Ever since the year 2000, a signal from a distant past has been reaching us; a time when man and machine began to unite, yet our sense of tribalism prevailed as it merged into a modern mix of Urban culturalism, coupled with the primitive need to unite through dance and music as we always have.
As years pass by, things change as cultures and even fashions and trends tend to change, and it is no different for music. Except some styles of sound are based on something much more profound than trends, and often times through the commercialism of it all, they barely get to shine as the next packaged "product" is delivered to the masses; yet the gift they held for the world is no less important.
So the question we must ask is: If no one is preserving a sound, how will it ever survive? Can we really let some things go extinct into memory? Though Electro Funk unfortunately lost its steam in the late '80s, and it is true the music evolved gracefully into the Techno Bass sound of the '90s, some in the scene never really wanted to let go of the old school vibe, of what it meant to be a B-Boy or B-Girl. The fashion, the music, the way of life that somehow helped us rise above the desperate conditions in many parts of the world where this sound flourished, gave us hope, and gave us something new to look for as we united through music and dance. In the midst of all this, there would eventually be City Beat Records out of Germany; what has become a highly influential label, but also what has been a long-running 2nd hand record store in the city of Frankfurt.
Founded by Ettore Lauria aka DJ Salva 808, a die-hard of the 1980's B-Boy movement, and someone heavily influenced by the sounds of Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa; primarily the seminal hit "Planet Rock", the label part of the business would eventually come to fruition as the second wave of our music began to shift into its 3rd wave in the 2000s, and a heavy interest for old school "Electro" (more properly defined as Electro Funk) music began to spread like a wildfire as more and more artists began to go back to the roots of our music. As Lauria mentions in a short interview: "To be true, I still listen to the 80's Electro sound, but indeed I try to feature New School Electro artists on my own label". Which if you have been following the imprint's iconic "Underground Electro" vinyl and CD releases, what you may have noticed are artists like Skyborg (Borg Recordings), E-Rocker (Global Surveyor, DE), Invisible Rockers Crew, Downrocks, and Uni-Mate, alongside a plethora of old school legends like Newcleus, Egyptian Lover, DXJ aka Maggotron, and so many more you really have to see for yourself to believe the incredible collaborations that have come forth since the label's beginnings.
Recently, the label has been keeping busy with a new album by DJ Salva 808 and Bassmaniac called "The Electro Bass Evolution"; a classic compilation of old school inspired works to get you breakin' on the floor with soul, and hot on the heels from the most recent Underground Electro compilation, which featured The Freakazoids, Diplomat, E-Rocker, Smoove-E, Sparky-D, and MC's Chill, Salaz and Sire to name a few of the many featured on this amazing compilation.
An energetic and highly productive imprint, City Beat Records is already leaving behind a legacy of tasteful, classic Electro Funk music; in many ways picking up where the legendary Streetsounds label left off, while showing the world that the Hip Hop spirit that gave birth to this movement is more alive than ever, and is something each and every one of us should take a step back to remember and incoportate into their present and future. It's about much more than trends, its about the soul, and the energy that binds us all together which we find through culture, music and dance. Nothing more, nothing less! Stay tuned for many more great works from the label and its artists...For now, support the new release!
Written by: Santino Fernandez