Tag Archive: running back

LWE Podcast 199: Gerd Janson

Gerd Janson last spoke to LWE as part of a Talking Shop interview in 2010, and kindly carved out some time to chat with us again from his home in Lorsch. He offered insights on his soft touch A&R style, how his DJ/critic side influences the music he’s making, and his personal connection with every Running Back reissue. Janson also mixed together LWE’s 199th exclusive podcast, nearly 90 minutes of musical bliss we’ve been looking forward to for a long time.

Hugh Mane, Spectra Sonics EP

It says a lot about our current climate that listening to Hugh Mane’s Spectra Sonic EP didn’t immediately convince me of its age: three particularly reverent house tracks which are entirely relevant today.

Redshape, Square

Distinctly less immediate than Redshape’s previous LP, The Dance Paradox, Square develops his sound in a more insular direction.

Matthew Styles, Aji-No-Moto

The three sleek tracks offered on Aji-No-Moto are heartily functional, while their precision-tooled construction holds its own sit-down appeal too.

Disco Nihilist, Moving Forward

Disco Nihilist continues his run of resolutely old school releases with his second record for Running Back, Moving Forward.

Theo Parrish, Hand Made EP

Those left wanting by the abrasion of Theo Parrish’s Any Other Styles will find the Hand Made EP for Running Back more classicist and even functional.

Aksel Friberg & Kicki Halmos, To Be There With You

Running Back’s latest is another testament to Gerd Janson’s A&R nous, rescuing an obscure Aksel Friberg track and having superstar Todd Terje stretch it to DJ-friendly lengths.

Lauer, Phillips

Phillips, Lauer’s first full-length, puts his impossibly melodic, love-it-or-leave-it sound to the test, making for a somewhat inscrutable front-to-back listen containing some of the best nuggets in his discography.

Lauer, Trainmann (Tensnake Remixes)

With his remixes of Phillip Lauer’s “Trainmann” for Running Back, Tensnake charges into the once forbidden trance territory and demands dancers follow.

Matthew Styles, Sample & Hold EP

The Sample & Hold EP on Running Back is Matthew Styles’ first solo record in three years, one that lends more credence to his reputation as unconventionally consistent.

Talking Shop with Running Back

Running Back is one of the most consistent labels about. Only in terms of quality, mind. Consistency doesn’t equal homogeneity, and frankly Running Back can be all over the shop stylistically. Ravey, wildpitch house from Radio Slave one release, Robert Dietz’s desiccated Mannheim funk the next, Running Back is unafraid to thumb its nose at genre purists. For a busy man, the label’s owner Gerd Janson is exceptionally generous with his time, and it was a pleasure to shoot the shit with him for a couple hours about the eternal vinyl versus mp3 debate, Walter Benjamin, British dub soundsystems, and what we can expect next from the least predictable of labels.

RezKar, Above The Clouds

LWE’s Kuri Kondrak caught up with South Africa’s RezKar two weeks ago, noting the promise of big things to come. RezKar’s newest, one track backed by four remixes on the Running Back label, is significantly more assured, without quite seeming to realize the potential present in earlier efforts. There are a number of very good things in the original mix of “Above the Clouds”: pretty melodies that dance through artful synth arrangements, defying both hands in the air schmaltz and limpid disco house recombinations. This is a good trick to know, and the track generally betrays a good ear and considerate attention to musical quality. But carefully negotiating a divide that has at its one end Gui Boratto and its other Prins Thomas is an insufficient accomplishment for someone whose earlier output promised galloping individuality.

Jacob Korn, I Like The Sun (But Not On LCDs)

Gerd Janson first heard Jacob Korn’s “I Like The Sun (But Not On LCDs)” almost two and a half years back at a Red Bull Music Academy gig in Toronto. Not that you would know it, as the three tracks on the latest Running Back still sound box fresh and, in fashion-editorial speak, “on trend.” What that says about how far ahead of the curve Running Back are, or how retroactive house music is these days, or even how laborious the process of signing, pressing and promoting a track is, are matters best discussed elsewhere. What matters here (this is a review, right?), is that eventually the music got released, and it’s really rather good.

Dplay, Huub Sand

Running Back, managed by journalist, DJ, occasional producer and all-round good guy Gerd Janson, had a great 2008, cherrypicking three superb records by Mark E, Move D and Radio Slave. Quality over quantity seemed to be the year’s motto, but in 2009 the Frankfurt-based label has managed the trick of combining the two, with four fine releases in the first half of this year: The Melchior-esque “Forward Snipping” by Robert Dietz, the frankly ridiculous limited edition “The Voice From Planet Love” from Precious System, and a forthcoming disco smasher by Hamburg’s Tensnake all have their merits, but the real pick of the bunch has been Dplay’s “Huub Sand.”