The first show of 2020 and the mighty Jazzanova are on board. Ben spoke to Juergen Von Knoblauch about their new Sonar Kollektiv 21 compilation, Berlin and how it all began plus there’s a unique half-hour DJ mix. Add to that a preview of what the Paper labels will be putting out this year, and you’ve got a doozy of a show.
We were made the DJ Mag’s end-of-year Vital Label. Whoop whoop!
We’ve had some great reactions and press in hitting our 25th Birthday so here are some highlights.
‘A Quarter Century of the UK deep house label’ – IDJ Magazine
’10 Hidden gems’ – Le Visiteur Online
DJ REACTIONS BELOW
I’m a massive fan of Paper since day one. I have all of those already but these will beat my home made vinyl rips I’m sure. Thanks to one of the best house labels that ever was.
Great release, thanks for this! Paper used to be a favourite of pretty much every house DJ in my hometown of Essen back in the day. While some of my personal Paper favourites didn’t make it there are also some tracks I didn’t know at all!
What a great idea to bring out all these incredible pieces. I remember I played a lot of Da Kingue D’mazda, Bust A Bubble and the all the crazy P stuff. It was really an essential label and really based on quality!
This is a must have collection right here.
WOW! What a collection of Wonderfull tracks!! Paper recordings is a MUST….super proud to have released on that label me too
I think I put some music out on Paper! My memory has gone. A big salute to Ben Davis and an extraordinary label. 25 years more please!
Only had a couple of these from back in the day, but love the ones I didn’t know,
Lots of good stuff here though there are others I would’ve preferred to see too. Hard call to make with that label.
What a collection! Been a massive fan for years, nice to have a compilation like this! Too many amazing cuts to single out!
What an amazing compilation. Happy Anniversary Paper Recordings.
I’d love to get involved with this.
Finding this is my inbox after a month of holiday puts a smile on my face :) Paper has been such a big part of my sound for the past 25 years and always brings the right vibe and energy to the floor. Great compilation of this stellar label, which is still going strong, respect!
Amazing!! I was a huge Paper fan!! Thank you!! Happy Anniversary Paper!!
Fan of the label for years. What a great comp. So many great tracks after another. !
TOM FINDLAY (GROOVE ARMADA)
I don’t know where to start on this it sounds so good!
TRISTAN JONG (GRATTS / EMSEMBLE)
Big Papererecordings fan here as you know :) A few of these I have on the shelves.
Paper gems here ….how can you not love this all in a handy package.
Too many killers to pick a favourite (or even two!) A fitting tribute for a Northern Powerhouse of a label. Fantastic release!
Absolute Aceness! What can be seen by each Album is the breadth of work, and GREAT work at that, put out by Paper. One (Crazy P) is like meeting old friends for a beer.. tracks you’ve known, played, loved over the years… Beautiful!
The other (Flash) is like finishing the beers, making the call, and going out out! Hitting the dancefloors with said friends and ending up in Barbs, on a beach or in a field or a bashment. And this is what Paper did.. Made you feel like you were part of the label/family.. you felt like they were releasing stuff for you and your mates because they knew what you were into, even before you did.
And the fact that it is still doing that now is a huge testament to the never ending search for great new music by the people/family behind the label. (we know who you are), and we thank you! BRAVO! and on to the next 25 yrs!!
STUART PATTERSON (FAITH/ THE DATE / MI SOUL RADIO)
Ah the glory days when Crazy had a penis and I used to get sent 12 inches in brown paper bags. Absolutely essential UK label.
HARRI JAMES HARRIGAN/ SUB CLUB
Lots to like here, got most on vinyl . Must get it all out!
Ulalalalaaalal so great … mainly have all of this tracks on vinyl but its great to see it on one place. Will play it out already this weekend
FISH GO DEEP
Loved paper over the years had many a great night with Miles and Elliot in Sir Henrys. Still play Downtime to this day nice to see it all been released again.
What a great compilation and label.
GRAEME PARK (THE HACIENDA)
Quality. Great to have these all in one place and to be reminded of how great some of these tracks are.
CHRIS TODD/ HOT TODDY/ CRAZY P
Nice selection by Flash, reminded me of a few tracks i’d forgotten about, Summer Of Love, The History Of The Future and the insanely good The Reasons Why?
