Karaoke Kalk Label
"There's no particular history of karaoke kalk to tell. No legendary anecdotes about nightly backroom productions, glueing together handcrafted record sleeves, no big manifestos about contemporary electronic music. Karaoke Kalk has always been nothing more and nothing less than a bunch of friendly people who "without any qualms you could invite to your tea party"." Thorsten Lütz
Karaoke Kalk is a record label founded in 1997 in Cologne. The name comes from the „Köln-Kalk“ district where the label started out. Over the past 17 years the label has amounted a superb catalog totaling well over 60 releases by a dazzling array of artists spanning the broadest possible spectrum of musical output.
Some of the most notable musicians to have released on Kalk include Scottish post-jazz pianist Bill Wells, To Rococo Rot bassist Mapstation aka Stefan Schneider, Static aka classically trained drummer Hanno Leichtmann, tireless musical activist Guido Möbius and the meister of prepared-piano Hauschka. Of all the acts to appear on KK, the later has undoubtedly reached the widest audience, with continued success and international acclaim, it was Kalk that first brought Hauschka's unique style to the world. While between them Bill Wells and Stefan Schneider have worked with everyone from Aidan Moffat and Barbara Morgenstern to Mahar Shalal Hash Baz and Hans-Joachim Roedelius.
Of course, besides all these well known names Karaoke Kalk is very much about supporting new talent and bringing to light fantastic new artists who might not otherwise get a break. And so the label is proud to support young artists which recent releases by the likes of Donna Regina, Emanuele Errante, Dakota Suite, Toulouse Low Trax, Roman and J.R.Plankton goes to show.
In 2004 the label relocated from Cologne to Berlin where label head Thorsten Lütz aka DJ Strobocop is extremely active with residencies and regular appearances at some of the best clubs around town. Musically, his Dj sets move - contrary to the releases on his label - between house and techno, frequently supplemented by excursions into pop history.
He visited South America first time in 2004 where he played several Gigs in Chile.
In 2008 he was touring South America together with Chica Paula. They played gigs at D Edge in Sao Paulo and at Boquitas Pintadas in Buenos Aires amongst others.
On his imprint Karaoke Kalk there were various collaborations with artists from South America.
Wechsel Garland released his third record on Karaoke Kalk with support from Gustavo Cerati in 2005. In 2008 he release an album from a band called Maluco, titled Right Time.
Maluco was a collaboration of Argenis Brito, Pier Bucci and Max Loderbauer.
On his more dancefloor oriented label Kalk Pets he released records of Dandy Jack and Sonja Moonear under the moniker Junction SM.
The label is now firmly established as one of the finest the „Musical Capital“ of Europe has to offer. A year later, Karaoke Kalk spawned the Kalk Pets sublabel again proving the Kalk's ongoing support of the clubscene with a focus on remix 12“s. So far the sublabel has released over 20 vinyl Eps with contributions from the likes of DeWalta, Paul Frick (from Brandt, Brauer, Frick), Daniel Meteo, Atom TM and Chica Paula. Kalk Pets proves the labels undying love for the vinyl format and affinity with traditional djing and ever changing club landscape. Since 2006 the label has had its own publisher too - Karaoke Kalk Musikverlag – empowering its artists to retain control of their rights.
Karaoke Kalk release wonderful electronic and indie sounds beyond the cliches: label boss Thorsten Lütz likes to sit on the fence, creating his own niche for music beyond all the fleeting trends and typical media categorizations. It is one of the few genuinely eclectic labels out there, covering an astonishingly wide range of genres encompassing everything from ambient and indie to electronic, experimental and singer-songwriter. It's one of the true joys of Karaoke Kalk that one just never knows that the label is going to release next: it could go in any direction. The fact is no matter what style of music the label selects, its always of the highest standard and never fails to surprise and delight with each new release.