It was the time when the Wall came down. It seemed like the whole world wandered into East Berlin: the new frontier. In the heart of a pre-war metropolis and previously prohibited area surrounding Potsdamer Platz, electronic music lovers found a new location which was made to measure for the underground scene: Tresor, a new home that once housed the bank vaults of Europe’s largest department store in the 1920’s.Since 1991 it has been here that Berlin’s DJ’s and musicians have continued to meet techno and house artists from all over the world: Jeff Mills and Underground Resistance, Daniel Bell, Blake Baxter, Cristian Vogel, Juan Atkins, Neil Landstrumm, Joey Beltram, Surgeon, The Advent and many more.
Starting a „club label“ was the next logical step, helped by the growing contacts with the artists. In the late summer of 1991 Tresor Records began as a subsidiary label of Interfisch Records (Clock DVA, Final Cut feat. Jeff Mills, Cosmic Baby, TV Victor) with the release of „Sonic Destroyer“ by the Detroit trio Undergound Resistance. The Berlin-Detroit connection has proven beneficial and vital for the artists and the Berlin team ever since the Interfisch days. The label has proven itself a formidable platform for diverse projects including the Tresor Club Headquarters releases, the housefloor series of Globus Mixes, the legendary Tresor Compilations and productions by some of Berlin’s and the world’s most respected electronic music composers, DJs and producers. Tresor Records is characterized by the principle not to release material fast and indiscriminately but rather to put emphasis on long term collaborations with its artists. In more than 260 releases involving the participation of hundreds of artists – whether one-off or regular Tresor names – the motto „quality instead of quantity“ remains engraved on the underground stones of the Tresor legend. From the underground to you. Strictly Tresor.
It was in 1988 that the Interfisch label team founded a club and a record label to expose the new sounds of House, Acid House and early Techno. The club was called „UFO“; the name synonymous with Berlin’s Acid and Techno roots. Its reputation resounded through all of Europe until UFO closed at the beginning of 1991. At that time the Wall had finally come down and the world was able to wander into East Berlin for the first time in forty years.
While looking for a new home for the „UFO“ club audience, an ideal location was suddenly discovered in the previously forbidden Wall zone adjacent to central Berlin’s Potsdamer Platz. On March 14th the massive steel doors were pried open to reveal Tresor Club: two levels of iron-barred subterranean rooms and safety-deposit boxes that were once the unbreakable vaults of Europe’s largest department store, located directly in the heart of the pre-war metropolis. Tresor became a meeting place where Berlin’s DJ’s and musicians (i.e. Maurizio, Paul Van Dyk, Dr. Motte, Tanith) linked up with renowned turntable-artists from Techno strongholds elsewhere in the world: Undergound Resistance, Baby Ford, Blake Baxter, Eddie ‘Flashin’ Fowlkes, Juan Atkins, Mr. C and many other legendary figures.
The second Tresor compilation, “Tresor II: Berlin-Detroit: A Techno Alliance“ (Tresor.013) was the world’s first exposure to this newfound relation between the sister cities: once-powerful industrial hubs driven to decay but still vitalised with creative energy.
Nineteen-ninety-five was a vital year for the label musically: Jeff Mills and Robert Hood would depart late in the year to spend more time on their own respective projects, and new connections to equally qualified talents were underway that would spread the label’s fanbase even further. Mid-year brought the label proud introductions to longtime Underground originators Joey Beltram (Queens, NYC) and Cristian Vogel of No Future Management (Brighton, UK): artists not originally from Detroit or Berlin yet both equally resolute about the quality of their music.
Because of the British bond that subsequently developed since the label’s introduction to Cristian Vogel, more of No Future Management’s finest sons began to make their own history via Tresor Records: Neil Landstrumm (Edinburgh), Si Begg (London), and Tobias Schmidt (Edinburgh) set the world in dazzled admiration with their unique, future-funking, underground techno productions. Their important new works uncorked new possibilities for Techno and kicked the traditions of ‘dance music’ into the realm of ‘art music’.
“Tresor IV: Solid“, the next in the seminal Tresor compilation series, began the year that would herald another high point in the label’s history. “Tresor IV“ (Tresor.063) is a soundtrack of Berlin life, at times dark and melancholy, at other times sunlit and ebullient. The tracks selected were produced by Berlin-based and international favorites alike.
