Get To Know: Moodmusic

Started in 1996 in the city of Turku in Finland’s southernmost reaches, Moodmusic Records has evolved naturally without hype or artificial life-support into one of Europe’s finest outlets for electronic music. Based in Berlin since 2003, Moodmusic has over 100 single releases and numerous albums out in vinyl, CD and digital formats.

With his no-nonsense attitude label owner / A&R / benevolent dictator Klas ʻSasseʼ Lindblad has steered the musical line of the label through many different territories, whilst always staying true both to himself as well as his artists.

With Moodmusic latest release Back To The Future, Vol. 2 out now on Traxsource, we sat down with Sasse & Ed from the label to find out a little more about the imprint in this exclusive label feature.

“Back To The Future, Vol. 2” available now on Traxsource.

Hey fellas, thanks for taking the time out to chat with us, please give us a little synopsis of Moodmusic and it’s beginnings.

Sasse: Thanks, very kind of you to feature us. The label started in mid 90s in Finland where I lived. We had a really nice scene in the city of Turku with lots of local talent and labels like Sahko doing electronic music. I was more into deep house back then and always felt an urge to release my early works. Sending demos back then was quite a job, you posted a tape or DAT and waited for a fax or call back – it took sometimes months before you got feedback on your productions. So I decided it was time to start something on my own and got together with a local record shop called Mind Records and we started Moodmusic Records. First release was mine and it was called ‘Sasse presents…’ – it was really well received in Germany and the US and then it took off from there really.  
h4. What’s Moodmusic’s musical direction, mission, and overall goal?

Sasse: I think it has morphed from being a one man project to an international collaborative of artists and clubs surrounded by me and Ed. The daily business is still handled in the Berlin offices but our artists are all over the world and you can hear that in the output as well. Musically we try to keep ourselves up-to-front to a certain degree, and we put a lot of effort on artist development, which has paid of. Artists like Henrik Schwarz, Dave DK, Nils Penner & Ed Ed for example are all our signings before they hit bigger labels. Sometimes the semi major labels don’t really give credit to us underdogs for our work but somebody has to do it. So many bigger labels are just lazy and pick up the cherries after we develop them for years. I guess that´s how this business runs.

Ed: Since I started working with Sasse in July 2013 I started as an artist with my track ‘Deep In Your Soul’, formerly known as Mulackritze. I think this was also a starting point to open up the sound and direction of the label giving it a bit more openness to different styles. Since then we merged into a team of a creative part and operation part, moving the label to the next level. Although we both are artist I tend to push Sasse and his full calendar from his studio work in our common vision of promoting high quality underground music and artists.

Tell us what it’s like running a record label in today’s age – what keeps you both motivated?

Ed: Motivation is definitely the music. Of course these are ruff times in the industry and changes in streaming and vinyl are impending. I think Label wise its just to much passion involved musically as well as working with people who you like and feel connected to. We share the same values and musical taste and we value high quality productions and music that is special.

Sasse: Like Ed said, we work every day in our studio in Berlin ( ) and either work on own stuff, or mix & produce stuff for label artists, as well as other clients. Normally we do our meetings either while touring, or just have a lunch break and discuss label issues. Luckily most of our artists are our good friends so there is a natural flow on how things take shape. We try to keep our homies in different parts of the world informed about our activities and they do the same. It’s a natural thing really.

How do you A&R a record for Moodmusic, what are you listening for?

Ed: Well as I mentioned before quality and a sound that resonates with us is really the most important thing. There are so many high talented and solid productions out there but a lot of them lack that extra touch of uniqueness. At least most of the time you can feel if the demo is something made out the artists DNA or if its just a „lets make something that sounds like this or that.” Also we like to see a solid package. Good press pics some nice designs basically putting love into the presentation instead of mails like “Listen! I await answer by next Monday!!” With awkward posing pictures and musical sound that has nothing todo with what we stand for.

What’s next for the label in 2015 and what do you have coming up that we should look out for on Moodmusic?

Sasse: We have a big year ahead of us with really exciting projects to be revealed later in the year. For now we concentrate on our new Tales Of The Night series which is a double A-side EP from 2 different artists – it can be remixes or originals and we kinda want to keep it super exclusive and selective. Volume 1 features SLOK from Italy and Florian Hirche aka ROIS from Berlin, who is a newcomer but is making some amazing tunes. It’s all about mixing old and new, hype and traditional, stirring the pot for more open minded thinking.

Also the new Back From The Future Vol. 2 compilation is a prime example of what we do – it´s very varied musically and it´s family biz featuring artists like Jay West, Compuphonic, Ian Pooley or Kruse & Nuernberg additionally to core artists like Maurice Aymard, Ed Ed, Michelle Owen and myself.

Ed: We are planning lots of events in 2015. We have our resident clubs like Watergate, Sisyphos and Suicide Circus…so these are the main clubs we would like to tackle this year again starting in February and maybe do some one-offs in a special Berlin location as well. Other planned label nights will be in countries like Spain, Italy, Australia, UAE and France. London is definitely also ready for some Moodmusic sound in 2015.

Moodmusic label page & releases on Traxsource.