of their releases. One label I discovered recently which displays this sort of strong, individual identity is G-Stone Recordings.
G-Stone was set up in 1993 by Vienna based duo Kruder & Dorfmeister whose music is a cornerstone of the imprint’s output. They make dubby, jazzy downtempo tracks with a strong connection to trip hop; often remixing drum and bass or hip hop tunes and infusing them with their own inimitable style. I particularly love the soothing, hypnotic drums of their early track High Noon and remix album The K&D Sessions (which features the duo’s own remixes of artists such as Roni Size, Alex Reece and Depeche Mode) doesn’t have a bad track on it.
Richard Dorfmeister’s also part of G-Stone Recordings’ other flagship act, this time working with childhood friend Rupert Huber and releasing material under the name Tosca. They offer a similar brand of laid back trip hop but focus more upon LPs rather than EPs and remixes. Their second album Suzuki is rightly considered a classic of the genre.
The label’s other artists cover a variety of musical forms including genres as disparate as hip-hop and disco but they’re tied together by the city of Vienna from which they all come. The link is far more than just geographical as the music they make has a particular Viennese quality to it and, for me at least, evokes the city quite vividly. Although it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what this ‘Vienneseness’ is I feel certain that this music couldn’t have been made in any other city. The label’s recent output displays the same level of quality as it did in the 90’s, it’s consistency over the last 2 decades serves as a brilliant advertisement for Vienna’s music scene and Viennese culture in general.
I’m only just beginning my journey into the G-Stone back catalogue but unlike some labels their own website seems to be the best place to do it, you can find it at: www.g-stoned.com