~scape Profile

Berlin-based ~scape was founded in 1999 by Stefan Betke (aka Pole). It was established as a label specializing in 'electronic urban dub' and, while its originating core trio of artists Burnt Friedman, Kit Clayton, and Jan Jelinek (aka Gramm and Farben) maintain a significant label presence, there has been a notable broadening of styles and roster expansion in the past year or so. According to information posted at the ~scape web site, the label is founded upon principles of openness, minimalism, uniqueness, exploration, and passion. The quality level over the course of the label's four-year existence has remained exceptionally high. Perhaps it is its regular but restrained release schedule which has allowed each recording to be given the requisite care and attention that is its due. Label artists include the already-mentioned Clayton, Jelinek, and Friedman, as well as new additions Montrealer Scott Monteith (Deadbeat), Danish dub minimalists System (comprised of Thomas Knak aka Opiate, Anders Remmer aka Dub Tractor, and Jesper Skaaning aka Acoustic), Heidelberg-based Californian Andrew Peckler, and Bus (Daniel Meteo and Tom Thiel).

Initial releases by Clayton (Nek Purpalet [World of Spirit] and Nek Sanalet [World of Substance]) and Friedman (Do Not Legalize It and Just Landed) evidence the label's dub foundations but later releases have expanded the template considerably, although System's self-titled full-length and Deadbeat's Wild Life Documentaries show that the label has not abandoned its dubby roots. Andrew Peckler's Station to Station shows a marked jazz influence by the likes of Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis, while Jan Jelinek's Loop-Finding-Jazz-Records references jazz in quite a different manner by building tracks from microsecond samples of recordings from the 60s and 70s.

There have been three consistently strong Staedtizism compilations, with each one presenting a slightly different focus while still not straying too far from the label's signature template. The first one is heavily dub-flavoured, the second more jazz-influenced, and the third incorporates hip-hop. While the core of Jelinek, Clayton, and Friedman is generally present throughout, numerous other artists are included, such as: Sun Electric, Vladislav Delay, Trash Aesthetic, To Rococo Rot, and Thomas Fehlmann on the first; System, Sad Rockets, Low Res, Headset, Beige, John Tejada, and Nolte on the second; and Peckler, Bus, Deadbeat, Process, Gazoo, and Antonelli Electr. on the third. Interestingly, Betke has not been an overtly dominating musical presence on the label, having only released R (a full-length collection of older and revised tracks, plus remixes from Friedman and Clayton) and the track 'Sachtesachte' included on the first Staedtizism. The majority of the label's 16 releases have been full-lengths with a small number of 12-inch releases from Clayton, Friedman, Jelinek, and Bus.

March 2003