After three years in the making, our film Northern Disco Lights covering the birth and rise of Norwegian dance music has been released, well received, competed at film festivals, won an award, been shown on TV and is now streaming on Red Bull TV. We have just had a big show at London’s Village Underground and the promo cycle is pretty much over, except for one final road trip.
Team NDL are headed to the place that is the most northern bit of Northern Norway…with Viking horns on. In fact, it’s the northern most settlement in the world –Svalbård.
Since seeing Carl Christian Lein Størmer, Per and Aggie Martinsen’s brilliant film Ghost Radio Hunter (go seek) it’s been caught in our imaginations and we’ve been trying to get there ever since. There are more polar bears than people (approx. 3000 / 2400), it’s pitch black for 6 months of the year and has a deserted Soviet mining town. It’s as far North from Tromsø as Tromsø is from Oslo and it’s next stop, the North Pole.
After much manoeuvring, Per (Mental Overdrive) managed to arrange a trip to the island for a screening and party with Mental Overdrive live, myself (Flash Atkins) and the mighty Bjørn Torske. Pete Jenkinson (producer) is along for the trip but unfortunately, the third cog in the production team, camera wizz Terje Rafaelsen won’t be as he’s working. He’ll be missed.
It’s hard to know what to expect from the party but the first thing that comes to mind is Gruff Rhys wearing a robot head in the Patagonian outback and playing to a room full of bemused locals in in his excellent film, Separado! We shall see.
So it’s time to practise my gun skills (everybody carries them in case of bear attacks) and stock up on vitamin D.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9
An over night stay in Tromsø where we catch up with Terje and nail the duty free. The city used to feel a long way North, not any more. Forecast for Longyearbyen, -1 and 6 metres per second wind that will make it feel like -10. Coats and snow boots are borrowed.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 10
We get on the once daily flight and take off for the Arctic with additional decks, CDJs and flight cases in tow. It’s an hour and forty minutes and a very strange sensation as it gets steadily darker outside. It really does feel like we are flying into the abyss, especially when the wind picks up and things get pretty choppy. As we start to descend, the aircraft is pushed and pulled around and there is still nothing to see outside. Suddenly landing lights appear at eye height and it’s white-knuckle time. Everybody seems to be holding their breath and there’s a collective exhale as we touch the ground.
So here we are in Longyearbyen, the world’s most Northernmost settlement. We are greeted by Jan Martin Berg (our host for the weekend and the man who put it all together) and Per, and we hook up with Bjørn Torske and Nicolas Horne who’s doing the visuals. Then it’s out in to the wilderness. Town is a few kilometres away but we take a diversion to the “Doomsday” Svalbård Global Seed Vault that stores over a million packets of seeds. It is backup for the world’s other 1,750 banks in case of regional or global crises and it certainly seems like we may need it at the moment.
The rough track climbs up in to the mountain and it seems like we are on another planet, dark, barren and cold. The entrance is just a door with some kind of light installation over the top that makes it feel even more sci-fi. You know when they first get to the cave in Prometheus, like that.
Back in the car we bombard Jan-Martin with questions; how cold does it get (-25 degrees), do you really need a gun for polar bears (yes), do they come in to town (occasionally), how long between the 24 hour dark nights and sun (5 weeks, it changes 20 minutes a day), what’s the most difficult season (it depends on who you ask, but the 24 hour daylight sends people crackers). We find out that all the power comes from the last remaining coal-fired power station in Norway and the irony of it being next door to the seed bank is not lost on us.
The majority of the town is heated by water pipes still hot from cooling down the coal furnaces. It seems to be the only power solution as it’s too gusty for turbines, there is no electricity from the mainland and you can’t dig cables in to the permafrost. Everybody has to have a job and if you are ill or too old to care for yourself, you are shipped out. The main industry was mining, most of which have been shut down and the average stay for Norwegians is 6.3 years, but for foreigners (of which there are over 50 nationalities), 4.3. Everything is shipped in and nothing can grow.
But none of these statistics get over how weird it is. It really does feel like we are at the end of the world and that humans shouldn’t be here. If the power went down, things would go south very quickly.
