Since Zhark Records started its operations in New York in 1996, with two releases of label founders Hecate and Kareem, 20 years have passed—since then, the label continues to release amazing records. At the same time Birmingham started to unleash some relentless slabs of metallic rhythms onto the world, starting with releases of Surgeon or Regis, drawing their inspiration from European Industrial and experimental music, Zhark was already one step ahead of their time—pushing Birmingham’s Industrial-influenced, but still Techno-driven sounds towards a more gritty, more experimental direction.
With the move of Hecate to London in 1997, Zhark expanded—Zhark International/Zhark London was born, and soon after, Kareem transplanted the label to its current residency, the drugs- and Techno-fueled mekka of hedonism, Berlin. Soon after, Teste member David Foster, a.k.a. Huren, joined the label’s roster—until today, Huren and Kareem are the label’s key players, formative to the label’s distinct sound.
In the new millennium, Harsh, Zymosiz, Nathan Siter and Le Talium joined the label, releasing excellent pieces, but in 2007, the label went on hiatus. During that time, David Foster engaged more in his gritty Power Electronics-driven $CUMTRONIC$ project, while Kareem collaborated with various Hip Hop- and Rap-artists—until he relaunched the label in 2012, kicking off the 3rd period of Zhark’s release history.
Integrating more artists with a similar vision of Electronic Music, Casual Violence and Stärker were chosen to join the label as brothers in arms, with synths as sharp and deadly weapons, and cutting-edge percussions as their covering fire. Since the relaunch, Huren, Kareem, Casual Violence and Stärker released amazing music—Huren’s MRTVI, Kareem’s dubby experimental Techno album Mesmer and The Sky Is Still Gone But You Are Still There, Casual Violence’s Anabiosis EP and Stärker’s debut release Scorched set the tone, and they’re all worth more than one listen.
To celebrate the label’s long and productive history will be celebrated on July 31st at Berlin’s Ohm Club (next to Tresor), with Stärker, Casual Violence, Kareem, Monica Hits The Ground and Huren, and one special guest—a collaboration between a Canadian Techno veteran and an up-and-coming Synth wizard, transforming electricity into banging Techno tracks.
The first 100 guests will get a special tape, with a download code, covering the label’s history. Make sure to be there, the 20 Years of Zhark Anniversary Showcase, in collaboration with Potnia Theron, starts on July 31st 3PM Berlin time and ends at midnight.
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