Forged from the ashes of the renowned UFO Club shortly after the fall of the Wall, the legacy of Tresor is as much a part of Berlin’s socio-political history as it is its sonic heritage. Here, in the bank vaults of the former old Wertheim department store in the heart of the previously prohibited Potsdamer Platz area techno’s seeds were sewn and lovingly cultivated.
The club opened in 1991 and fast became an international convergence point for house and techno artists, where local DJs and musicians would meet fellow practitioners from strongholds across the globe, particularly Detroit — a city in many ways akin to Berlin. Tresor were the first to foster the connection between the two electronic capitals, with the club and later label providing a hungry audience and outlet for several Motor City’s pioneers—acts that included Underground Resistance, Juan Atkins, Eddie ‘Flashin’ Fowlkes, Blake Baxter and Jeff Mills. Tresor’s 1992 compilation Tresor II: Berlin & Detroit – A Techno Alliance premiered the growing affiliation and remains to this day a wildly hailed breakthrough release.
Tresor Records consolidated the global network of talents fostered by the club. Formed by Carola Stoiber, manager of the label’s parent Interfisch Records, the Tresor imprint garnered early and landmark efforts from the crème of the underground. Today its series of individual EPs and albums, mixes and compilations culminate in a discography that stands both as a sonic monument and timeline to techno music’s development. Although initially the label focused on its spawned Detroit-Berlin connection, around the mid-90s it turned its attention to the burgeoning British scene via artists such as Christian Vogel from Brighton’s No Future Management, Surgeon and James Ruskin, as well as exposing Scotland’s own techno hub through Edinburgh-based artists Neil Landstrumm, Tobias Schmidt and Dave Tarrida.
In 1999 it launched its Globus Mix series with DJ Mitja Prinz’s House Traxx set, recorded from the upper floor of the Tresor Club, preceded by efforts from Blake Baxter, Rok, Daniel Bell, Matthew Herbert, DJ Rush and Pacou, whilst Tresor’s steady slew of compilations have melded together cherry picked highlights from its club and roster over the years.
With support from upcoming local talents and releases from well-known international acts in the pipeline, Tresor Records is approaching a new chapter in 2011—continuing its surge forward through sound on the cusp of its 20th Anniversary at the forefront of techno.