At the hotel we dump our bags and head straight into town, which is basically one main street with a few shops, bars, diners and a small supermarket. Longyearbyen runs up the middle of a massive valley with mountains on either side. It’s cold and we’re hungry and the café we go to ticks all the stereotypical boxes; wall to wall pine, arctic photos and dead animals everywhere. We then have a look around the shops, most notably one that specialises in every hide imaginable including seal, badger, wolf, reindeer (which now looks great on my bed), brown and polar bears, which come from the Canadian Inuits who are allowed to hunt the bears. But it still seems pretty wrong. I ask if they have any under the counter dodos, they don’t…. or so they say. The polar bears could well be on the endangered list because they have all been killed and stuffed, virtually every building we go in has one, some wearing boxing gloves.
We pop in for a brew with Per’s mother-in-law, Eva Grøndal who is one of the few people to have been born here as her mother hid the pregnancy until it was too late to leave for the mainland (you’re not allowed to give birth on Svalbård). She and Per told us about how her house was destroyed in an avalanche the previous year as a result of global warming in the Arctic, due to above average snowfall.
Once evening came it felt a bit more normal to be in the dark, so we go for a dinner of reindeer (what else?) with the Tromsø KOFOR / RYK crowd and talk about how we can promote Norway in the UK on the back of the film. Then it’s on to the Svalbård Brewery bar on an industrial estate that is jumping with plenty of young beardy, outdoorsy types. When that shuts down we’re off to the Karlsberger Pub which is the local’s drinking hole. It’s going full bore and no surprises considering there are at least 350 bottle of spirits on display and a ceiling that touches your head. We promise ourselves we will go home early to save our energy for tomorrow when suddenly its 2am and last orders are called….whoops.
SATURDAY, 11 NOVEMBER
We wake late in the dark and go for breakfast in the dark, ready for a day in the dark. It constantly feels like 6pm and I can only equate it to having jetlag. There’s a trip out of town to see some huskies and with the horizontal wind rocking the car, you realize just how hostile the environment is.
Off to the sound check at the Kulturhuset and the room is a big hall with brilliant facilities. Its a bit ‘dry’ which will be great for the film, less so for the party. After all the excitement there’s time for a disco nap then over to Eva Grøndal’s gallery, just out of town. I ask Aggie if it’s safe to walk and she isn’t 100% sure as there’s a stretch of road where there are no houses to run in to if there’s a bear. Crikey. The other danger is getting knocked over by vehicles in the dark so everybody is high-vized up to the max. We cadge a lift.
Eva’s mother and father took over 14,000 photos, mainly on Svalbård. She is curating them and they are amazing, like a lost treasure trove from a by-gone era. I look forward to them get the appreciation and audience they deserve.
At dinner (seal carpaccio is on the menu…Pete steps up) we find out that something has gone wrong with the bar in the venue so we’ll have to find somewhere else. It all gets exciting for everybody except Jan-Martin who has his head in his hands as we talk cafés, rooms and sound systems. Truth be known, we are slightly disappointed when the issue gets resolved after 40 minutes and we are back in the Kulturhuset.
At the screening, it’s pretty quiet as it seems word hasn’t really got out. The film kicks off and those that are there, enjoy it. Afterwards Mental Overdrive starts things cooking with a live modular setup that drifts from ambient noodlings in to sublime techno with plenty of cuts from his new album, “Epilogue” on Prins Thomas’ Rett I Fletta label. More people have turned up and we’ve got a party on our hands as Per proceeds to rock it. He is without question one of the great un-sung heroes of Norwegian dance music.
Next, I am going B2B with Bjørn Torske, in my opinion one of the world’s best DJs and most original producers, so I’m super chuffed. The system is immense and those records that sound like they’ve got a bit of grunt at home are suddenly bloody massive. We soon get in to a groove as house gets mixed in to disco and back again: Ulfus’ Guts! – (Funky Gibbons Dub), Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Orchetra – Too Much Information (Laolu Remix Edit), Solid State – Philly Live (Rack’em Edit), DJ Click – Lila Club and finishing off with Brassroots – Good Life. High sweat manoeuvres achieved.
Party over, it’s back to the hotel bar to see the night out and we bombard the locals with questions they must have asked a hundred times before. There’s also talk of how to get back for another party so watch this space.
