According to Claudio Banti, Berlin’s Lack Records was launched with a simple curatorial goal: “to release music which we would like to hear in our favorite club while having a couple of long island iced teas.”
Since founding the imprint in 2013, Banti’s gone on to curate a steady stream of varied and quality house, techno and electro releases.
He originally founded the label “with naïvety, a bunch of friends, no money, no knowledge, but some ambition.” But the label has grown considerably since then. And on September 29, it’s moving beyond Berlin to Munich, where it will take over Blitz Club with Telekom Electronic Beats.
Ahead of a wild evening, we took a look at four of the label’s core artists.
Jonas Palzer—who also runs Portray Records—discovered the label while digging at Oye in Berlin. After sending some music to Lack, he released In The Evening There Is Feeling on the label in 2016. While his releases may be produced in a starkly different style from contemporaries like Gian or Attila, it’s part of what ties all of the artists together.
“To me, what’s common to most of the records is a raw, boomy, subtly evolving and often widely reverberating sound,” he says. “Furthermore, we all know each other quite well and discuss musical decisions, track selections and mixdowns.”
Recently, Palzer joined forces with Simon Hoffmann (aka D-IX / SBC) to build a new studio in hopes of creating a label mixing HQ. “In addition to that,” Palzer says, “the visual appearance—artwork, website, posters—created by graphic designer Johannes Breyer are no less important.”
Berlin-based Gian Galizia knew Banti before he began running Lack Records. The founder and future resident artist met through another Lack-based producer, Attila. “After the first few releases, [Banti] quickly realized that he needed some DJs,” he says. At the time, only D-IX / SBC and Pablo Mateo were active on the roster, but as a live act. “This basically opened the door for Attila and me, and we’ve been annoying [Banti] ever since.”
Galizia’s music rotates through a melange of influences. “If you listen through our catalogue,” he says, “it becomes clear that one can’t pigeonhole the label output as a whole.” He’s right. While all three of Galizia’s records on Lack are soaked with acidic synth lines and erratic percussion, they swing between pulsating house arrangements, techno rhythms and off-kilter electro. “I wouldn’t say we have a signature sound, but vibe.”
Victor Ellinghaus is a German DJ who also runs the label Magic Power. A recent compilation between the two labels saw the likes of Galizia, Attila and Ellinghaus teaming up with Fadi Mohem and other Berlin staples for a tasteful eight-track statement. Ellinghaus DJs alongside the Lack crew in between solo gigs with the likes of Marcel Dettmann at IfZ in Leipzig, and other Berlin haunts like ://aboutblank and Griessmuehle.
Stefan Schmidt-Dichte (a.k.a. Perm) is one of Lack’s most recent additions. Whether DJing or playing live, the German artist’s sonic landscapes center around a crest and fall of hypnotic percussion and cosmic accents. His latest release on Lack, “R.L. Flingo”, is another effective example of that.
It’s the presence of Banti and his label mates that make the environment unique for Schmidt-Dichte. “Usually I send them all the stuff I produce and they tell me what they like,” he says. “I don’t really think that one of my tracks is ready. It’s more a decision to stop working on the current thing and step over to the next.”
From Szpitalna 1 in Krakow to Berghain and Nachtdigital, Schmidt-Dichte’s sound is versatile and meandering, just like Lack Records’.