Material Records

Wolfgang Muthspiel, one of the most prestigious and successful jazz musicians in Austria, is a man of deeds. In the year 2000 he founded his label Material Records, which step was based on the sole fact that in the process of recording his album “Daily Mirror”, together with the Norwegian singer Rebekka Bakken, he faced the problem of the record company jumping off right before the end of the recordings. But rather than to stick his head in the sand, Wolfgang Muthspiel decided to take matters into his own hands. The duo released the record on Material Records, which turned out to be exactly the right decision. “Daily Mirror” was a complete success and Muthspiel’s record label established itself as one of the most important Austrian jazz labels.

Although the classification jazz is rather a kind of etiquette in this context. Those who know Wolfgang Muthspiel, know that he can not be categorized. There is probably no field within jazz music, in which this incredibly diverse guitarist and composer is not proficient. His works are characterized by a great openness to other genres, and particularly to new ideas. Wolfgang Muthspiel constanstly tries to expand the field of jazz in his music and to embellish it with additional facets. The two-time Hans Koller Prize winner and winner of the European Jazz Prize 2003 is a big time music fan, who is interested in all musical aspects and genres. These same standards show in the repertoire of his own label.

Material Records gathers musicians, bands and ensembles from a selection of styles and varieties. It is the enormous spectrum which makes the label‘s catalog so fascinating. Unlike many other major labels, Wolfgang Muthspiel provides “his” artists with enough space to express their creativity and enough time to realize their own visions. As the manager of the label, the guitarist is not really interested in establishing a specific sound. He rather wants to support related artistic groups. He is also not primarily concerned about the commercial success of an album, but more about the high quality and innovative power of music. Of course, a production should pay off in the end, but this is not the primary drive. Muthspiel has consistently proven to make the right choices in the selection of musicians, bands and ensembles.

In the broadest sense, the musical repertoire of the label stylistically includes the three fields jazz, song and classical music. New innovative jazz productions are therefore just as well on the list as talented and aspiring singer/songwriters and innovatively composed or interpreted classical music. The names of the artists who release their albums on Material Records show what a high reputation Muthspiel‘s label already has, nationally and internationally. The artists signed to Material Records include, of course Wolfgang Muthspiel himself, Triology, Beefolk, Brian Blade, Dhafer Youssef, Amarcord Wien, Christian Muthspiel, Helgi Jonsson, Martin Reiter, Rebekka Bakken and many others.

Michael Ternai
translated from the German by Doris Miyung Brady