Upfront 053 / February 1, 2016


If you don't already know, get to know O*RS – the no-frills label churning colourful, melodic house music out of Leipzig at an impressive pace. A refreshing approach, done right.

About this mix

O*RS started in March 2011. I first released together with Good Guy Mikesh, our intention was to bring some of our tracks back on vinyl. The tracks were initially released in digital format, because labels were afraid to sell our tracks on vinyls. The risk seemed too high for independent label so we made it ourselves, and sold our first batch of 300 records very quickly. At this stage I did not intend to make a label, but my opinion changed after breaking even and getting back the money for the first record! So the label began.

Florian joined the label, and for over 2 years he strongly supports me with graphic design and identity – plus on top he also brings fresh and new ideas. This year we start another sublabel called Ourselves, run by Jan Ketel, and we'll release a new EP on the other sublabel RDF-Music, from Ron Deacon.

Everything from the label comes out of itself. We are open for some different styles of music, but more important for us is a friendly behaviour to the artists. The musical focus for Ourselves is clearly on the dancefloor, and is made for the inner circle of the O*RS family.

Ultimately O*RS means OURS, it´s the characteristic of the label bringing a sense of DIY.

Steffen & Florian

Boiler Room says...

There's something pleasingly no-frills about O*RS. The label churns out forthright, colourful, melodic, peppy house tracks at an impressive pace; they're invariably earworms, and knock pretty hard too. They draw mostly from the same narrow pool – almost all based in native Leipzig – who read mostly from the same playbook.

We ran a (still amazing) track Debut from Jan Ketel about 18 months backand could have taken plenty more along the way if it weren't for the label pushing most stuff onto the internet themselves with little fanfare – makes sense, given all they trumpet about staying resolutely DIY.

When the SOFTEIS compilation LP dropped unexpectedly through the letterbox at BR Towers late last year, it was a very welcome surprise. Going off-piste a little, it featured abstract synth journeys, floating ambient interludes, low-slung boom bap and even one hip-hop cut made by an incredibly well regarded techno goliath under a decoy alias (we’re sworn to tøtål secrecy). We realised the O*RS production line was not just speeding up, but diversifying too. So an O*RS Upfront made perfect sense, to join the various dots, and put a marker down at this point in time.

There are hints of cheeky, knowing German humour buried in what they do – see Filburt's own "wasted most of my life DJing in night clubs" – which always helps it go down easy. But there isn't a gambit here: it's rock-solid house music made out of a small city scene with rock-solid foundations.

When done right, sometimes that's all you really need.

Gabriel Szatan

Gabriel Szatan

Gabriel is one of the show programmer/hosts, and BR's Editor-in-Chief – somehow.