Label Love #29 Cocktail D’Amore
Naming themselves after the Italian word for the circular runway of UFO's as used in 1970s sci-fi films, DJ/production duo Discodromo teamed up with Berghain resident DJ Boris to create Cocktail d'Amore, a monthly party that’s become a fixture in Berlin’s gay scene, back in 2009. 2 years later they expanded this venture into a label and have continued to release a succession of great music ever since.
We caught up with them to find out a bit more about what the label is all about;
Can you tell us a little bit about Cocktail d’Amore and what the label’s original blueprints were?
The whole plan behind it is really simple (and somehow universal cause why else would one start his own label?): Cocktail d’Amore is a platform to put out our music or just music we like. Why try to get your demos released by some profit driven label treating you and your music like shit just because you don’t match their "oh-this-wont-get-enough-beatport-downloads" standards?
What sparked the idea and kicked it into gear?
Having a label has always been one of our dreams, which seemed to be quite unrealistic for a long time due to some practical matter: we’re no rich kids here. So we just forgot about it… until we moved to Berlin and started throwing parties on a regular basis and that finally gave us the chance to do it.
What are some of the label’s formative musical influences?
Being children in Italy in the 80’s, clubbing there in the 90’s and living in Berlin right as we type.
How has the driving force behind the label changed since its inception?
Not much really. We’re there looking for new music with the same passion as always.
Is there a framework/concept you work to with the releases on the label?
Thank goodness there isn’t. We’re very curious people here and love to get excited about things so we just let ourselves be guided by that excitement. Take the Heatsick release, which was our second record. We heard Steven performing “Dream Tennis” in a warehouse somewhere at the edge of Neukölln. It was a 45 minute version that almost turned into a mantra and at the end of it we were tripping our faces off so much – even though we were completely sober! – that we looked at each other’s faces and said: shit we have to put this out!
There’s a great selection of artwork accompanying your releases – how do you go about selecting the imagery?
Thank you! All the artworks of the 12 inches have been done by Pindar aka GoldN’Sour who also did all the flyers for the parties (and the music videos for the label, which you can find here). Most of the releases feature artworks that are deeply connected to the producers who contributed their music. On the Heatsick record there are for example pictures of his own broken Casio keyboards – the only gear used during the recording – and a snake puppet from Steven’s childhood… or the cover of our own “Samba Imperiale” is from some wild after party we had after one of our Cocktail d’Amore parties in Berlin. For the compilation we asked Benedikt Rugar to translate our party into one of his drawings… we wanted people to see it through his eyes.
How do you source material for the label?
Mostly it’s the music itself coming to us. Sfire, Studio Luce, Heatsick and few of the artists on the compilation are all long time friends who made us listen to their own productions themselves… but not only: sometimes we find new music simply by listening to new records. We bumped into Lord Of The Isles’ music at the time of “Hot Blobs” just from buying that record. It was so beautiful and sounded so unique we decided to get in touch with him and asked to hear more… and that’s how “Searching/Don’t Reach” EP happened.
In the age of the 3 second attention span, do you still listen to albums?
Sure, we do. We grew up between the 80’s and the 90’s when the main way to home listening was the album and we never gave that up. Reason is that it is a complete experience into someone else’s musical universe, which you can’t get otherwise. Without listening to the whole thing… it’s somehow like reading a book VS reading only one chapter… but OK, no one reads books either nowadays.
What's the best thing you've heard this year?
“Voyage To Arcturus” by the almighty Vakula.
Which record labels have been the most influential in your own musical journey?
Salsoul and West End. Definitely Il Discotto and Italian Records… and of course Megatone. Viewlexx and Warp. Trax, D.J. International, NU Groove and Strictly Rhythm. Underground Resistance. More recent ones are Output, Playhouse and Mille Plateaux/Force Inc.
How do you as an individual ‘consume’ music most? Is it at home on speakers, on your headphones on the move or something else.
Mostly at home on speakers.
What would be the ideal setting to listen music from the Label?
Wherever there’s a good sound and one can let go of everything.
Describe Cocktail d'Amore in:
(See throughout this interview)
If you could release any record from musical history, what would it be? Is there anything that you'd like done differently with the record?
“Distant Planet” from The Voyagers. No way, it’s perfect! Even the artwork.
If money was no object to the label what would you do with it or are you happy with the trajectory thus far?
Well, luckily we don’t have to care much about money because we’ve created this synergy between party and label so that the first supports the latter… this gives us absolute freedom and we’re happy to stay like that as long as we can.
Upcoming in the world of Cocktail d'Amore?
At the moment we’re working on the next two releases, which are from Komodo and Jonathan Kusuma – two producers from Jakarta we really love. Next should be a 12” from Jonas Reinhardt and another one from a close friend who actually doesn’t even have an artist name… yet. Oh yeah, we’re also chasing the very talented Forever Sound for more music to release his first LP.
Find out more about Cocktail d'Amore through their Facebook page.