Ilian Tape is a record label that is run out of Munich. While it can be broadly described as an electronic music label, much of the music that it releases can’t be neatly labeled. Essentially, it’s a label that promotes diversity in the music of its recording artists.
A techno music family business
Ilian Tape is run by brothers Dario and Marco Zenker, and they founded the label in 2007. They say that, despite the old adage that it’s not a good idea to work with family, doing so is working fine for them. In fact, their father has roots in the recording business, and he has helped them with their efforts with Ilian Tape. Additionally, their mother is an artist, and she has provided many paintings that the brothers have used as artwork to promote the label.
A diverse roster of artists
The brothers’ attitude towards selecting artists for their label is that, if they like the sound, they try to sign the band. The music of the label has been described as techno, ambient, house, garage and more. As far as Dario and Marco Zenker are concerned, it’s all good.
Perhaps that most popular artist on the label is Skee Mask, who is also from Munich. His tracks have been energizing dance floors and delighting critics and fans for some time. The brothers themselves make music, which could be generally described as techno and features smoothly layered beats that build majestically.
Dario and Marco Zenker have always kept their roster of artists fairly small, and this is by design. They aren’t trying to become a huge label, and they prefer to be able to work personally with their artists. Maybe it’s the family thing again.
Doing their own thing
The brothers are heavily influenced by 1990s hip-hop acts such as a Tribe Called Quest and others. They like the stripped-down and minimal aesthetic of the hip-hop music of this era. They feel that it has a techno feel to it, and they note that this comparison is rarely made although there are multiple similarities.
Dario and Marco Zenker are open to recording a rap artist for their label, but, then again, they are open to recording almost anyone if they are feeling the music. It’s important to them that they focus on doing their own thing and not try to conform to preconceived ideas about what is or isn’t part of the genre of electronic music.
Ilian Tape has released English artists, and the brothers note that the United Kingdom is often at the forefront of electronic music. While they are German and they are loyal to their own domestic scene, they say they can’t deny the influence of the English, and they want to harness the energy for their label.
In conclusion, Ilian Tape has been going strong for well over a decade now, and it shows no signs of stopping. The brothers are just as enthusiastic as ever, and there is no shortage of new musical talent for them to develop.