While historic European scenes like Italo-disco, French house and German techno have all been duly rediscovered and reappraised, Belgium’s contribution to electronic music has often flown under the radar. Artists like Amelie Lens, Joyhauser & Locked Groove as well as labels like R&S records, Eskimo Dance & Rythm Converted are feverishly working to ensure the small European country is consistently positioning itself in the upper echelons of dance music nations.
One of the crews responsible for the growth & upkeep of this scene is, ‘Labyrinth Productions’ who are about to announce the relaunch of their label, Labyrinth Music. Ahead of the labels relaunch on Monday, September 16th, we decided to dig a bit deeper into the labels inner workings.
To understand Labyrinth Music you must first understand Labyrinth Club. A highly respected & globally recognised venue at the epicentre of the Belgium electronic scene. The club first opened its doors in 2014 in Antwerp’s Eilandje (Little Island) on the former site of techno institution, Industria. The venue quickly became the go-to place for electronic parties with the very best DJ’s finding their way into the booth. Solomun, Seth Troxler, Tale Of Us, Dixon, Pan Pot, Joris Voorn, Recondite and Jamie Jones were amongst the names that turned the old renovated warehouse into the new hotspot in town.
It was around this time that the team decided to launch an imprint that attempted to further cement Labyrinth’s growing reputation on the international circuit. Labyrinth Music was born and the label saw a string of early success with releases by the likes of Kapibara, Ugur Yurt, Bollen & Dave Brody.
Unfortunately, as is so often the case club culture is the catalyst for urbanization. The neighbouring warehouses began welcoming new neighbours which were soon followed by complaints about noise. David Gorez the venue’s booker said,
“As a company everything we do is built on reputation. Quality is not something we could comprimise and the complaints meant, Labyrinth Club had to turn the volume knob down and therefore couldn’t guarantee a perfect sound experience for our visitors.”
It soon became clear the club required a new location, which lead to the club moving to Hasselt in 2016. Unfortunately, this coincided with Labyrinth Productions expanding into the Croatian festival market. As a result of this expansion, the team decided as always quality must prevail and therefore it would focus its efforts on the venue move & its festival portfolio, resulting in the label taking a short break.
“Not many people realise the sheer amount of work that goes into running a venue the size of Labyrinth Club & with Extrema Outdoor Belgium and the launch of our Croatian Festival we put Labyrinth Music on the back burner. Our intention has always been to relaunch Labyrinth Music when the time is right. This way we can ensure it has our full commitment.“
Fast forward to 2019 and it appears the time is right for Labyrinth Music to end its hiatus. A press release arrived stating the label would be announcing the first EP on Monday, September 16th, with some very exciting artists committing to the labels upcoming releases. When asked why now? David responded,
“Labyrinth Productions & our wider projects mean we are constantly receiving amazing music. However, we are always told that people can not find a home for their productions.”
This is a common issue experienced by many artists, including those at the top. Although dance music is growing in popularity, the labels & events at the peak are becoming harder and harder to access.
“We want to create a platform that opens doors for artists. As a company we have the resources, the knowledge & the experience to hopefully create a platform that is a little bit different to that that already exists. Labyrinth Music won’t just be for artists playing at the Club. We want it to be a springboard for any artist that shares our drive for forward thinking sounds.”
It is of course, difficult to go into too much detail given the secrecy of the project with further details being released on Monday. However, Plans are already underway for the launch party at Labyrinth Club with Joyhauser, Kevin De Vriees and exciting Belgium duo Senses of Mind confirmed.
The relaunch of the label marks an exciting time for both Labyrinth Productions & the Belgium scene in general. If the label can capture the success of the Club and their desire for excellence the label should see itself on an upward trajectory that will make it a formidable force in the world of electronic music.