Dance music is in a frenzy. “Underground” Jamie Jones plays Las Vegas, you can catch Tiesto on a cruise ship, and elusive names like Ibiza, Berghain, and Fabric now seem to fall somewhere in between musical monument and tourist trap. This is not to discredit any said mentions, but a hope that with all eyes on electro, ears will soon seek out smaller scenes regardless of whether they soak up the limelight.
Take Vienna, a city that chooses an hour to enjoy coffee and conversation where elsewhere that time might be used to cue up for a club. With a locally grown dance scene beginning to make a name for itself beyond borders, we can look to Austrian labels like Luv Shack Records for a sense of the slicked back and relaxed vibes found outside the spotlight and under the disco ball.
Out vinyl February 28 and digital March 7, Luv Shack's first 2014 release, LUV012, contains four sultry and sauntering house tracks from label founders, Burnin Tears and Jakobin & Domino. Indulging in slow burning grooves, the EP enjoys its deeper moments on “Need A Dance” and “Permanent Midnite,” while also slamming out a throwback house jam on “U Don’t Get Me.” In all, LUV012 is a sex drenched, retro leaning sound with a lust for soul and funk.
Making dance music these days has been compared to handing out party fliers – some people read it, but most throw it on the ground. For any community to arise, big or small, it takes producers, promoters, and partygoers to create and consume with confidence. According to the boys of Luv Shack, whose own label is a rising DIY affair, Vienna's radio shows and range of club nights signify that this unhurried city soaks up a quality music scene made only more worthy by its size and pace.
Jakobin & Domino - "Need A Dance"
EARMILK: First off, let’s talk about Vienna. I’ve never been. What’s the city all about?
Jakobin & Domino: Vienna is a great city to live in. The good thing about Vienna is that everything seems to work a bit slower and with a certain lightness in our opinion. Maybe this originates from the strong coffee house culture that still persists here or the fact that you can easily relax in one of the many parks around or go for a quick swim in the Danube. Apart from that you’ve obviously got loads of cultural possibilities (museums, opera, theatre), a good bar and nightlife scene and of course many traditional restaurants on top of it. So there is definitely lots to discover apart from music. Maybe that’s why it was ranked as the number one city with the highest living quality for a couple of years now.
EM: Secondly, let’s talk about parties. Tell me about Vienna’s club and music scene – where it started off in your lifetimes and how it is evolving. Did Luv Shack as well begin as a party promoter?
J&D: I guess it’s safe to say that for most of us that started to listen to electronic music Flex Vienna was the first address back in the days. You could and still get anything there from House, Techno to dub, jungle and drum’n’bass, you name it. The clubs scene in general has been constantly evolving with clubs like Pratersauna, Grelle Forelle, das Werk, Morrisson Club, Celeste, Sass or Café Leopold. Depending on your musical taste it’s a safe bet that you can find at least one night out that suits your style on the weekend.
Burnin Tears: Luv Shack itself did not start as a party promoter, it was a record label from the beginning. However, we got a long year history of promoting parties and also did the booking for a couple of clubs in Vienna. But at the moment it’s all about the music for us.
EM: How would you say the city compares to other musically driven cities in Europe, electronic or otherwise?
J&D: As said before, in Vienna everything is going down a bit more relaxed compared to Berlin, London or Paris for example. Supposedly, this might relate to the fact that it’s smaller than other musically driven cities and Austrian people, in general, are a bit more down to earth we would say. Compared to other musically driven cities the outlet of music is definitely smaller but is strongly evolving at moment.
EM: Luv Shack Records describes itself as a label run by “likeminded friends” – yourselves and additionally LeSale. How did you come together?
BT: Yes, that’s correct. Luv Shack is run by Burnin Tears, Jakobin & Domino and LeSale. Basically, we all were DJing and producing for quite a while but didn’t have an outlet for our music. Sending demos out nowadays is tough because everyone does it even if the music is crap. This of course makes it harder for an A&R to listen to demos at all because they’re flooded with music. So the chance that someone actually listens to your demo is extremely low.
J&D: Burnin Tears already had some experience from previous label projects so the idea was born to start our own imprint. Each of us already had finished tracks and so we just had to choose the right ones, invested some money and just went for it. That’s how Luv Shack Records came to existence.
EM: LUV012 has such sultry disco and house vibes with an excellent use of soulful vocals. Share some artists, albums, or experiences that influenced a love for this sound.
J&D: We can definitely say that we’ve been heavily influenced by an Austrian radio show called “High Spirits”. BTO Spider, the host, always played this mixture of house and disco ranging from Moodymann, Kerri Chandler, Jazzanova, Mateo & Matos, or Dimitri from Paris. Gilles Peterson’s “Worldwide Radio Show” is to name here as well. We guess the sound just developed out of a common taste for all kinds of music.
BT: We are basically influenced by all kinds of music we were consuming the last 25 years, from Funk, Soul, Disco, Electro to 80s poppy stuff, House & Techno but also Metal, Progressive Rock, Dub and so on, in fact there is just too much good music out there and we are trying to soak in as much as possible.
EM: In fact, deep and sexy come to mind for most of Luv Shack’s releases. Just for kicks, what do you find sexy?
J&D: A medium rare steak and a good gin & tonic!
BT: our music :)
EM: Lastly, could you talk about Luv Shack’s music videos? The ‘70s porn vibe and the extensive use of fishnets and funky dance moves make them the perfect combo of hot and humorous.
BT: Humorous is the right way to see it. It`s a play with all the clichés that have been used in dance music since the early days. And in our opinion the videos emphasize the music quite perfectly.
Burnin Tears / Jakobin & Domino
- Luv Shack Records