Label Showcase 009: Moon Harbour Recordings

Not many labels make it to release number fifteen, let alone year 15, but that’s exactly the milestone the Moon Harbour Recordings family is celebrating throughout 2015.

Headed up by esteemed DJ, producer, remixer and Circoloco/DC10 Ibiza resident Matthias Tanzmann and manager André Quaas, the Leipzig based label has lasted so long on account of it having always moved ahead of the times. Celebrated for its diverse output from tech house to minimal to deeper club sounds, the label’s ever evolving roster of artists is like a who’s who of the contemporary scene.

Since the turn of the millennium it has been a bastion of deep and tech house quality that has not moved with the times, but has defined them ahead of trend. Running up the spine of the label’s quality output over the years have been full length albums from the likes of Matthias Tanzmann in 2008, Luna City Express in 2009, Martinez in 2010 and Ekkohaus in 2013. So too does the label offer up a label compilation series, Moon Harbour Inhouse, which tells the story of the label’s evolution, and along the way there have been many underground hits including now close family member Sable Sheep’s debut EP Upon Burning Skies in 2013, Arado & Marco Faraone’s Strange Neighbours in 2010 and SantosHold Home in 2009.

Next to core family members and label acts like Luna City Express, Sable Sheep, Marco Faraone, Sven Tasnadi, Dan Drastic and the boss himself are new school talents and carefully A&R’ed artists like Adam Port, Re.You, Ekkohaus, wAFF, Cuartero, Steve Lawler, DJ T., Chris Wood & Meat, Butch and Detlef., together these DJs and producers wholly encapsulate the infectious Moon Harbour sound. Thanks to the reputation of the label, Moon Harbour label showcases are a solid addition to globally acknowledged festivals and events such as the Miami Music Week, Sónar week in Barcelona, the Amsterdam Dance Event and at various places in Ibiza, to name a few.

See also: Interview + Off Week Playlist: Matthias Tanzmann

With that, we continue our new series here, and in conjunction with Deep House Amsterdam, highlighting some of our favourite labels from around the world, we thought we would catch up with Moon Harbour Radio(a respectable institution in its own right, racking up 60+ episodes and broadcast internationally) host and manager Dan Drastic and get the scoop on all things Moon Harbour Recordings. Here, you will find information on the label’s history, ethos, releases and future. As you can probably tell by know, we are asking each respective label rep the same questions. With this approach, we hope these showcases will be as educational and informative (for all you aspiring label heads out there) as they are entertaining.

“…it’s a consistent label, that doesn’t extremely care about trends but at the same time doesn’t completely ignore them.”

What does Moon Harbour add to the dance music spectrum?
In my opinion it’s a consistent label, that doesn’t extremely care about trends but at the same time doesn’t completely ignore them. Also we always try to get out the highest quality possible when it comes to our products.

When did you first think about launching Moon Harbour
I didn’t launch Moon Harbour. It was launched by Matthias Tanzmann and André Quaas back in 2000. But I joined the team in 2006 and before that I already some kind of Super-Fan and mascot.

Story behind the Moon Harbour name?
Matthias always tells this story how he just read English texts and at some time he saw those two words together and they just stuck. Seems like it checks out. It’s a pretty neat name.

What was the most difficult aspect of launching the label?
I can not say much about the first 6 years, but i can say about the last 9 that I work there, that It’s mostly our location. Don’t get me wrong, we all love Leipzig, but sometimes it can be a bit difficult because it doesn’t have the biggest scene. So meeting DJs and producers can sometimes be bit of a drag. Berlin probably would have been much better. But we see this as a challenge.

What qualities do you look for in a Moon Harbour artist?
Firstly that he produces good music. Than qualities like consistency in style, commitment to be a part of the Moon Harbour family is not bad and being nice and friendly helps a lot too. I personally like people very much who shower on a daily basis ;)

Describe 3 seminal moments in Moon Harbour existence?
– Sonar 2006 as Matthias’ remix for Marlow’s ‘Movin’ came out and everyone in Barcelona played it.
– The 10th anniversary in 2010
– The day I started working here ;)

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