SUNDAY, 12 NOVEMBER
We start on the two-day trip back to Blighty feeling a bit shell shocked by the experience. It is without question one of the strangest places I have ever been. The proximity to nature and elements, climate and geography and just the isolation makes for a something very weird and wonderful.
Hear two tracks from Mental Overdrive’s live set.
Oh boy, that came around quick! One day we’re faxing giant penises to magazines and the next we’ve got kids and are on our 200th single release. It’s been 22 years since things kicked off with Salt City Orchestra’s The Book and in the intervening years we’ve hopefully carved out our little corner in the pantheon of house music. We’ve lived by our first “hidden” message on PAP001 “Look Forward Not Back” by keeping on keeping on but this is a chance to buy ourselves a pint.
PAP200 is three tracks from friends new and old that originally came out on a limited edition 12” Record Store Day release. Crazy P(enis) return to the fold for the first time since 2003 and it’s good to have them back. Last Knockers has their trademark stripped back electronic funk with Danielle Moore adding the disco fizz. There’s plenty of wonk and roll as it builds over 10 glorious minutes.
When Steve Cobby was asked what Paper meant to him he said “northern musical heritage” and we’ll take that. He has been knocking it out the park since the early 90s and this is his debut release for the label. Boule De Suif is a trip through funk and soul that is timeless but of it’s time; it’s what Herbie would sound like if he had grown up in Hull.
Finally Flash Atkins goes down a more conventional route with his trademark layered sound. What starts as a straight forward deep house track evolves with trippy vocals and a chorus that brings the hairs up on the back of your neck. Mixmag liked it so much they gave it their Disco Single of the Month.
Dom Servini – “What a label. Proper. So much love and respect. Killer EP too!”
Harri (Sub Club) – “Hard to pick a favourite, I like and will play them all”
Severino Panzetta (Horse Meat Disco) – “All 3 tracks are amazing”
Get Down Edits – “Nice, Lovely selection”
Pete Herbert – “Superb and congratulations!”￼
Fingerman – “Awesome release!”
Sean Johnston (ALFOS/Hardway Bros) – “Yes young flash! Killer”
A – Crazy P – Last Knockers
AA1 – Steve Cobby – Boule De Suif
AA2 – Flash Atkins – Rivers of Jordan (PAP200 Edit)
Oh boy, that came around quick! One day we’re faxing giant penises to magazines and the next we’ve got kids and are on our 200th single release. It’s been 22 years since we kicked things off with Salt City Orchestra’s The Book and In the intervening years we’ve hopefully carved out our little corner in the pantheon of house music. We’ve lived by our first “hidden” message on PAP001 “Look Forward Not Back” and have been keeping on keeping on with barely a glance over our shoulder but this is chance to buy ourselves a pint.
PAP200 will be three tracks from friends new and old on a limited edition 12” released on Record Store Day in numbered brown paper bags. Crazy P(enis) return to the fold for the first time since 2003 and it’s good to have them back. Last Knockers has got their trademark stripped back electronic funk with Danielle Moore adding the disco fizz. There’s plenty of wonk and roll as it builds over 10 glorious minutes.
When Steve Cobby was asked what Paper meant to him he said “Northern Musical heritage” and we’ll take that. He has been knocking it out the park over the last couple of years and this is his debut release for the label. Boule De Suif is a trip through funk and soul that is timeless but of it’s time. It’s what Herbie would sound like if he grew up in Hull.
Finally Flash Atkins goes down a more conventional route and it’s got his trademark layered sound. What starts as a straight forward deep house track evolves with trippy vocals and a chorus that brings the hairs up on the back of your neck. Mixmag liked it so much they gave it their Disco Single of the Month.
The excellent Undeleted (Sean Smith to his Mum) has written as retrospective of Paper to coincide with out 200th EP that is on the horizon. It has contributions from some of the people who have been on it including Miles Hollway, Sleazy McQueen, Danni & Chris from Crazy P, Chris Massey, Ben Davis, Rune Lindbaek and a host of others.
It’s a wonderful read brings back a whole host of memories.
Brew up, have a biscuit and settle down for a read
Mexico City resident La Guardia De La Luz is back on Paper with three tracks of deep timeless house music. Think Southport weekender early doors and you’re on the right tip.
First up Surface has some heavy atmospherics along with distorted vocal snatches and sax. An industrial drum clonk comes in halfway through for added swing and grunt before the track drifts back to the original groove.
