Quango began as an ambassador for a new wave of mid-late 90’s chilled-out electronica emerging around the world in a variety of flavors. Founded by Los Angeles-based radio and club DJ, Bruno Guez, Quango was developed over its first decade as an imprint of Chris Blackwell’s Island Records and Palm Pictures. In it’s seminal first three years, Guez and his creative partner, Jason Bentley, two DJs with a passion for sharing dance music, closely curated the Quango aesthetic, and are credited with releasing nearly thirty taste-making albums widely acknowledged by the music community to be well ahead of their time. They featured artists like Bomb the Bass, Kruder and Dorfmeister, Talvin Singh, Tricky and the Sneaker Pimps. Quango’s audience quickly grew from a collective of devoted party-goers to a niche community of in-the-know, cosmopolitan city dwellers. Quango has made a significant impact on LA cultural history, as well as on the burgeoning electronic music scene.
On the dawn of the new millennium, Guez suffered a spinal cord injury in a freak swimming accident on the shores of Bahia, Brazil. Although this accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, Guez heroically forged ahead with his musical vision, and soon released two albums that would greatly change the face of electronic pop music. Guez’s first release under the Palm Pictures umbrella was the seminal Zero 7 album, Simple Things. By 2001, Quango’s focus shifted from dance-centric tunes to a new, artist driven sound and became less present in the club scene while setting the tone in hip bars, restaurants, hotels and lifestyle retail chains.
The twenty years since Quango’s formation have witnessed dramatic changes in the way that music is experienced, marketed and distributed. Despite the changing business models, Quango’s core vision has remained faithful to its ongoing quest for the freshest music from around the globe. More than just a trendsetting label focused on bringing global grooves to a North American audience, Quango emerged as a leader in music licensing, digital technology and the burgeoning field of lifestyle branding.
The most recent phase in the label’s cycle showed an explosion in the film, advertising and TV placement world. Billboard called Quango “a leader in the licensing game”-- Quango music could be heard spicing up countless hit TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy, House, The Hills, Desperate Housewives, CSI: Miami, Entourage,and Nip/Tuck, as well as major motion pictures like Duplicity, Confessions of a Shopaholic,, The Devil Wears Prada and Sex and the City. Flagship act Zero 7 scored a spot on the zeitgeist-defining soundtrack to Garden State; Bitter:Sweet contributed their sexy single “The Bomb” as the theme song to Lipstick Jungle, and provided music for the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show special, and Nina Ricci’s 2011-2012 advertising campaign. Chances are if you’ve seen the national ad campaigns for brands such as Korbel, Bebe or Microsoft, you’ve heard the ubiquitous sound of Quango.
Quango continues to evolve from a taste-making record label turned branding bellwether that is revolutionizing the way that music interacts with our daily life. Its newest ventures include interactive multimedia releases, mobile and social marketing applications built for enhancing direct-to-consumer transactions between Quango artists and fan communities, allowing for closer connections between its artists and their ardent supporters.
The Quango of today is every bit as progressive as the eclectic music on its roster. And behind the company’s extraordinary success is its founder, Bruno Guez, whose adventurous spirit is re-shaping what it means to be a record label. With one foot rooted in traditional A&R and the other in the rapidly advancing world of digital technology, Guez has more than weathered the changing tides of the record industry. He has embraced the digital music revolution, while never forgetting the distinctive music at the center of his success. Effortlessly hip and fearlessly modern, Quango is a music company for the future.