Nowadays 10 years for a records label is a milestone; Rebirth created by Daniele Contrini a.k.a. Shield in 2006 has released music from reputable artists such as NUfrequency, James Teej, Bocca Grande, Tevo Howard, Freaks, Rennie Foster, Robytek, Pirupa, Agoria to name a few... With strong ethics, great A&R skills and precise quality control, the imprint has built a strong reputation with some of most respected DJs on the scene and became one of the best Italian house labels.
At the end of July we will release a 2xCd compilation selected & mixed by the legendary Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers...This month sees the house label celebrate a decade of existence with ‘Rebirth 10’ CDs, compiled and mixed by Larry Heard Aka Mr. Fingers. Ahead of the release we managed to get time to talk to Shield and find out a little more about discovering new talent and what’s coming up on Rebirth in the coming months…
Hey Shield, thanks for taking the time out to chat to us. How’s your year been so far? What’s been the early highlight?
Hello to all my Ibiza Voice's friends. It’s a very important year for Rebirth and for me. This year we celebrate our 10th year anniversary, and I have worked really hard to prepare something special to mark this important moment. By the end of July we will release a 2xCD compilation selected and mixed by the legendary Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers.
I believe that the music has to keep its original meaning; which is making us feeling better & having emotions...In October we will release a double vinyl that includes brand new remixes of some classics from the label in these 10 years. And if this is not enough we are releasing soon our 100th release, an EP produced by me and Robytek in collaboration with two music pioneers from the early 80’s such as Antena and Liquid Liquid’s Sal P & Dennis Young.
You started Rebirth in 2006; 10 years is a long time in this industry - you must have seen many transitions, from vinyl to digital to the domination of social media and the rise of streaming; has the direction of the label changed much, or have you stoically stuck to your guns?
Ten years have gone since the first release and a lot has changed: from the production to the sale side, from the promotion strategies to the use of different music medias. I believe that the music has to keep its original meaning; which is making us feeling better and having emotions. In such a saturated market, there is a lot of quality music but the current system helps only who has a big fanzine or who belongs to a certain circle of managements. My approach is still the same, even if I feel the award on the merits is further and further away...
What's the most important lesson you've learned from running the imprint over the years?
If you want something done, do it yourself…but it is impossible to do everything alone!
What’s been the biggest highlight of the label? Looking back, what’s your favorite release that you’ve done?
More than a highlight I like to talk about our journey; the last 10 years we released music from established artists like Joey Negro, Michel Cleis, Agoria, Butch, Marc Romboy, Freaks, Rampa and Blond:ish.
If you want something done, do it yourself…but it is impossible to do everything alone!...We had remixes from incredibly names like Motor City Drum Ensemble, Deetron, Radio Slave, Tensnake, Morgain Geist, Henrik Schwarz, Andrès, Joe Claussell, Soul Clap, Jimmy Edgar and Ripperton.
And we had the pleasure to bring the attention of the big audience on new talents such as NUfrequency, Tevo Howard, Robytek, Trio / Bocca Grande, Alison Marks / Wallflower, Corrado Bucci, Chromatic Filters, James Teej and Villanova. Collaborations with artists like Shara Nelson, Tracey Thorn, Ben Onono and recently Antena have been essential for us. The last year success of 'Marvinello' from Michel Cleis & Klement Bonelli has given us a great satisfaction; it was the result of more than a year' work and perseverance.
What are your plans for it going forward? And can you elaborate on the label’s overall ethos and what you look for in signings?
The philosophy behind the label finds its roots in the past, building a link between the soul of a song and the warmth of a melody, then combining them into a contemporary sound. I'm always looking for something that catch me instantly, or something timeless that can be listen in 20 or 40 years time. Every day we receive tons of demos, but I prefer looking for music through other channels, or discovery something from the past and re-release it at the right time.
I felt that Larry was the right person. He remixed three songs for the label & he is among the producers who have written the history of a musical genre...Rebirth celebrates his 10 year’s birthday with two disc compilation; tell us about how you selected the tracks for this compilation and how long did it take?
‘Rebirth 10’ is a very special compilation, spread over 2 CDs, selected and mixed by the legendary Larry Heard Aka Mr. Fingers, including some key releases from the label last 10 years, plus few unreleased tracks. We have taken several months to work on this project.
I could do the mix, but I felt that Larry was the right person. He remixed three songs for the label and he is among the producers who have written the history of a musical genre and one of the names who mostly have influenced our music. His mix embodies the soul and the different facets of the label.
The artwork is designed by Emil Schult, who has created something special for the occasion. Visiting him in his studio in Dusseldorf and breathing his Kraftwerk experience has been an unforgettable moment. I'm really pleased they both agreed to work on this project.
Do you have any particular favorites on the compilation that we should know about?
A few tracks surely marked important moments in the story or Rebirth, and are present in the compilation such as ‘Finest Dream’ by And If, the first release, NUfrequency ‘Go That Deep’ (Feat. Shara Nelson) and ‘Fallen Hero’ (Feat. Ben Onono), Tevo Howard ‘Without Me’ (Feat. Tracey Thorn), Freaks ‘Right Now’, Chromatic Filters ‘Slow Emotions’, Bocca Grande ‘Procedere’ and Butch & C.Vogt 'The Infamous'.
If you were able to make some changes to the industry, what would it be?
Giving more space to the ones who work with passion and have real talent and not just those who are only linked to the logic of 'money' and 'fame'.
Finally what's next on the agenda for you and the label? Do you think the next 10 years will move as quickly and monumentally as the last?
We are ready to release ‘Pentimento’ by Yotam Avni, with a remix from Joe Claussell, definitely one of the most talked and played underground track at the moment. We have signed a brand new EP from a great talent called ILO, the 3rd installment of the Rebirth Lab is ready, with great music from up and coming producers such as CRS+BRG, Tears Of Change and Simone Scaramuzzi and a new EP from our fave Italian producers Easy To Remember is also in the pipeline.
Giving more space to the ones who work with passion & have real talent...If I look back over these ten years I feel really happy with what I have done, and proud of myself. The music that I signed has still a big value and meaning for me.
Rebirth in ten years? I see thru to its musical philosophy; we will continue to do what we love, investing more in the producers who are part of our family and really care about the label. We will keep on reaching a wider audience, from all the people who potentially appreciate us.
'Rebirth 10' Compiled & Mixed Larry Heard (a.k.a. Mr. Fingers)