Uploaded to Aural Innovations: November 2005
While there are a lot of record labels all over the world, there are few that release such high quality psychedelic rock records as Nasoni Records. Nasoni Records, based in Berlin, Germany has been releasing high quality vinyl records for over 10 years now. I recently caught up with owner, Hans-Georg to ask him a few questions about his passion…
Scott Heller (SH): I personally still love vinyl records. Large gatefold artwork, not as easily copied as CDs, and a great sound if they are made correctly. You clearly have a love for records as well. When did you start collecting records and when did the idea to start a label first appear to you?
Hans-Georg (HG): I was born in East-Berlin (GDR). In the 60's it was very hard to get records from the West (there was the "Berlin wall"). I got my first single by the Rolling Stones smuggled through the "iron curtain" by members of my family who lived in Western Berlin. It was "Not Fade Away/Little By Little". In 1973 I fled to West-Berlin and left my family and my huge record collection behind (the iron curtain). I've enjoyed my new freedom and with my first western money I flew to London to buy records (not clothes) in the Carnaby Street.
SH: How did you come up with the name Nasoni Records?
HG: The name evolved from my interest in native american Indians. The "Nasonis" were a sub-tribe of the Caddo-Indians who once lived in the area of today's Dallas in Texas.
SH: Your first releases were from the quite strange Texas commune band, Zendik Farm. How did you come in contact with them? Are you still in contact with them now?
HG: I bought a tape by the Zendik Farm Band at a record fair in Austin, TX. After listening to it I was pretty much impressed and I asked myself "why hasn't anybody released this great music on vinyl?". Several years later I made contact with the Zendik's Commune. I flew over to Texas and visited them. They gave me permission for a vinyl release. My visits to the Zendiks turned out to be a long and still lasting friendship.
SH: The records you press are of extremely good quality. What record manufacturer do you use and why? Are the high quality sleeves made by the same manufacturer?
HG: My girlfriend works in a pressing plant in Berlin, named "Handle With Care". This company produces all our magnificent records and sleeves. We attach great importance to the quality of the records and it's very important for us that the cover sleeves are a bit different to other releases.
SH: In this day and age a lot of people who say it is not worth making vinyl records at all as the market is so small. Any comments?
HG: I don't care that I'm a vinyl junky. You know - when the CD hit the market people said that vinyl is dead from that day on. But vinyl still lives. The major companies produce vinyl and there still is a production of record players.
SH: Do you get a lot of people sending you their music hoping that you will choose to release their music? How many bands send music every month?
HG: We get several demos every month and it's hard to say but we can't release everything. It's far too much. In general we can say that the bands have to fit in our musical concept.
SH: Your label, Nasoni, prints a maximum of 1000 copies, so you are clearly not in it for the money. What motivates you to want to release records?
HG: Money or the idea to get rich is not my motivation. First of all there's the music - and then of cause it pleases me to watch the bands grow with every release. This keeps me young. I'd like to give bands a chance who think different and who do not swim with the usual and odd mainstream.
SH: Do you have a vision for the future of vinyl versus CD releases?
HG: The latest releases have been issued as CD, too. You have to give the people what they want, but vinyl will stay our main format. And I hope that the record lovers will notice this.
SH: Any upcoming releases you can mention?
HG: This year (2005) will still bring some surprises. For example, Sula Bassana and the Nasoni Pop Art Experimental Band. Stay tuned!
If you are not familiar with Nasoni Records I highly recommend that you check out their web page on the net at: http://www.nasoni-records.com. If you are in the USA, Aural Innovations Mail Order (http://www.aural-innovations.com) is the best place to get the latest Nasoni Releases. In Europe, the releases are sold and distributed via Clearspot (http://www.clearspot.nl).