STS 009 - aufnahme + wiedergabe

aufnahme + wiedergabe mix by Philipp Strobel.

Cold sonics and emotional specters - the exclusive interview and mix from Philipp Strobel of Berlin label aufnahme + wiedergabe.

Cold sonics and emotional specters - the exclusive interview and mix from Philipp Strobel of Berlin label aufnahme + wiedergabe.

01. Clock DVA - Disintegration Sequence Grisson White Chaffey [a+w 022], 2014
02. Black Egg - Meaningless (In Aeternam Vale Remix) [a+w 12“006], 2014
03. Ghost Actor - Unfold (Distel Remix) [a+w GA001], 2014
04. The Harrow - Axis [a+w 7“004], 2014
05. In Death It Ends - Ghosts II [a+w iDIE007], 2013
06. The Devil & The Universe - Stygian [a+w lp008], 2014
07. Dance Naked - Bronze Contempt [a+w lp006], 2014
08. Ruth & Mushy - Polaroid/Roman/Photo/Remix [a+w ep002], 2014
09. Noi Kabat - Make Room! Make Room! [a+w 7“002], 2013
10. Die Selektion - Muskelberg [a+w cd002], 2012
11. Codex Empire - Kingsevil [unreleased], 2015
12. Ancient Methods × Black Egg - Ohne Hände (Fundamental Mix) [a+w I], 2014

Aufnahme + wiedergabe is a Berlin-based DIY record label with a great focus on various forms of post-punk, industrial, minimal wave, EBM and techno music. The label is ran by three like-minded friends who share similar taste and approach to dark and emotional sounds. It was established in 2011 by Philipp Strobel and Gabriel Brero. Julia Meusel joined the label in 2013. The last 4 years were quite fruitful for the label and over 60 limited-edition records in different formats (LP, CD, Tape etc.) were released. Most of the records are almost sold out and became rare treasures. Aufnahme + wiedergabe goes beyond any specific music genre. The catalogue includes many diverse artists ranging from moody coldwave romantics Lebanon Hanover and Mushy to intense EBM of Bloodygrave and Die Lust or abrasive punk of Die Angst. All these sounds form a coherent aesthetic picture full of strong emotional outbursts, cold soundscapes and melancholia.

In the exclusive interview below Philipp Strobel, the head and founder of aufnahme + wiedergabe, talks about how the label developed in the last 4 years, it's concept, ideas and future plans. Moreover, Philipp prepared an exclusive mix for Secret 13, which includes tracks from recent and upcoming releases of the label. The tracklist includes the premiere of the Ancient Methods × Black Egg Remix project, an unreleased Codex Empire track and picks of long term collaborators In Death It Ends, The Devil And the Universe, Die Selektion and many more.

Basically everything started in 2011 when I wanted to release stuff from my friend Gabriel's project La Fete Triste. He was recording on his own in his bedroom before and played a lot of his stuff to me. He came up with the idea to cover some German punk classics in a cold-wave style. I made the offer for him to release his recordings on the tape label, which I had founded for that very reason. We both actually came from the punk/hardcore scene, where tapes are still given away as demo recordings. And now looking back on the last three years, I think, the tape itself has a big revival again. And I guess we were one of the first to initiate this revival.

The reason to start the label was just one particular release and it was not really the idea to continue it as a real label, more like a project between friends. We released the La Fete Triste tape in an edition of 55 copies. La Fete Triste played only two concerts ever with this material and the first concert was the release show for the tape. The evening went really well and we got a lot good feedback about the concert and the release. The tapes actually sold out on that night but there were still requests for it, so we decided to do a second run. We made another 55 copies and sold them online. They were also gone very fast.

At the release party, the guys from Bloodygrave & Die Lust! asked me if I would like to release a tape with them. A couple of weeks later my friend Luca wrote to me and asked if I want to put out a tape with his band Die Selektion as well. I guess that was the point when I decided to turn it into something more serious. But for me alone it was bit too much to do, so I asked Mr. La Fete Triste if he wants to join me in running the label. And from the second release on aufnahme + wiedergabe was Gabriel and myself.

aufnahme + wiedergabe

The translation of aufnahme + wiedergabe is “record and play” – the two buttons that you find on a tape recorder. And it's obviously also inspired by the claim of the Galakthorrö label's band Haus Arafna, which is a strong influence for our label. They have this T-shirt, which says “Aufgabe + Hingabe”. It's not a coincidence, that aufnahme + wiedergabe might remind something of that T-shirt.

