Label Feature: Affine Records

In terms of electronic music there are fortunately a lot of new and exciting things to discover in this country. Affine Records has taken up the cause of making this fact known to a broader and international public. With success. The names of the acts, which gather around the Viennese label founded in 2008, can certainly be perceived as the spearhead of the young, creative local electronic music scene. Artists signed with Affine Records such as Dorian Concept, The Clonious, JSBL, CID RIM and the duo Ogris Debris already enjoy a high reputation beyond Austrian borders. The unique characteristic of Affine Records is above all the liberation from any blinkered thinking. It is not the label that predetermines the “sound” – it is the musicians, producers and DJs themselves that define their music in all its facets and orientations. A less common but an all the more refreshing approach.

It has been a while since the Viennese electronic music scene caused a worldwide sensation.  When it comes to electronic music, Vienna was a city of international standing from the mid-nineties to the turn of the century. As so often with most hypes, they tend to subside. It was interesting, however, that despite the solid base that had been created, very little innovative and new happened. It almost seems as if the protagonists kind of hibernated for a few years. The number of acts that were able to establish a long-term international reputation was not very big. However, in recent years things have been starting to change. An ambitious young generation of electronic musicians and DJ has set out to to reclaim the international clubs.

Jointly responsible for this very positive development are the many internationally well connected labels that export the music of their artists abroad. One of the currently most active and zealous members of this group is for sure the label Affine Records, which was able to gain a lot of attention with a series of exciting and high quality releases in the recent past. Restrictions of any kind in the selection of acts are foreign to the Affine boss Jamal Hachem aka Digital Sanchez, who has one main thing in mind, namely to provide the talented young sound artists the opportunity to release their records.

All Affine releases have one thing in common – they each have a very unique sound. Each artist stands for an own style, for something very special. Thus, it is not possible, and probably do not really wanted, to speak of a distinctive “Affine Records” sound. For this the individual protagonists wander on too varied sonic paths. Dorian Concept, with his mix of electronics, interlaced jazz, hip hop and jungle is on a completely different track than Ogris Debris who cross their version of electronic dance music with elements of funk and rock. In turn, The Clonius sets its focus on the combination of electronic music and hip-hop, which is combined with audible influences of jazz of the 50s and 60s. CID RIM focuses on the stylish tinkering and experimental path, Zanshin moves in elaborate atmospheric and playful fields. Again, the all-star project JSBL moves stylistically in its very own unique universe.

Jamal Hachem aka Digital Sanchez proves with his label that it is definitely possible to successfully position a brand in electronic music without surrendering to mainstream styles. On a local and international level it just shows that there is always room for more excellent, exciting and high quality music in this genre and is definitely worth being heard.
Michael Ternai
(translated from German)