A Brief History of Dial Records

Since Lawrence and Carsten Jost launched Dial Records in 2000, the label has been setting the tone for a quiet brand of melancholic, electronic ambience. As Will Lynch discovered in an RA feature some years back, they fight hard to resist the ‘house’ or ‘techno’ banner with a free-spirited approach to A&Ring, but their influence on this ambient cross-section of the two genres is undeniable.

Despite never linking up with Christian Löffler on a release, the similarities between their catalogues are uncanny. It makes him a prime candidate to track a brief history of the label. Listen to the tracks as you read or via a YouTube playlist.

Soundcrash presents Christian Löffler (Live) in London (EartH, 28th Nov) and Manchester (Soup Kitchen, 29th Nov) – info and tickets

Where does your love for Dial stem from?

The early records of the label really caught my attention with their amazing minimal artworks and typography. I loved the naming of the Lawrence tracks. It really stood out and still does.

What marks out a Dial record?

It’s the coherent, sophisticated package that makes a Dial Record. The usually minimal, beautifully crafted artwork alongside forward thinking music.

What Dial record has made the biggest impact on your sound as a producer, and why?

Definitely, Lawrence’s The Absence Of Blight as his music showed me a totally different perspective on electronic dance music – focusing on the mood and atmosphere instead of monotonous beats and DJ friendly arrangements.

Pantha du Prince – Suzan, taken from Daimond Daze LP (2004)

Back then Pantha du Prince was my favourite artist and one of my biggest inspirations for creating my own music. When I released my first tracks people would say “Oh yeah it sounds like Pantha Du Prince”. So that is definitely an influence that I could not hide in my own music. It was not like copying him. It was more that this music was giving me the confidence to follow my path and leave the ordinary structures of dance music. He was released on a label called Dial so I was checking out their music frequently and I could relate to every record they put out. That’s my kind of Music-Era that I was musically socialised with.

Lawrence – The Night Will Last Forever, taken from The Night Will Last Forever LP (2005)

If I am right, Lawrence was one of the founders of Dial Records. His music was really minimal when I first got to know it but at the same time the atmosphere that his tracks create really touches me, still today. I remember listening to this track every time I went to school in the morning. I still remember the foggy landscapes of my hometown, Greifswald when I listen to this track today.

Carsten Jost – Love, taken from Just A Track / Love (2007)

This is my absolute favorite track from that time, it is so timeless and I think you can listen to it in 100 years from now and it would still not be outdated. This is the ultimate goal when producing music I’d say: creating something timeless. If I am correct Carsten Jost was the other half of Dial at the time. Lawrence and him, these two made my life so much better. They created an Era for me and many of my friends.

Efdemin – ‘Bergwein’, taken from Efdemin LP (2007)

Another artist from the label and from that time that had a different touch to his music but still fit right into their roster. Lawrence, Carsten Jost and Pawel were similar for me. Their music was minimal house from Hamburg. Efdemin and Pantha Du Prince were a bit different for me more outstanding from the label’s sound. Pantha due to his bells and sounds and Efdemin due to his more technoish rhythms. ‘Bergwein’ is my favorite Efdemin track.

Pawel – ‘Kramnik’, taken from Pawel LP (2009)

This track from Pawel was released in 2009, much later than the previous ones. I loved his music from the beginning but ‘Kramnik’ is definitely my favourite track of his. He only did one album and then stopped releasing music which is kind of sad but makes this album very valuable to me. I am still listening to it, it feels like coming home. Btw, my very first release A Hundred Lights was released on Pawel’s own label Orphanear in 2008. ☺

John Roberts – ‘Ever or Not’, taken from Glass Eights LP (2010)

John Roberts came to Dial much later and he was a friend of my first booking agent, Romy who worked for Magnet Musik. I remember how amazed I was at this track when it came out, I literally thought he was a genius haha. His music was different to all the other stuff that came out on Dial. He is American and I think his background had a lot to do with how it sounded. Everything on Dial was really Northern Germany to me, very minimal and pure. He was different but that did not do any harm for me. In fact, it felt refreshing to hear his ways of creating electronic music. Love this track! Ever or Not is also a title I can relate to very much.

 

Soundcrash presents Christian Löffler (Live) in London (EartH, 28th Nov) and Manchester (Soup Kitchen, 29th Nov) – info and tickets

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