Updated: Apr 1
Ever since the year 2000, a signal from a distant past has been reaching us. From a time when man and machine began to unite, yet our sense of tribalism somehow prevailed as it merged into a modern mix of urban sub-culturalism, coupled with the primitive need to unite through dance and music as we always have.
As years passed by, things change as cultures and even fashions and trends tend to change, and it is no different for music. Except some styles of sound are based on something much more profound than trends, and often times through the commercialism of it all, they barely get to shine as the next packaged "product" is delivered to the masses; yet the gift they held for the world is no less important.
So the question we must ask is: If no one is preserving a sound, how will it ever survive? Can we really let some things go extinct into memory? Though Electro Funk unfortunately lost its steam in the late '80s, and it is true the music evolved gracefully into the Electro Bass sound of the 90's, some in the scene never really wanted to let go of the old school vibe, of what it meant to be a B-Boy or a B-Girl. The fashion, the music, the way of life that somehow helped us rise above the desperate conditions in many parts of the world where this sound flourished back then, gave us hope, and gave us something new to look for as we united through music and dance.
So as time went on, and in many ways this sound was forgotten, there would eventually be entities like City Beat Records out of Germany; which has since become a highly influential Electro label, but also what has been a long-running record store in the city of Frankfurt.
Founded by Ettore Lauria aka DJ Salva 808; a die-hard of the 1980's B-Boy movement, and someone heavily influenced by the sounds of Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa, the label part of the business would eventually come to fruition as the second wave of our music began to shift into its 3rd wave in the 2000's, and a heavy interest for old school Electro Funk music began to spread like a wildfire as more and more artists began to go back to the roots of our music.
As Lauria mentions in a short interview with us many years back: "I still listen to the 80's Electro sound, but indeed I try to feature New School Electro artists on my own label". Which if you have been following the imprint's iconic "Underground Electro" vinyl and CD releases, what you may have noticed are artists like Skyborg (Borg Recordings), E-Rocker (Global Surveyor, DE), Invisible Rockers Crew, Downrocks, and Uni-Mate, alongside a plethora of influential old school legends like Newcleus, Egyptian Lover, DXJ aka Maggotron, and so many more you really have to see and hear it for yourself to believe the incredible collaborations that have come forth since the label's beginnings.
An energetic and highly productive imprint, City Beat Records is already leaving behind a legacy of tasteful, classic Electro Funk music; in many ways picking up where the legendary Streetsounds label left off, while showing the world that the Hip Hop spirit that gave birth to this movement is more alive than ever, and is something each and every one of us should take a step back to remember and incorporate into our present and future. It's about much more than trends, its about the soul, and the energy that binds us all together which we find through culture, music and dance!
Stay tuned for many more great works from the label and its artists to come in the future, but for now please check out their latest endeavor, the newest Underground Electro compilation, this one a special anniversary edition featuring everyone from Iceman Ja, to E-Rocker, DJ Heliobranco, Dark Vektor, M.C. ADE, and many more!