By Gerardo JV
I’ve developed a nasty habit.
Several times a week, I order records online in packages of three to five in an attempt to build a vast and unique collection of house and techno.
Most of the time I buy 12”s of songs I already know and love. Occasionally, I go out on a limb, log onto Discogs and buy a haul of questionable, 99-cent records from some ex-DJ in a financial pinch. There are usually a few good hits in the bunch, but some of them aren’t even playable.
But after a respectable amount of irresponsible Discogs trolling, I decided I’d had enough guessing. The DJs behind Motorfunker recommended I check out a bunch of labels that are certifiably good.
So, I started with 100% Silk.
A bit of information about them: 100% Silk is an L.A. based label that distributes releases and books DJs.
My first order came in earlier today, and although I knew I liked their sound, holding their records was a completely different experience. When I opened the package, I was blinded by the reflection of Jersey’s glaring sun in the shimmering vinyl cover. The letters of the label were filled in a shiny silver paint and the design was exquisite.
I rushed down to the radio station to have a listen on our pair of 1200s in the mirror studio. I simply couldn’t resist dancing.
In this haul was Malvoeaux’s “Fatal Games” which has similar trappings to many of the funky house records of the 80s and 90s, infused with the dusty sound you get when records are left on a shelf for too long. Thirty-seconds in, the bass tip-toes in, and bam, you’re grooving.
Not a single one of these records disappointed. Their producers have taken everything I love about my Discog junk and further enhanced it. That artistry and respect for the past will never cease to keep me paying.
Countless DJs have said they remember a record by its cover, and if you’re still spinning vinyl, there’s more than likely an infatuation with the physical beauty of a 12” that keeps you on tables.
But even if you just like house music, this label needs to be on your radar. With so many of the new and exciting tracks being released across the Atlantic, Silk stands out as a feisty and ambitious American label dedicated to its sound and vision. It’s a label that not only cares about audio quality but also curates an image.
There are plenty others who make music more about the total experience (i.e. Tresor, Ostgut Ton, Fabric). But all of these places started out as clubs.
Maybe Silk should think about opening a space?
Gerardo JV mixes vinyl on Fridays from 3-5pm on his show Digital Discourse.