Sonar Kollektiv was founded in 1997 by Jazzanova. Designed as a platform for own releases it soon attracted numerous new discoveries and like-minded musicians to lead their trumps right here. Still it was never the intention of Sonar Kollektiv to pursue one specific sound or provide an already existing scene. Each and every release on the label (250 and counting) was at all times meant to illustrate the musical taste of the collective, its flavourful development and recollection of past sounds. The various compilations and label showcases played a big part of it. From the renowed „Secret Love“ compilation (No. 6 will be released these days), the „Computer Incarnations For World Peace“ edition, the „...Boadcasting“ and „....Mixing“-series to the „Romanian Jazz“ label showcase Sonar Kollektiv continuously cares about broadening its own and the horizon of any type of music lovers. How broad this horizon can be expanded showed the release of Âme’s „Rej“ in 2005. Shorthandly minimal techno was redifined and at the same time the sublabel Innervisions (runned by Dixon) was leveraged to worldwide fame. Other milestones in the eventful history of Sonar Kolletiv were the discovery of the New Zealand reggae soul combo Fat Freddy’s Drop (2005), the debuts by Micatone (2003), Benny Sings (2005), Clara Hill (2003) and Eva Be (2004), the first releases by Dimlite (2003), Tricksi (2006), Christian Prommer’s Drumlesson (2007), as well as Georg Levin (2005) and his collaborative project with Dixon, Wahoo (2004). Also for some of today’s legends of more sophisticated electronic music, like Ulrich Schnauss, Ben Klock and Marcin Kozlowski (now a member of Whitest Boy Alive) Sonar Kollektiv offered a stepping stone to their international careers. And in 2003 a certain Eric Wahlforss released his first record here, just before founding Soundcloud.
When at the end of 2009 the rate of fire ceased some thought the label is running on empty or lost touch to contemporary sounds. But the releases of this year so far should prove doubters wrong. The remix album „Jazzanova Upside Down“ (released in January) gathers the who’s who of the currenty most happening and game-changing DJs and producers (Henrik Schwarz, Motor City Drum Ensemble, Filippo Moscatello, Manuel Tur, Mark E, and more) to catapult Jazzanova classics into the future. By signing Phil Gerus from Moscow, the new project Hot Coins out of the UK, EnaWadan from South Africa and the pan-Geman duo Paskal & Urban Absolutes four of the most promising new acts slantingly offside the dancefloor have been added to the already impressive roster. And once again all true pop aficionados with an addiction for soul and a genuine craft in songwriting are pierced to the heart with the brand new albums by FETSUM („The Colors Of Hope“) and Micatone („Wish I Was Here“).
But what is the formula of success of the Berlin based label? A dance music imprint that – with a few exceptions – actually doesn’t release club music? Is it even after all exactly this? Delievering music for prior to, succeeding and one day after a club night?
There’s no other German record label that can boast such an adventurous range of styles: reggae, folk, electronica, jazz, funk, calypso, house, techno and now also chillwave, dubstep, dream pop, and so on. At Sonar Kollektiv there’s somehow room for everything. Still, all of the 250 and counting releases have one common denominator: It’s music made out of passion - without any financial aim or attemps of ingratiation. From and for music lovers.
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