Take a nice hot bath with Paper Recordings

Paper recordings was one of those rare british house-labels whose records you could pick up sight unseen.

With so many tracks from the nineties quickly sounding dated, the quality of papers output is truly standing the test of time. (admit it: ten to fourteen years are aeons in this context.)

The Manchester based label, which opened in the heyday of 1993 specialised in sleek deephouse tracks with an affinity to jazz and downtempo. I always saw it as the british pendant to Chicagos excellent Guidance Recordings.

Their first release "The Book" by Salt City Orchestra is one of those classic late night anthems which will set any dedicated dancefloor on fire. It still sounds like it could be released today, especially with all the re-emerging of deep- and funkyhouse (in fact, new mixes were released last year). Maybe the should have called the new version "the Blog" and changed the hookline of "I write the book, I write the book" accordingly...

I´d say that the best known band the label had under contract must have been Crazy Penis. They released a string of very good albums and 12"es which captured the sound of the label spot on.
Carefully crafted mellow, instrumental house music with lush strings, groovy basslines and all sort of real and electronic instruments. It´s certainly not rocket science that the band name might have stood in their way to sell more records or even get some airplay. What radio station would like to announce that name?

With Those Norwegians they released a moody band from...uh, Norway, I guess. One of their members, Torbjorn Brundtland, later formed the successful duo Röyksopp.

My favourite paper release, which is as well one of my favourite house records ever is "Nu Odyssey" by Departure Lounge. Its an amazingly beautiful deephouse tune that morphes into a breakbeat/drum n´bass excursion and back again. A really skillful track!

In 2003 Paper recordings closed down. Whily many house producers could record cheaply from their bedroom studios, the records of Crazy Penis and New Phunk Theory with their great sound and production value were certainly not cheap to produce. Add to this a constantly good and full colour sleeve design against low sales and it must have been clear that the label was not making enough money.

Some artists like Crazy Penis went on to different labels. They changed their name to Crazy P. got a female singer, did a track for a whiskey commercial and are apparantly highly regarded in Australia.

But there is something new going on...to be continued...

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