Moon Harbour marks its historic 20th anniversary with a 10-track compilation of all new music. It features old friends like Marlow and Luna City Express, icons like Steve Bug and Butch and new signings like Black Circle, so it is a fine representation of the label’s famous sound.
Matthias Tanzmann founded Moon Harbour in 2000, and since then it has been at the forefront of the tech house scene. Even in the face of the major shift from vinyl to digital, a distributor going bankrupt and the coronavirus pandemic, careful A&R and Matthias’s own productions have ensured the label has remained utterly relevant. The Leipzig label has released countless EPs, LPs and compilations and hosted label showcases all over the world. It has nurtured the careers of artists like Sable Sheep and Ekkohaus and has given a vital platform to new stars like Miane, Detlef and many more.
“Evolution is a natural process and important to artists as well as to labels,” explains Matthias. “Music is always redefined and subject to trends. New generations of musicians want to create their own identities through their sound. As a label, we listen to a lot of new music and try to stay open-minded within our own aesthetic range.”
After a year of re-releasing classics from the label’s back catalogue, the 20 Years of Moon Harbour compilation is all about fresh and exclusive music. It kicks off with Andrea Oliva’s ‘Return To The Dancefloor,’ a bumping cut driven by naughty bass before raw percussive energy from ANEK and tense cosmic melody Black Circle. Butch layers up tribal grooves and exotic vocals, then Luna City Express mark the mid-point with the steamy house of ‘Mami Wata’ featuring Sunru’s soulful vocals.
Marlow throws it back with some old school piano energy on ‘Corktown,’ Matthias nails a perfectly slinky tech house groove on ‘Binford’ and Ninetoes’ ‘Polanco Hills’ ups the pace and drives forwards. Closing out is the punchy and stripped back house of Steve Bug’s ‘Going Up’ and Sven Tasnadi’s loopy and hypnotic ‘Cuckoo.’
This essential collection is further proof that Moon Harbour continues to shape the sound of contemporary European house music. Here’s to the next 20 years.