Credo is an electronic music label founded in 2007 by Alex Bau with a clear focus on techno. Alex had an affection to vinyl at an early age, it is most probably the best precondition to become somebody finally ending up playing those vinyls for people. He’s somebody with a musical background, somebody serving and educating people at the same time.
Though the medium to play music has changed to a pretty complex digital DJ setup the approach is still the same. He’s been touring the world from Buenos Aires to Tokyo or Sydney to New York having played and still playing clubs like U60311, Lehmann, Tresor, Berghain and festivals including loveparade and Nature One, almost countless releases on numerous labels including some of the biggest within the techno cosmos like CLR and Cocoon plus running his very own label Credo for nearly 10 years.
Alex is not about to expect himself to be the next superstar DJ or the product to be marketed, though the techno he is playing is straight, powerful, bassy and modern. In this respect Alex is very old school. It`s still the music that has to speak for itself and the vibe created by the selection of music he is presenting which are the dominant factors on how a night goes.
“Expect the whole party to be like a movie, and while the people on the dance floor are the main actors I´m just delivering the soundtrack” – Alex Bau
Decoded Radio manager Daz Pearson caught up with Alex before he turns in for his Christmas break with family and friends to discuss his Illuse EP on Cocoon Recordings, Klaudia Gawlas dropping her new LP on Credo and what drives Alex with his passion in the music industry. Hope you enjoy the final show of 2016.
Hi Alex it’s a pleasure to have you close out our final label feature show of the year. How are you? Are your plans all ready for Christmas?
Thank you for the invitation! Yes, Christmas plans are all set. Luckily I can enjoy x-mas at home without too much travelling as gig wise I was able to stay close to my place around Christmas, so it looks like pure, private relaxing pleasure topped with a little techno.
I’d like to firstly start with your recent release ‘Illuse’ on Cocoon Recordings. Two absolute powering techno tracks. What was Sven’s initial response before signing them?
Well, asking this way I need to refer back to my previous EP on Cocoon last year including the “On Synth” track, which became a kind of “secret weapon” in Sven’s sets throughout 2015. This track draw some of his attention to my productions, so he also started to spin “Back To Space” from my last year’s album “Musick” and from that time on the guys at Cocoon always told me “Alex, we would have loved to release this on Cocoon”, so style wise the direction was kind of set and I was happy that they were really digging my sound and that I was free to send music just as do it. I then sent them the demos once the first versions were done as I thought this could match with the sound they are into, et voila…
If we could now turn to the newest release to fall on Credo; Klaudia Gawlas – 11 track VISION LP. I’ve seen good press and can also confirm from listening its a great techno package in style and emotion. How would you review the LP yourself and klaudia’s style?
Well, this album was a “fast shot” label wise. Klaudia was working on it for a while, but the she was not happy with the label options she had to release it as the sound of the album was totally different to what she was and still is known for. It’s not that peak time belter collection many people and also many of her fans would expect. As we know each other for a long time now, she then decided to send it to me in July as she likes the sound of Credo a lot as she told me also before. When I received the demo, honestly, I was kind of sceptical as I expected something completely different, but after listening to the first three tracks I was already totally sure that I would love to release it on Credo, apart from all the stereotype thinking people could have. We then also decided to do the final mixdown in my studio in order to match the sound of the label and the result is a really superb, partly deep and partly peak time collection of tracks.
You are a very passionate artist/musician and pride yourself on being a DJ right back to your earlier days. What part of the job drives this passion the most? Is it musically educating people, the entertaining factor or something else?
Well, thanks for the nice words first, it’s always nice to hear that people can feel the passion I put into my music and sets. The most important push is that magic moment when you hear a good track on a good sound system, airing on the same wavelength as the crowd and suddenly everything becomes united. It’s almost a spiritual experience as you can precept the non grabable, but definitely existing connection between the music, the people and yourself. I have to admit, it doesn’t happen on every gig, every DJ who tells this simply lies, but there are those magic shows and magic moments. It’s music for the club to make people dance. As simple as that.
When you founded the Credo label in 2007 was it essentially a platform to release your own music and get your productions out there or was there a more wider ethos to purely support techno music you love?
Yes, in the very early days of Credo the idea was to have a platform for releasing music that didn’t fit on other labels I was releasing my music on back in those days. You have to understand that around that time I was releasing music on Chris Liebings CLR label regularly, and the music on CLR was always a bit more DJ-food and tooly, but there was always that other side inside of me that wanted to do tracks that tell a story from the beginning to the end, with sounds or elements in a certain colour, that infiltrate minds by sounding unique and catchy. As I wasn’t into starting a full size label at that time, with all the A&R and administrative work around, I was happy with having maybe only 3 releases per year, but under my own brand.
Credo will be powering into its 10th year in 2017 and I understand there will be a tenth anniversary compilation to celebrate? Can you talk us through the plans you have to mark the milestone?
Yes, of course. We have collected some great tracks by many artists who have released music on Credo before, like Dirty Basscore, Vloyd, Sophiite, Nastia Reigel, Kyle Geiger or Leghau, but there will also be some new talent on it as the tracks of LVRZ for example was simply too good to wait any longer to release it. And there will also be a special collaboration between me and The Horrotist, which turned out to even sound like EBM a la Nitzer Ebb or Front 242, but in more modern and techy way. It will be released digitally but also as an exclusive limited CD-package including other merchandising stuff which will only be available on Bandcamp.