Sol has a walking bassline and organ with noodly guitar before the minor chord keys are introduced at the break. Then it’s back in with added percussion, lead synth lines and you’ve it’s the perfect warm up tune.
Finally Post Junk Libido keeps to the same formula of delayed keys and heavy ambience but with a left field arrangement aimed at the head. The final three minutes fade out on a floaty cloud of chords and twinkly business.
Read the Juno review HERE
Spain’s very own wobbly disco master James Rod makes his solo debut on Paper Disco with 3 tracks of (deep breath) cosmic-disco-funk-balearic-banger-business. Let’s just say these are primed and ready for some serious dance moves.
Cosmic Japan gets the party started and it is over seven minutes of pure sun soaked ace-ness. There’s a a bubbling NRG bass, laser stabbing synths and pads to die for so climb aboard, next stop the all night discotheque!
Next up, Double Night Straight heads straight for the bongos and 80s drum machine. Before long the pads & synths start to bounce and fizz before the thumping bass gets serious. If there’s not a strobe running while this bangs out complain to the management.
Closing off Night Stratus slows things down slightly and slips a few microdots into your Cinzano for truly hypnotic disco chugger. There’s a massive off kilter dirty bass plus a massive jug of pitched down slo-mo drug funk to get lost in.
Ron Basjam (Crazy P) – “Jolly good”
Fingerman – “Solid Italo business from James. Excellente!”
Billy Scurry – “OOOFFF!!! Yep, these’ll most definitely do! In the words of Rodney Trotter… “Cos Mick!””
Severino Panzetta (Horse Meat Disco) – “YES the first 2 are BIG”
Get Down Edits – “Very Nice, Lovely Space Disco vibe to all 3 jams x”
Anthony Mansfield – “Fun for the whole dancefloor!”
Chris Massey – “Its finally here!!! Cosmic Japan & Double Night are big winners”
80s Child – “The Rodmeister always delivers!”
2 Billion Beats are back with an almighty slab of disco licked house music that is cooler than a cucumber straight out the fridge!
Sold My Soul is the first release from their forthcoming album on Paper and sets its stall out right from the word go! Synths stabs that instantly grab you, smooth bass, amazing vocals and also a big old hands aloft piano breakdown that ensures the rafters will be heavily shaken! Plenty more greatness to come from their album in Spring but this should keep you well & truly topped up in the meant time.
On remix duty is Paper’s boy wonder Chris Massey who takes the party subterranean & ups the oomph factor with a full on stomper & dub version. They both demand a full dance floors attention and will guarantee to give the PA system a good going over.
Hold tight suckas!
Ron Basejam: “Chris’s dub is doing the job!”
Daco: “The original mix is fantastic! Good work guys! Chris’s Dub Mix is a winner too!”
DJ Rocca: “Chris’ dub here for me”
Will Tramp: “Big track. Playing the Massey remix at Homoelectric tonight!”
Tronik Youth: “Yes…Massey’s dub mic for me!”
Fingerman: “Original mix floats my boat. Very tasty!”
Duncan Gray/Tici Taci: “Both of Chris’ mixes are great, esp the dub. Thanks! Supporting”
De Fantastiske To: “Nice poppy vibe on this one, original could be a good springtime warmer. Massey´s melting dub for the floors!”
Get Down Edits: “Excellent Stuff once again from Paper, Chris Massey remixes doing the business!”
Billy Scurry: “Great original, but Mr Massey moves it into a different arena.. Great vibes!!”
It’s good to get back to New Zealand again and we’ve been itching to put this EP by Maxx Mortimer out for a while. It nearly didn’t happen when his laptop was stolen but the stars aligned and the world of music is now a better place.
Feelings is vocal house at it’s very best with Stacey Gardener bringing the soul. Deep, simple and catchy its reminiscent of Miguel Campbell’s Something Special and has the potential to get the same kind of heat.
Next up Soulfood is deep garage that packs an extra thump. Nagging chords and sample, a big bottom end and drums that swing are all that you need for perfect heads down Saturday night NYC flavoured tackle. Expect dance floors like Faith, MOS and Fabric to be jumping all over this.
Got Some Funk has a more live flavour and it’s all in the groove that hits the one. Again on a garage tip with Rhodes and sample at the forefront this does it’s thing and does it damn well.
