9300 Records :: 31 Km Northwest of Brussels

There’s something that bit more intriguing when something is being attempted away from the bright lights of the bigger cities. From a mutual affinity for machine music, friends coming together over their favorite records, 9300 Records was born.

I try to keep my ear to the ground, I try to cover new artists and labels as much as possible. But alas, some invariably slip through the net. 9300 Records is one of those that got away. Well, not entirely. Set up a few years back by Toon De Grez and brothers Niels and Jens Danckaert, the Belgian grew out of Spektrum. This rag tag organisation is responsible for parties in Aalst, a town of some eighty thousand some thirty kilometers outside of Brussels. Hardly fertile ground for electronic, or so you might think.

“We realized there is plenty of people in Aalst who love underground house and techno music. Besides that, Aalst has many talented boys like Innershades.”

And that’s who 9300 started its life with, the multi-talented Thomas Blanckaert aka Palermo Disco Squad aka Innershades. What About Us twists and turns down different avenues, big room melodies wiped clean by crisp claps with some serious nods to the past.

This small city, this home, is fundamental to the label. “Aalst is not a very big city like Gent or Brussels. It’s a bit smaller, so indeed a pretty small scene. But it’s growing.” Even the label’s name is attached to their home, “guess which number is the city’s zip-code” jokes Jens Danckaert.

More homegrown machinists followed with Shin. His Matriach EP explores slow builds, tracks bubbling and simmering into fully formed floor fillers that will knock many the sock off. Releases are sometimes bolstered by better known artists. Willie Burns turned his hand to Innershades’ “What About Us.” Likewise, Legowelt was called on to give his own acidic and dreamy vision of Shin’s “Mistress”. Nevertheless, the focus is on smaller and lesser known musicians with house being the go to sound of 9300. Walrus’ Spear-Thrower Bucket EP delved into the dusty side of Chicago, hi hats and subtle melody shifts characterizing this understated debut. AM Unit chose a different route on the same map, 069 Jamz driving through a landscape of jacking grooves and 303 jerks.

House has been a mainstay of the label, yet the latest has allowed some techno flavor to seep in. Robert D, one half of Shin, has just delivered his Legacy Lost Tracks. Soaked in the history and style of Detroit, this four tracker has meanders between stomping bass and cerebral smoothness. A colder edge is served by Interstellar Funk and his frosted remix of “Un Ni Yo.” “White Wisdom” is the odd one out from the pack but an absolute belter. Synths seesaw to a horror disco groove, beats knifed as goodness flows.

There’s something that bit more intriguing when something is being attempted away from the bright lights of the bigger cities. From a mutual affinity for machine music, friends coming together over their favorite records, 9300 Records was born. Almost three years later the mission hasn’t wavered; support local talent, seek out new artists and release quality electronic music. A simple task some might claim and achieving it is the difficult part, but that’s exactly what this band of Belgians are.

For more info about 9300 Records visit Facebook and Soundcloud.

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