Around the world in 80 labels: Souvenir Music – Tiefschwarz

We’re rather excited about this week’s imprint of choice, given the fact the chaps behind it are well-loved heroes of house music and electro. Enter Ali and Basti Schwarz then, founding fathers of a particularly worthwhile Berlin organisation.

Also known as Tiefschwarz the pair established Souvenir Music back in 2006, at a time when the industry was beginning to look increasingly fragile from a record label point of view. Skip forward another six years though and their still putting out great tracks. Next month’s In The City Vol. 2 compilation is set to showcase some of the fresher faces from the catalogue, and names like Riton, Psychonauts, Ruede Hagelstein, Sierra Sam and, of course, the bossmen, have all dropped cuts since inception. With this in mind we invited the two honchos to stop by and share some of that wisdom, so read on if you want to learn a little.

Souvenir / Tiefschwarz / Germany

Describe your imprint’s output.

It’s based on a house music pattern but it goes from deep house to techno. It heavily reflects on our musical taste, no real specific boundaries, from song oriented electronic music to clubbier, techier sounds.

What would you say makes it different?  

Well of course, we are aware of our profile but in the end we’re not reinventing the wheel. It’s about finding our own little niche, a platform we can feel comfortable in.

What is it that makes you keep looking for new talent to expose? 

I think it’s about having a healthy mixture. To establish a core group of artists who are integral to the homebase is important, but it’s also great to keep looking for newer stuff in order to maintain freshness. You never know, sometimes a 14-year-old bedroom producer will create the best thing you’ve heard in years!

What’s the label’s pinnacle achievement so far? 

Hard to pick just one release! I’d say the moment we realised the label was developing its own character and we found the team of people around us who we felt most comfortable with. I guess also the chance to release albums as well as 12”s, as it opened up new horizons for us. Besides that we’re incredibly happy and proud to work alongside all of our artists.

If people were going to hear one release from your camp, what would you prefer it to be? 

That’s tough… Probably Ruede Hagelstein’s Emergency.

All being well, skip forward five years, where would you like things to be? 

Extending all our different avenues, events, merchandise, distribution, artist promotion into a solid and unified brand so as not to be so reliant on the increasingly difficult music market… Maybe even opening a Souvenir café or something along those lines.


Recent stops 

USA – ReSolute – Elon Admony 

USA – Friends of Friends – Leeor Brown