Mark Farina – “Dig these!”
Oliver $ – “Nice one”
Danielle Moore (Crazy P) – “Liking Soulfood for its repetitiveness. A constant groove which isn’t too overpowering. A good set of tracks”
Artwork credit: Dean Chew
Fingerman – “Soulfood is a great deep number but Got Some Funk rocks this EP for me. Nice!”
Alkalino – “Good vibes!”
Severino Panzetta (Horse Meat Disco) – “YES FUNKY!”
Billy Scurry – “House music at it best, all tracks here doing it for me.. Solid stuff indeed!!”
Neil Diablo – “Got some funk has got some funk”
Benoit C – “Feelings for me”
Robot 84 – “Superb vocal, really feelin’ this…”
Get Down Edits – “Tasty stuff from the Paper camp once again x”
Ed Mahon (Cowbell Radio) – “Feelings will be in the ‘box’ all Summer long, great track. Digging the funk as well but all about Feelings for me”
Groovement Soul – “Lovely soulful EP this one, especially Soulfood with it’s deep detroit vibes. Recognising samples all over the shop”
Noway keep coming up with producers who offer something fresh and exciting in a world where rave by numbers is often the norm. The next one to look out for is De Fantastiske To’s Rave-enka who mixes up techno, house and disco into a unique arctic stew as this EP perfectly demonstrates.
Rett I Kroppen is an epic disco-tech number purpose built from the ground up for maximum dance floor damage. It’s all about the release and build of the horn and string heavy sample for a track that can cross genres and comes off like a Paperclip People for 2016.
Honningen is just perfect house music; using the raw ingredients of a groove that swings and sample it demonstrates why the best ideas are often the simplest. Add in an arp, some filtering, a dash of Detroit plus dynamics and you have something that sounds like a Scandinavian Moodymann track.
Rett I Fletta brings in a 90s Strictly vibe but keeps things stripped back. Garage drums and analogue bass drive it along before cutting to a pure NYC synth stab for a Sound Factory Bar kind of joint.
Finally, the man who can, Richard Seaborne takes Honningen and beefs things up. With added vocal samples there is no way this can miss and he takes it back to a similar place as his Todd Terje and Tensnake rocking Is This Acid? Expect similar results.
Rave-enka is busy in his bunker recording us an album so expect more block rockers in 2016.
Mark Farina – “Dig these”
Justin Robertson – Great release”
Sleazy McQueen – “Too far gone, Norway back”
Harri (Sub CLub) – “Liking a few of these, full support”
Tronik Youth – “Ret I Kroppen for me great stuff”
Fingerman – “Like the main track but Richard’s remix is next level gear!”
Tim “Love” Lee – “Really digging Honningen!”
Get Down Edits – “Strong 4 track EP right here, looking forward to testing all 4.”
Aldrin Zouk – “Richard Seaborne Remix on point! Also diggin’ Rett I Kroppen.”
Ali Herron (OOFT!) – “Digging the Richard Seaborne remix :)”
Billy Scurry – “Ticks all the boxes, in all the right ways!! so much YES!”
Pablo Contraband – “This is fantastic – Reyy I Kroppen for me Rich’s remix is tasty too – flashback to Bizarre Inc!”
Neil Diablo – “WALLOP! Rett I Kroppen is my pick but this is a great EP.”
Murray Richardson – “Brilliant stuff loving this and perfect for Rebel Waltz in London this Saturday…Rett Kroppen is the one”
Keith Dalton (Groovement Soul) – “WOW, love this. Proper dancefloor bangers. Every track has the perfect amount of Disco vibes with that techy or rave edge. Heaven.”
Bad Barbie (Kane FM) – “Seaborne. That is all.”
Death on the Balcony – “Liking Honnigen top stuff!”
Leon Sweet – “I’m a big fan of Ravi’s work and this doesn’t disappoint. Quailty tackle and diggin Mr Seaborne’s cheeky little remix too. Rett I Kroppen is pick of the
bunch for me.”
Marius Sommerfeldt (De Fantastiske To) – “Rett I Kroppen gir deg en varmende pause og passer perfekt Ã¥ ha med i sekken eller vesken, enten man er pÃ¥ tur eller i hverdagen.”