Label Profile \\ Hamburg label, club night and collective JazzLab
Hamburg’s reputation for music is strengthening rapidly. With a number of annual festivals including Reeperbahn and Überjazz , it’s a city burgeoning with talent. JazzLab are a collective of thirty musicians, promoters and creatives who—with their label, club night and festival showcases—are developing a noteworthy scene that is putting International eyes on local talent.
\\ JazzLab is pretty young – what’s the story behind the label?
JazzLab started in 2015 as a monthly night in a techno Club called VOLT in Hamburg. Besides booking National and International artists our focus has been to support the young and upcoming jazz scene in Hamburg. Due to a missing outlet for ours and our friend’s ideas, at the end of 2016 we decided to start our own record label. We have since tried to give local and innovative musicians a stage, supporting their work by releasing it and working closely together to help each other in every aspect concerning our daily lives in music. So far we have seven releases since starting the label JazzLab in 2016 and are very happy to have since then evolved into a collective of around 30 musicians who support each
other. With the words of Charlie Chaplin: “We all want to help one another. Humans are like that.”
\\ Tell us about your events the community they harness?
JazzLab tries to act as a platform for musicians and listeners for communication and exchange. We try to answer questions regarding production, finances and bookings with our collective knowledge. This approach has led to many new formations, music and experiments within our collective which our beautiful community seems to fully support and appreciate. We ask ourselves repeatedly and our listeners what jazz is. Vijay Iyer says it’s “an expressive and critical take on reality. At once tough and fragile, culturally and historically grounded yet perilously unstable, miraculously existing in the most unlikely circumstance and simply devastating in its effect on one’s worldview. The kind of musical experience I crave is the kind that makes me wonder if I even know what music is.” Our community seems to be eager to find out more, together with us and our music.
\\ What’s the music scene like in Hamburg?
Hamburg’s music scene is very colorful and diverse. The close connection between the Jazz-,Pop- and electronic scene is significant for its sound. This is also in parts due to the many interesting festivals like Überjazz, Elbjazz, Dockville and the Reeperbahn Festival, which combine very different musical styles. Not only do we have our beloved Golden Pudel Club, there is also a very vibrant club scene across the west of the city, which is full of musical surprises.
\\ Which artists/releases should we be looking out for from you guys?
Our next big release, which is currently in the making, will be the second album of the band ROCKET MEN. Their beautiful Weightless EP was our first release on JazzLab. The band combines jazz with electronic music and futuristic sounds. After the summer festival season, they will go on tour promoting their second release throughout Germany and space.
\\ What’s coming up for you guys in 2018?
Currently we are trying to expand our portfolio a little. After our first big label Showcase at the Ueberrjazz Festival in 2017, a night where we curated 3 hours of non-stop music with intertwining sets from our label acts, we are now planning to take this format on the road to a number of festivals.
In addition to our monthly night we are also putting on a couple of Open Air gigs in the summer of 2018 and are always searching for new and interesting venues and formats. Besides our main release this year by ROCKET MEN, there is also incredibly exciting stuff on the horizon from the local rhythm section and its many projects, but more on that towards the end of the year.