business of running an underground vinyl label is about as far from
an easy gig as it gets. Costs of producing the wax are sky high,
maintaining healthy sales is a constant challenge, and competition is
perhaps fiercer than ever. In underground dance vinyl's heyday –
sometime in the raved-up '90s – a small independent label could
happily expect to see sales well into the thousands for an averagely
successful release. Today, even some of the most respected boutique
labels in the business are thrilled to shift 300 physical units for
anything other than an exceptional release. In lieu of a bottomless
marketing budget, the only way to survive in the game is to release
consistently good music.
all of this into consideration, Tokyo's Cabaret records deserve some
love and salutations for making it to a quarter of a century of
high-grade techno releases. The label, set up by DJ Masda and SO
Inagawa as a natural progression to their popular club nights, has
provided a home for the likes of Binh, EK Box, Omar, Le Loup and
TC80, alongside work from its founders. Their releases regularly
make it into the charts and playlists of the most respected artists
on the circuit, and they've been featured as RA Label Of The Month as a result of their formidable output. Though their sound often resides somewhere in the
realms of minimal, in reality all shades of deep techno receive
coverage via camp Cabaret.
To celebrate their big two-five, they welcome Berlin-based head of Superluminal Records, Matthias, with his 'Night Racer' EP. Kicking off proceedings we have the polished tech-house textures of 'Galaxy Rebellion'. Acid licks dominate this slick club cut, as snappy snares, spacey synth effects and subliminal vocal samples complete the composition. On 'Shinning Waterfall', the acid theme continues, but this time joined by a deliciously freaky lead synth part and new beat flavoured pads. On the flip, the robotic voice of the title track invites us to 'free our minds' over crunchy drums and perception-altering arps. This cut fuses retro, proto-house sensibilities with a decidedly modern approach, creating a space in which shades of electro, new beat, and techno come together with stunning dance-floor effect.
So raise a glass to all at Cabaret Recordings. Here's to another 25 years of energetic dance action from one of the region's finest techno imprints.
Matthias 'Night Racer' is out now on Cabaret. You can listen and buy it here