After celebrating its 6th anniversary in September 1997 Tresor Records had even more to celebrate in 1998: the hundredth record. Longstanding as well as new Tresor artists and friends immortalized themselves by presenting their tracks of sophisticated techno on the compilation “Tresor 100“ (Tresor.100).
Tresor Records also started a new series of Mix CDs connected to the club. DJ Mitja Prinz opened with his set of House Traxx recorded in Globus, the upper floor of the Tresor Club. Blake Baxter followed up with an explosive mix of “A Decade Underground“ (Tresor.098) and in 1999 Rok took over. A Tresor DJ from the very beginning, he called his turntable activities “Sturm & Drang“ (Tresor.115). New tracks recorded exclusively for Tresor by Cristian Vogel, Tobia Schmidt, Dave Tarrida, Neil Landstrumm, Surgeon, Pacou, Alan Oldham, Scan 7 and Holy Ghost as well as newcomers from Finland (Leo Laker), Greece (Savvaas Ysatis), USA (Stewart Walker) and Germany (Sender Berlin & DisX3), kept the techno crowd on the dance floor.
With the break-in of the millenium Tresor not only entered its 9th year of existence but also its most prolific year of production yet.. 1999 still echoed and some of the most outstanding vinyl-only tracks from the year highlighted the 3rd volume in the CD-only Annex series (Tresor.136). Speaking of CD-only, the 4th and 5th installment in the Globus Mix series were released, this time from Daniel Bell and his cool mix entitled “The Button-Down Mind Of Daniel Bell“ (Tresor.142); and from tech-house beatmaster Matthew Herbert with his mix entitled “Let’s All Make Mistakes“ (Tresor.157), accompanied by the spin-off EP “Mistakes“ at the same time.
Tresor Records celebrates its tenth birthday! A year of majestic and unforgettable releases. The year was launched with gusto by our soul-sonic hero Blake Baxter, whose final chapter in his Tresor Records legendary Dream Sequence trilogy is entitled “Dream Sequence 3: The Collective“ (Tresor.160). His ten years with Tresor are brilliantly reflected here – from stomping disco floor tracks to deeply introspective excursions.
The year of True Spirit. In March “Tresor Compilation Vol. 10: True Spirit“ (Tresor.185) landed on earth, becoming the definitive, historical guide to Tresor Records’ vital contributions to the Electronic Underground. 3 CD’s, and two double EP’s packed with 3.5 hours (38 tracks!) by legendary names: Jeff Mills, Model 500 aka Juan Atkins, Joey Beltram, The Advent, Blake Baxter, Surgeon, Underground Resistance, X-101, Maurizio, Cristian Vogel, Marshall Jefferson, K. Hand, Eddie ‚Flashin’ Fowlkes, Robert Hood, Neil Landstrumm, 3MB, Bam Bam and many other Tresor mainstays.
Tresor Records, well into the 21st century and still not sleeping. The summer release of “Tresor Compilation Vol. 11: Tresor Never Sleeps” (Tresor.205), showcased a musical spectrum of Tresor artists: Jeff Mills, British Murder Boys aka Surgeon and Regis, Chester Beatty, Rumenige feat. Loktibrada, Leo Laker, Tresor Headquarter’s team 3ST vs. Dash, the debut of Tresor live artists Recyver Dogs, and recent recruits Mike Wade and Chicago powerhouse Organ Grinda.
Pacou started the Tresor year 2004 by dispatching an EP rich in diversity and backed up with an outstanding remix by Spain’s top techno DJ Oscar Mulero: “Last Man Standing“ (Tresor.209), Pacou’s 9th release on Tresor and as rich and complex as ever from this Berlin artist, producer, composer and DJ.
With the world-wide reaction to Joey Beltrams’s “The Rising Sun” (Tresor.214) still echoing over the new year’s celebrations, the second half of the first decade of the new millenium started off with big plans for the Tresor label. First at hand came the signal from across the Atlantic that techno master Juan Atkins was ready to release another full-length album at last.