I prefer minimal and plain aesthetics; I like black and white and designs that are not over-top. I would not say that we're standing for a particular genre, there's everything in our catalog from post punk to industrial, even post metal or other genres like minimal synth and EBM. We are searching for a specific aesthetic, rather than a special musical genre. We're open-minded but it has to fit to a certain perception.

When the label became unexpectedly bigger and after releasing tapes for one year we started with CDs and Vinyl, it became too much work for the two of us as I have a day job and organize concerts in Berlin. Also, Gabriel is pretty busy with his studies in Hamburg. In spring 2013 we asked Julia to join aufnahme + wiedergabe, as she was helping us a lot already anyway.

In the beginning it was basically all do-it-yourself: home dubbing tapes, going to the copy shop, printing, cutting, gluing and hand-numbering. But when we started releasing CDs and especially vinyl this changed a lot, because you have to put much more time and energy into certain details. Of course that's a bit less DIY now because obviously we don't press the records at home. But we still want to keep that DIY attitude. It is visible in some details as we still hand-number our records, and if you find a download code inside the sleeve you can be sure that one of us put it inside, and it's not manufactured. Last year we teamed up with Impossible to have a unique analog instant photograph that was included in the In Death It Ends album “Analog Witch”.

When we started releasing bands like Bloodygrave & Die Lust!, Die Selektion and Lebanon Hanover, it was still all people that we knew before and would consider friends. But at one point people we didn't know before started writing us e-mails and sent us demo recordings asking to be released on aufnahme + wiedergabe. We discovered some really interesting projects and released some of them. Also sometime we discover bands that get in touch with me. Some acts on our roster are people that I adore from their previous bands, such as In Death It Ends or Black Egg. In some cases I ask the band to work with us, in other cases the band asks me. There is no formula for this process.

I was never really interested in doing music on my own. I was too busy with collecting records and gathering information. I was observing who plays in which band, on which label, how many copies exist, in which color, release dates... It's probably a reason why I started DJing. Ian P. Christ and me are running a club night in Berlin called DEATH # DISCO, where we host concerts and have guest DJs as well. Having my own label and releasing music always interested me a lot.

I don't like the term heroes, but there are definitely works of some people, that I find inspiring for myself. As I already mentioned, the Galakthorrö label and their artists are an influence in addition to the early industrial and punk movement. For instance Coil and artists like Nick Blinko from Rudimentary Peni. Nowadays he's releasing his books on David Tibet's label “Coptic Cat”. I have the feeling that all these things, that were totally separated years ago, have all more or less come together in the last couple of years.

I can't describe the typical aufnahme + wiedergabe listener. Some bands bring their own fans and I'm pretty sure, that some people just trust in our taste, what we release. Our public is very wide: from goth to techno people.

Berlin is an inspiring city and with that international flare it's always been a good spot to meet people, to make connections and to organize parties. And yes, it is changing pretty much, because a lot of people are coming here, but on the same time a lot of people are leaving. If you go for a club night this year and you go to the same party next year, you probably will see totally different people.

We're at a point, where everyone can make and release music through very easily. You don't even need a label to release your music. But of course if everyone can release something, that means there's a lot of crap and it's getting harder for listeners to find the real diamonds in between. A label is kind of filter, that helps people to find that good stuff. As we see clearly right now, vinyl sales are increasing, they're higher than ever at the last 20 years. Obviously people are still craving for having something in their hands, it's not only about the listening process in this digital age when you can download everything in the end even for free. Of course it's already getting hard to keep on track of everything what's coming out and it's also a hard competition for everyone, because this music is kind of scene related and scenes are not that big. People can not spend all their money on buying music, going to concerts and buying merchandise.

In December we are releasing a Black Egg Remix 12”. All four reinterpretations of the track “Ohne Hände” are done by Ancient Methods. We are really happy with the result and can't wait to have it finally out. This 12” is also the beginning of a more industrial/techno orientated new series which will include releases by Phase Fatale and Codex Empire by the beginning of 2015. Also, we are working on the second album of Black Egg and have some other projects with In Death It Ends in the pipeline. Ghost Actor and The Devil & The Universe are playing some gigs to promote their new albums and Death Of Abel who just came back from a tour in Italy will have a vinyl re-issue out of the first tape release “A Cruel Streak”, which we are doing in cooperation with Italian label Trips und Träume.

About Author

Musician and performing artist Jogile Dambrauskaite was engaged in the avant-garde and underground electronic music scene in Lithuania back in 2004-2008 with various art projects. Now she is based in Berlin and works on her new solo project.

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