When and how did City Centre Offices start?
Me and Shlom Sviri started the label in October 1998 in a kitchen in Manchester. We came up with the idea of starting a label focusing on 7"s and electronic pop music. Shlom had just opened his record shop "Pelicanneck" in Manchester, I had been making music for quite some time and worked as a journalist for De:Bug, a German magazine about electronic music. By February 1999, we had our first release ready, a 7" by Arovane. The rest is history. We skipped the 7" idea after a while, because the people we were working with came up with amazing albums we simply had to put out. At that point, the hobby became a business.
Describe a typical day at the City Centre Offices office.
Shlom runs our office in Manchester, I run the Berlin branch. We both take care of A&R. On top of that, Shlom handles our UK distribution, I coordinate the manufacturing side of affairs. It all runs pretty much automatically. My day is focused around emails: artists, manufacturing people, press contacts, designers. Not to forget attending mastering and cutting appointments here in Berlin at D+M. Apart from the UK, we do not deal with distribution directly, which takes a big burden off our shoulders. Basically, it is about kicking people's asses so we can meet deadlines.
What's the best and worst aspect of your job?
Best: holding new products in my hands. Worst: Accounting
Does radio matter to City Centre Offices?
I think so. I've worked at the radio for several years and I love it. However, I don't listen to the radio very much these days. There is no good radio in Germany
Does the internet matter to City Centre Offices?
Our ISP tells us: YES! We are good customers when it comes to traffic. Honestly: The internet makes it so easy to communicate with everybody. Without the net, we would not have met many of our artists.
How do you know you want to work with an artist?
The most important factor is that we get along with them. CCO, apart from being a business, is some kind of family. Many of our artists are personal friends, or became friends. This is the idea. The whole process of putting out a record involves friends, too: mastering, press, distribution, design, website. It is important these days to have a setup with people you know you can trust.
What are three records (other than your own releases) that fans of your label would love?
Brian Eno, Music For Airports
Depeche Mode A Broken Frame
Wim Mertens Maximizing The Audience
What can we expect from you in the next year?
Dictaphone - Nacht EP (March)
Xela - Tangled Wool (March)
The Remote Viewer - You're Going To Love Our Defeatist Attitude (April)
Firewire - A Tribute To Manzini (April)
Christian Kleine - Real Ghosts (May)
Porn Sword Tobacco (May)
Arovane - Lilies (June)
Cyne - Growing (June)
February 25, 2004