Alex Flanter’s Circle Music celebrates a long standing 10 years anniversary this month. Founded in 2004, Circle Music has established a renowned reputation within the electronic music scene. The German imprint stands for high quality House and Techno music. Circle Music’s spectrum ranges from groovy inspired records to tracks, that make the genuine and frenetic live-atmosphere of a club hear- and noticeable.
The circle in the label’s logo is a symbol for permanent progress and continuous advancement, combining subtle melodic sounds with pushing rhythms. Circle Music is standing for a collective of like-minded producers, which understands itself as an art-community presenting art in a wider sense. Not only with the countless releases on vinyl, CD and MP3, the label made itself a name in the club scene with its showcases and also shaped the sound of several clubs at home and abroad.
Alex Flatner, initiator and founder, is acting as the creative wheel behind Circle Music, signing the likes of Lopazz, Steve Lawler, Robert Babicz, Daniel Bortz, Subb-An, Sebastien Leger, Gui Boratto, Valentino Kanzyani or Umek, to mention just a few.
The personal data sheet of Alex is packed with famous projects, collaborations, labels and worldwide venues while the man himself mostly remains the quiet gentleman behind the scenes. Meeting him without knowing his remarkable stages of success would rather draw a picture of a congenial guy who has seen quite a lot of places worldwide and is convinced about himself but he rarely points out what he reached so far. To meet Alex is like seeing a long time friend and one would be quite surprised that Alex runs several prosperous labels, works as A&R manager, producer and DJ all over the globe. Flatner’s mode of pure understatement fades out several facts which have to be mentioned talking about a matchless track record in music business: Besides having worked as A&R manager for Harthouse, Plastic City and some more quality essentials he also has released on labels such as Cocoon, Get Physical, Poker Flat, Noir and Harthouse to mention just a handful.
I caught up with Alex for a few words as he kindly agreed to provide us an hour label showcase mix for Decoded Radio.
How has running a label changed over the past ten years with advancements in on-line presence and social media?
Back in those days we sold mainly physical copies – 12″vinyl and/or CDs – it was actually way more easy to establish new artists and also bring the music we believed in to the audience. There were just few key magazines to cover everything and some key DJs to sent a vinyl copy to.
Nowadays, you have to be present in all these social media – Mixcloud, Facebook, Soundcloud etc. etc., not only this, but everything these days is about having a good image. Of course, this was also important back in the day, but since web 2.0 people can interact directly with your news you have also better possibilities to interact more in advance with the people. On one hand this is great that we have the opportunity, but on the other hand, when the digital revolution took it also meant that piracy grew and almost everybody and anybody could establish a label. The piece of cake is still the same, you just have to share it now with more cake lovers ;)
What have been some of the highlights from the past ten years?
We have quite few, musically we had some artists signed, who have later become big stars, like Gui Boratto, Sebastien Leger and Daniel Bortz. We’ve had some quite few legendary label nights and a nice arrangement with La Terrazza in Barcelona, where we held a residency for the summer over a few years.
To celebrate you have released an exclusive compilation album mixed by yourself. What was the selection process for the featured tracks and artists?
Actually, I wanted to have the current main acts on Circle Music like Slok, Chris Venola, George Morel, Warren Fellow, Hermanez, Patrick Podage, of course my longtime buddy and studio partner Lopazz with his mate Casio Casino, Kotelett & Zadak… acts which I have already been working with for years with, but also bring new faces to the label, too. Such as – Erhan Kesen, Der Effekt feat. Mehrklang, Julian Ganzer, Ioakim Sayz, David Jach with Cari Golden, Martinek, Jadele, Pav Parrotte and Junk Yard Rhythm Section. Also, I have contributed a track in there with my longtime buddy Blue Amazon.
What future plans are there for the label?
With the “Circle 10 Years” compilation we definitely only want to work with artists more closely and give the artists a home. That means that we’re not looking to sign any new artists for now and are planning to work more with the acts we already have. Since Circle Music also established his own booking agency – Stillhotberlin – we also have the possibility to interact more directly and closer with label and booking agency together. Circle Music will also host a residency in Shanghai at Club Lola, and from August/September there will be more Circle Music parties in happening in Asia – Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing etc. and there’s more information to come.
01. Jozif – A Million To One (Sunset Live Jam) [Leftfield Limited]
02. The White Shadow – Dream (MUUI Remix) [Crossfrontier Audio]
03. Dustin Nantais – Dagger (Dale Middleton Remix) [Manual Music]
04. Tim Engelhardt – Soul In Arp (Original Mix) [Poker Flat]
05. TNT – Black 8 (Original Mix) [Sudbeat]
06. La Fleur – Orbit (Original Mix) [Last Night On Earth]
07. Winter Son – Polar Vanquish (BAAL Remix) [Stem Records]
08. Paji – Opus7 (Original Mix) [Kittball]
09. Hot Since 82 – Voices (Original Mix) [White]
10. Brian Cid – Pitch Black (Original Mix) [Knee Deep In Sound]
01. Chaim & K300 – Bedolff (Guy Gerber Remix)
02. Slok feat. My Favorite Robot – Feel Alive (Subb-an Remix)
03. Audiofly – No Name No Face
04. Umek – Combine Fragments (Dachshund Remix)
05. Robert Babicz – White Series
06. Slok – Roccos Hard Scene
07. Daniel Bortz – Again
08. Marc O’Tool & Criss Source – Matchbox
09. Alex Flatner & LOPAZZ – Perfect Circles (Reboot Remix)
15/06: LeChic.FM: 10pm-12am GMT www.lechic.fm
16/06: Radio Ettlingen: 2pm-4pm (GMT+1) www.radioettlingen.de
17/06: Mio Radio: 3pm-5pm UTC (GMT+2) www.mioradio.net
17/06: Nube Music: 4pm-6pm ART (GMT-3) www.nube-music.com
18/06: Radio Bondi FM: 1pm AEDT (GMT+11) www.bondifm.com.au
18/06: Tenzi FM: 8pm-10pm IST (GMT+5.5) www.tenzi.fm
19/06: DNA: 10pm-12am ART (GMT-3) www.dnaradiofm.com
19/06: Tempo Radio (Red Stream): 10pm-12am CST (GMT-6) www.tempo-radio.com
20/06: Midnight Express FM: 10pm-12am CST (GMT-6) www.midnightexpressfm.com
20/06: Innervisions Radio: 5pm-7pm GMT www.innervisionsradio.co.uk
23/06: Studio Lux FM: 11pm-1am CEST (GMT+1) www.studioluxfm.com
23/06: Global Mixx Radio: 10pm-12am EDT (GMT-4) www.globalmixxradio.com
25/06: Radio Bondi FM: 1pm AEDT (GMT+11) www.bondifm.com.au
26/06: BeatLounge Radio: 4pm-6pm PST (GMT-8) www.beatloungeradio.com
26/06: Danceradio.ca: 6am-8pm EDT (GMT-4) www.danceradio.ca
28/06: Safe House Radio: 10pm-12am GMT www.safehouseradio.co.uk
On rotation: Inside My House Radio www.insidemyhouseradio.com