Tresor Records’ 15th year in existence proved to prolific. Todd Bodine, Bill Youngman, Jeff Mills, Cisco Ferreira (aka The Advent), Joey Beltram, Dave Tarrida and Octave One feat. Random Noise Generation. All this started off with the news that Todd Bodine, DJ and one of Berlin’s most sublime minimal electro-jazz composers, would release a full-length album on Tresor – “Surfaces” (Tresor.221). Included on the album are the tracks from his previous two maxis on our label from 2005. The press reviews were no less than brilliant and it became one of Tresor’s best-selling albums.
The year started out with the echoes of Octave One‘s brilliant November 2006 release “Off The Grid” (Tresor.227CD/DVD) still astounding the music press and their live gigs continuing to fill dance floors around the world. In 2007 we released two outstanding tracks from the CD/DVD, as a maxi-EP. This potent and crafted EP became one of our best-selling maxis and the amount of downloads had us amazed. Tresor Records is proud to have established a creative partnership with the legendary Detroit team.
New Years Eve rolled out the sparks in Tresor Club, with house legends Blake Baxter and Tyree Cooper headlining an all-night extravaganza with the Tresor Club Allstars. When the dust settled it was time to get to work on some excellent new releases. After six and a half years absence, James Ruskin returned to Tresor with his new full-length album “The Dash” (Tresor.233). Accompanied by the maxi “Lahaine” (Tresor.232), Ruskin is in full control and weaves a work of penetrating electronica…more
The fourth year in the new Tresor Club and all energies were concentrated on the spectacle of such an enterprise. Yet from the work came some label work and Tresor Records welcomed Remute into the family of artists. The Belgrade/Hamburg artist with his roller coaster live sets released a dynamite EP in April called “Crackin’ Skulls” (Tresor.236), and the echoes were immediately positive. Spanish techno hero Oscar Mulero got on board to release a CD-only mix of classic Tresor tracks and the album “Tresor.Mix – Under Review” hit the stores like lightening: an extraordinary mix of Tresor classics, many long out-of-print and some never released on CD or digital formats, including 3 rare tracks newly remastered.
Expanding the down-tempo, ambient Atmospheres compilation series with a third volume, the noteworthy and compelling nature of many “hidden” tracks inspired once again the urge to unearth some of techno music’s most celebrated artists’ probes into slower, experimental and atmospheric territories. Each composition has a singular voice, a unique vision into a world that encompasses art and urgency within modern electronic music, creating a woven symmetry of binding arrangements in legendary albums. Thus “Tresor.Atmospheres III” was compiled and brought to light, and is perhaps the most evocative and abstract so far: a potpourri of electronic music artistry. Appearing on this edition of Tresor album extracts are some of Tresor Records’ stalwarts of modern techno, electronic music scientists of a new age: Surgeon, Drexciya, Sender Berlin, Tobias Schmidt, Karl O’Connor/Peter Sutton, Neil Landstrumm, Jeff Mills, Crislo, Fumiya Tanaka and James Ruskin.
After a sensational New Years celebration in Tresor Club to mark the end of the first decade this millenium, Tresor Records welcomed a new member to the distinguished roster of international artists. Scottish electronic music producer, composer and DJ Vince Watson released his Tresor debut “Atom EP” (Tresor.239) to enthusiastic global reviews.
This was a year that saw Tresor renew its lifelong commitment to the best in Detroit beats, bass and energy, while also pioneering its trademark sound in brand new realms of electronic music. Legend of the Detroit scene, Mike Huckaby, was able to fulfill a long-standing ambition to release on Tresor with the eponymous “Tresor EP”. Additionally, 12 years after his first experiment in the Tresor sound, Terrence Dixon returned to finish off his early work. The full-length “From the Far Future pt. 2” LP culminated a lifetime of forward-thinking production from the legendary beatmaker. On the other hand, adventurous new releases from s_w_z_k, Marcellus and Puresque pushed forward Tresor’s sound on the continent.
Everyone connected to Tresor knew it was going to be a good year when Sleeparchive’s early release pulsated like a seismic wave through Berlin’s club scene. The 12-inch “A Man Dies in the Street Pt. 1” signalled Sleeparchive finding his mature voice, in all its unrelenting, uncompromising tectonic glory. This prefigured the real event of the year; Juan Atkins and Moritz von Oswald’s debut collaboration afters years of behind-the-scenes cooperation. “Borderland” must rate as one of Tresor’s most exquisite productions; intricately produced and beautifully packaged, “Borderland” sets a new standard for what high-end electronic music should be like.