The label has a very nice crisp and minimal branding. Who is responsible for the design work?
It’s all done by myself. I’m very picky when it comes to this. I have a very clear vision about it that doesn’t leave much space for input from other graphic artists, so I don’t want to cut down their art and input as it wouldn’t be fair in my eyes to make them just being a tool.
Credo Radio and TV are promotion tools you also use to push the label. Can you talk us through the structure of the radio show, where to listen and the content on Credo TV?
Well, the idea behind credo.radio is very simple, it’s about showcasing the DJ skills of the label artists and they way how the integrate their music on Credo into it, and credo.tv is about giving a little insight on what`s happening behind the scenes of the label or to point the viewer to aspects of the label or artists which can’t be translated into music. And for both formats it’s the idea to build up an archive on the label activities, Mixcloud being the source for credo.radio, our Facebook profile and YouTube being the source for credo.tv.
There is no better or fun way to push your label than to of course put on events and label nights. Your latest was at Sakog in Austria in November. What can we expect from a Credo label night for anyone who hasn’t yet attended?
The goal of our showcases is to bring the sound of the label together with visual support and in a club-environment that supports the self-understanding of the label. Credo released hard, solid but also deep and atmospheric music, so we need a surrounding of concrete, steel, darkness and lots of bass to feel home. This also helps to keep the focus on the music as this is the most important aspect for all our artists. It`s a little bit like the artwork. A minimal and very focused approach to the music, leaving out unnecessary blending lights which draw away the attention from what really is important.
Well, I have to admit that I only have been to Scotland once some years back, and that was a very short stay as Easyjet fucked up my flight. But I know the Sleaze guys for a while and I really like them, so it’s great to return now for some more hours as last time and I heard that the place is definitely a good address for what I do musically. And apart from that I’m of course aware of the great influence the Scots have on Techno for so many years now, like Slam and Soma for example, to name one outlet at least.
I’m aware of the precise thought you have put into compiling this Credo label feature mix for us. Where did you begin and what were the important factors behind the planning of the mix?
It was not easy to squeeze 10 years into one hour as you can imagine, it’s actually impossible, so I tried to find a balance between new, even some unreleased tracks like the first one from LVRZ to show the future as well as current tracks like Klaudia Gawlas’, Vloyd’s or Nastia Reigel’s for the present and connect them with some previous releases like Sonic Infusion, Positive Merge or my own track “Skizzo” which approve that there is a kind of logical connection and progress.
If you could but on a joint label event which label would you choose to best compliment Credo and why?
Puhhhh, what a tough question!!! I think it’s impossible to answer that. I have respect for so many artists and labels, but the range is really wide-spread, honestly! I really dig the sound Oscar Mulero is running with Pole Group the same way I’m into some music which is released on Marco Bailey’s MBR Limited or Materia for example. There are times I enjoy the stuff on Cocoon as well as I do like music that comes out on Len Faki’s figure. And this was only the top of the iceberg…
I’d like to wrap things up now and thank you for your time with featuring Credo with Decoded Magazine. Is there anything you would like to add for our readers and your fans?
Yes, maybe one thing: take your time! It’s time to slow down things and find a focus again. We’re all flooded with input we can not handle properly anymore, just watch yourself when you scroll down the social media news. So many people, especially artists, invest a lot of time into what they do, and too many people just wipe it away with their fingers within the blink of an eye and the ones with the biggest marketing budget draw the attention away from what real art actually is. Read more carefully, watch and listen without skipping through videos or tracks, and reflect what you saw or have heard. And start all this with what’s right around you. In your street, in your city, at your local club, your local media, your friends, this will hopefully help to find out what you really like and not what social media tells you…
All the best and have a great Christmas and New Year!
Decoded Radio hosted by Ian Dillon presents Credo with Alex Bau.
Decoded Hot Picks Chart Countdown
#4 Simon Doty & Zein – Ava (Original Mix) [Einmusika]
#3 Kölsch – Kir (Original Mix) [Kompakt]
#2 Jerome Isma-Ae & Alastor – Tiger (Original Mix) [JEE Productions]
#1 Been Here Before (Namatjira Remix) [Manual Music]
01. Donatello & Shane Blackshaw – Catch 23 (Original Mix) [Stripped Recordings]
02. Michael A – Guardian (Original Mix) [Hot Cue Music]
03. Weekend Heroes – D-Compression (Matan Caspi Remix) [Global Underground]
04. Dmitry Molosh – Glow (Original Mix) [Clubsonica Records]
01. LVRZ – The Man Who Lost The Connection To The World (CREDO40)
02. Alex Bau feat. The Horrorist – Behind (Tech Mix First Version) (CREDO40)
03. Sophiite – Ejection (CREDO36)
04. Nastia Reigel – Figures In Brine (Truncate Repaint) (CREDO34)
05. Vloyd – Zen (CREDO35)
06. Positive Merge – The Passage Of Time (CREDO27)
07. Sonic Infusion – Unfuture (Mark Broom Repaint) (CREDO21)
08. Mikael Jonasson – Comfort Zone (Probe Repaint) (CREDO37)
09. Leghau – Isolation (CREDO40)
10. Klaudia Gawlas – Craving Pt 1 (CREDO38)
11. Alex Bau – Skizzo Pt 2 (CREDOBLACK04)
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