Nsyde Music is a Berlin-based label aiming to bring together different electronic genres with one similarity – it’s ‘deeper soul’. Releasing timeless pure house & techno from some of the finest names in the business including New Yorker Fred P of Soul People Music and Underground Quality fame, Japan’s current #1 producer Imugem Orihasam and Denmark’s’ own Samuel André Madsen, Nsyde are on a roll. Dunkel Radio’s Daniel Bruhn Jensen had a chat with head honcho Richard Zepezauer.
Despite a small output of 1-2 releases per year, Nsyde Music has remained in my personal favorite releases of the past two years as it always delivers new talent remixed by top-notch producers such as Fred P and Achterban D’Amour. Richard Zepezauer, an employee of the renowned Diamonds & Pearls distribution and an extraordinary DJ, leads the label and I’ve talked to him about his and the labels background, and the change in the electronic scene over the past 20 years.
D: Tell me about the background of Nsyde Music. Why did you start it?
RZ: It started as a natural process. Besides starting to make my own music, I had a clear idea of starting something that expresses my taste in music, and building a platform especially for new fresh artists and friends. I think its very important to let things come naturally and not forcing them by following the mostly wrong path of impatience. One day my close friend Daso sent a track to me, which was planned to come out on a digital compilation. As I heard his track "Why Try"(Nsyde001), it trapped me with its special melancholic pathos. I instantly had the feeling I need to put this piece out on Vinyl, so I sent it to Fred P and let him do a remix. I knew he would fall in love with that track instantly too, and I was right. He did a great remix for 001, which I loved from the very first second I heard it. Then Reade Truth did a great remix too, and the first record was ready to go.
How did you get into the electronic scene?
I started when I was about 12 and got caught by the first Acid House wave around 88/89. I bought a drum machine and then I lost myself completely for some time by programming beats and experimenting with my small machines. Then I ran out of money and had to stop and sell some of it, which I was pretty sad about. After school I started to study archeology and after some time I was in charge of archeological excavations, digging all over Germany.
I never stopped my intense obsession for music in general and electronic music especially. When I moved to Berlin 10 years ago I started to DJ more often as I became resident of an afterhours series called "Fruehschoppen". I was supporting DJs and artists who had been my heroes so far like Daniel Bell, Dan Curtin etc. Beside that I started to work for the label ˜scape" founded by Pole and Barbara Preisinger.
Are you the sole mind behind Nsyde?
I’m running the label by my self. I think it is needed that a label takes on the role as a filter for music, which can stand the test of time. Nowadays label release policies are missing this often. The releases on Nsyde are mirroring a certain experience, taste and idea of music which has grown in me the last decades of my life.
Of course label work means a lot of things, and is a collaboration of many different people and professions. The label logo for example is created by a good friend of mine, well know in the Techno/Industrial scene, but who you never would expect being a pioneer of the 80s Grafitti movement in the US. All these people combined are helping me create the label as a whole.
The artists on Nsyde have so far represented pretty much every corner of the earth from Japan to the US and lately Denmark as well. Who’s next up on Nsyde?
Next nsyde005 will be out in February and will be from a new artist from Barcelona named Skymark. Like the first releases of my label are showing, it’s very important to me to find and bring out new outstanding talents, and Skymark, is in no doubt one of them. A highly passionate musician and record digger with an incredible sense for outstanding productions through all soulful music forms from Brazil to Jazz and House to Disco. His tracks breathe all his love for these old records and he converts it with his own way into something unheard before. One side will feature a friend of mine – the lovely vocals of miss. Lady Blacktronika; Her voice is simply a bliss and full of soul. A new record by my friend Detroit’s very own Kevin Reynolds is planned as well, and many more things are coming up
In the description of Nsyde Music it says: ”…Reunite different electronic genres with one similarity: It’s deeper soul! Bring the family back!” What is this “family” that you are referring to? Is it that you feel that something is missing in the scene right now regarding the artist / label relationship?
I am very happy that I was able to experience the beginning wave of the Techno Culture1989 / 1990, because in those days there was solidarity unifying the people who felt attracted by this new music. It didn’t matter what kind of style you preferred in electronic music. House, Acid House, Techno, EBM; New Beat etc. it didn’t matter back then. We were all one family! People outside this family didn’t even recognize and classified this new thing as something they wouldn’t call music at all. Until the first IDM music came up around 92/93 it was an often heard sentence that: “This is no music at all. It’s just awful noise", even from people who called themselves open minded and coming from once discriminated music forms like Punk. This was similar situation to the one in the Paradise Garage era. There were no style boundaries. DJ’s like Larry Levan was playing all forms of music that they felt was right for the dance floor. It was one music family. Music is what should unite us and not separate us. Nowadays labels seem to think they need a kind of a label sound and style to get a clearly formulated brand, which can be remembered, easier, just to get higher sales and more fame. It is a sad thing. All a label needs is good music duration focusing timelessness and done with sense for the past and future at the same time. We need to bring the family back!