Monday, 16 December 2013
TEA Selections: Marsel [Delsin]
The second half of this year saw Delsin celebrate its 100 release - which it highlighted with four 100DSR/VAR EPs and subsequent compilation - so we asked the label's chief, Marsel van Der Wielen, for a few words on those releases instrumental to Delsin's success.
This year the influential Delsin chalked up its 100th DSR release, and although there’s much more to be explored in Delsin’s back catalogue, 2013 marked the time when Marsel van der Wielen’s label earned the bragging rights to call itself seminal. It joins an elite group of record pushers like Soma Quality Recordings, Planet E, Warp Records, R&S - to fellow compatriots Bunker and Rush Hour - to surpass the 100-release mark with no sign of slowing down.
Since Delsin’s debut release, Marsel’s Publik Draft cassette as Peel Seamus in 1996, the label has become the spiritual home for artists like Redshape, Quince and Newworldaquarium, while others like Steve Rachmand’s Sterac alias, Aardvark, Delta Funktionen and Conforce have become key contributors. In recent years it's also become a breeding ground for up-and-coming artists like Gerry Read, Bleak, Unbroken Dub, and DJ Yoav B., while also accommodating the music of established names like Mike Dehnert, Morphosis, Shed, Terrence Dixon as Population One and John Beltran.
In the lead up to Christmas, and in between moving house, Marsel looks back over his label’s 100 releases and 17 year history, highlighting eight records that sit close to his heart or those that have been an integral factor to Delsin's success and growth. And, understandably, at the end of this article, Marsel gives an honourable mention to some of the other associates he didn’t have the chance to acknowledge in this brief, yet insightful TEA Selections.
CiM - Service Pack (5dsr, May 1999)
After some initial tries through different distribution (companies), this (release) kinda kicked it off for real. It also marked the start of Rush Hour Distribution, as it was the very first release they distributed. It’s a remarkable release that contains eight tracks of melancholic electronica, of which both the distributor and I thought it would only sell 300 copies. Luckily it sold 500 within two days, and several represses followed. And, it’s still a wonderful record as well.
Newworldaquarium Trespassers (13dsr, September 2000)
It’s hard to ignore the best selling single of the Delsin catalogue. It’s also a release of two men with a dream. It's hard to describe that vibe we had again, but we were young, and just doing what we felt was ok, without thinking too much. Same for Rush Hour who just started, and the several other people starting-out in Amsterdam and in The Netherlands as well. Those days were kind-of the start of a Dutch second wave, with the likes of Clone, Steffi, Créme (Organization) all making their first serious steps into music.
Various Going Thru Life (15dsr, February 2001)
This first compilation CD (of Delsin material) perfectly catches the whole naive romantic vibe of how I started the label; without thinking about sale figures, and not knowing too much about music techniques such as mastering etc. This is a collection of very soulful electronic tunes, a wide collection of styles, but (tracks) which all have that same kind of vibe. A great compilation I'm still very proud of.
Various Planet Delsin (50dsr, September 2005)
This compilation marked a change in the history of Delsin Records. I call it the ‘inside-out turn’. In a way I was at a closing point, as I was starting to lose the motivation, or direction, of how to release stuff. With this compilation I kind of narrowed down the focus of the label, with a new, clear mission: to focus on more of a compact genre and the dancefloor side of things without losing the soul of the Delsin sound.
Redshape Shaped World (53dsr, March 2006)
Redshape's debut EP, to me, is still one of his best and it’s a perfect example of Delsin’s second life from 2005 onwards, with new producers (arriving to the label) such as Quince, Taho and Redshape. They were part of a whole new breed of a mini-revival of Detroit techno inspired producers. It was also the time when Berlin, Berghain and Panorama Bar kicked off, and in The Netherlands we had Club 11, which was also playing a lot of the same music. This brought it back to the essence of house and techno.
Newworldaquarium The Dead Bears (nwaq02lp, December 2007)
Although this doesn’t have a Delsin catalogue number, I like to list this Delsin/NWAQ-label co-release as it’s a perfect example that there’s always been the mission to release full artist albums. A lot of Delsin's output has always has been categorised between the dancefloor and for home-listening purposes, although I don't try to think that way too much. This album also was a good example of how my opinion ‘ain't always the right one’, as I didn't expect much from this release sales-wise, and wanted to start low profile, without too much promotion.... Luckily it turned out I was wrong.
Delta Funktionen Electromagnetic Radiation Part I (Ann006, March 2008)
This one I like to mention for two reasons. This one was a perfect example of how fast things can go. I got these tracks submitted by a mutual friend from Leeuwarden, (Holland,) and after listening to these tracks only once, I already knew I wanted to release them. And that's still how it actually works... With music there ain't much too think about. It either catches me or it doesn't. The second reason is to mention Boris Tellegen, aka Delta (Funktionen), and together with him and the designers at Machine and Graphic Surgery, I've had fun working with them over the years. Their wonderful works has helped complete Ann Aimee releases.
Claro Intelecto Reform Club (92dsr, April 2012)
This all kind of started with a submitted demo from an unknown producer through SoundCloud. My assistant picked it up and we were both very enthusiastic about it. It turned out to be Claro Intelecto, he was already on the top of my list of 'who should be on Delsin'. It was a dream come true to work with one of my personal favorite producers. Also, while we are here I’ll talk about John Beltran. As a young kid I was so in love with his Earth & Nightfall album on R&S, which perfectly summed up for me at that time what soulful electronic music should be.
“Phew.. and there are a lots more which jump to mind, like all of the wonderful stuff
done by D5, Redshape's The Dance Paradox album, 154's Strike album, working with heroes Sterac and Rolando, the odd cooperation with the Morphine label, which worked out perfectly with the release of Morphosis' debut album, dancefloor burners like Quince's My Life's Rhythm and Delta Funktionen's Silhouette, and assisting Aroy Dee with running the M>O>S-label, and probably lots of other things which I've forgotten to mention at this moment. It's a quest to keep looking for new, special releases, which will hopefully keep me going for several more years. Most of it's all about the beautiful things being created by all those very special individual producers. It's great honour to serve those, and to bring their music to the people.” - Marsel van der Wielen December, 2013.