Profile: G Stone Recordings

 

Ever since the dreaded words ‘trip-hop’ were coined in Mixmag in 1994 to describe the slew of instrumental, dub- and jazz-influenced records that were being made by the likes of DJ Shadow, Sabres of Paradise and La Funk Mob, there’s been a market for dance music that’s made for anything but dancing. Vienna’s G-Stone, like James Lavelle’s Mo Wax imprint, was there at the dawn of this movement and this year celebrates 16 years of horizontal grooving with a compilation of the label’s best tunes. Umbrella talks to G-Stone head Richard Dorfmeister about blunted beats, the move from recorded music to live shows and how he and his recording partner Peter Kruder’s K&D Sessions conquered the known world.
 
Umbrella: Sixteen years. That’s a long time…
Richard Dorfmeister: It is, especially in the music business. I think our best achievement is still being to be able to tell what good music is – the quality selection factor is one of most important things. I think due to the constant DJing and producing we’ve kept our ears open to all kinds of genres and styles – and for me it doesn’t matter what label a piece of music has – as long as it’s good, I love it. You really have to work through a whole lot of useless sounds before you discover something worthwhile. It used to be the vinyl – now it’s the net, but the selection filter is what it’s all about.
 
U: How has the scene changed in that time?
RD: The scene changes with the people and the music styles, but what’s really changed the game is the MP3 download thing, especially for small labels that are dependant on sales of the physical product. The last years have been extremely hard and lots are just doing it for the fun of it. Besides that, the live performance idea became much more important – and the ticket prices for live shows are now higher than ever.
 
U: What was it like hearing The K&D Sessions in every clothes shop in the western world?
RD: It wasn’t – and isn’t – just clothes stores. It’s hotel lobbies, hairdresser’s, waiting lines, fashion shows – just all kind of public places. Of course, as soon as your music becomes too popular you receive a good portion of envy, but that didn’t bother us too much because we still believe in the inner quality of the sounds. But you’re right, at some point it became completely over the top the way our music got played.
 
U: Have you achieved all you wanted to do?
RD: I had to learn that I have to start very often from the beginning. There are still so many things to be learned and to be improved – I think the biggest problem is time. I would need much more time and energy to make all the projects happen that I have in mind, so being aware of the time limitations, I have to concentrate on the important projects.
 
U: What’s Vienna like as a musical city?
RD: The whole underground scene here has been very much influenced by dub reggae, ’70s funk and jazz mixed with an affinity for cosmic sounds and dance music – all in combination with the long classical tradition that exists in Vienna. It can’t be compared to the real melting pots like New York or London, but it has that eastern bloc charm that sometimes can be very cynical but always somehow slow and inexact.
 
U: What are the best places to eat, drink and sleep in Vienna?
RD: There some classics like the fish places in the inner city market, the Naschmarkt (mainly run by Turkish people), the famous coffee places (Cafe Prückel) and of course, classical Viennese food (Plachutta and others). Look out for a restaurant called Skopik&Lohn in the second district; cool people, good food and unpretentious at the same time. Actually, it’s hard not to have good food in this city, and at reasonable prices too. Vienna really is still a great place to live.
 
 
Sixteen F**king Years is out now on G-Stone recordings. www.g-stoned.com




This article first appeared in Umbrella Magazine Issue #2. You can view it online here.



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