Trip Recordings

For the past few weeks we’ve been receiving inquiries on a daily basis, asking why Clone Distribution has ended its collaboration with Trip Recordings and Nina Kraviz. Even Time magazine asked whether we’d have an official statement about it, which until now we did not. Clone Records however doesn’t have anything to hide, so with all due respect for the discretion a label/distribution-relation requires, I don’t mind to clarify.

In the past, even after the annexation of the Crimea, Nina Kraviz has put forward several outings which can be taken as pro-Putin. Moreover she has clearly been flirting with CCCP/USSR-sentiments on several occasions, while the USSR was a regime that has stood for the oppression of minorities, has marginalised the LGBTQ+ communities, a regime which murdered millions of people! On Nina’s latest, upcoming compilation-album “All His Decisions” also a number of signs of USSR-flattery are to be found. This is raising questions that, in the light of the current Russian aggression, cannot be ignored.

As many people noticed Nina Kraviz has gone quiet on social media once the war in the Ukraine started. Of course it is her right to keep quiet as she chooses, but as a business partner we want to know what’s going on and what standpoint we should expect her to take on the situation. She however ignored personal requests to talk, moreover having her label manager giving unsatifying answers and poor excuses for not speaking out and not wanting to communicate in general. The communications with her label manager I considered rather manipulative, and her stances were being put forward in vague Putin-esque expressions like “she want’s peace” or “Of course she is against War”, wilfully lacking any meaningful conditions (Does she want Ukraine to surrender to put the war to a stop? Does she want Peace under Putin’s terms?). Other Russian artists, many unlike Nina living in Russia, have spoken out in the first days of the war, and some even now. (Please note that in the first days of the war there was no law which did forbid to speak about “war”). It is a disappointment therefore that she, publicly or privately, hasn’t made known that she doesn’t support the Russian violence, or has shown any sign of empathy with the victims thereof.

By refusing to choose sides, and by not speaking out, Nina enables herself to continue her lifestyle and her life as a performing artist as if nothing is happening, while the looting, the raping, the murdering and the destruction of a country by her countrymen continues. This is in stark contrast to other situations, when she has shown herself to be a opinionated person, always willing to have a conversation. Let me be very clear about the fact that it is her right to do so. She is free to stay silent, and of course she is allowed to keep her political views to herself and to live her life as she wishes. She may well have her personal reasons to justify that behavior, but as a business partner Clone Records is equally free to not conveniently accept those reasons.

While she is still touring the world and enjoying all the benefits of the freedom in the Western world, she chooses not to live under Putin’s oppression, yet she is using Putin’s law as an excuse not to speak out and remain silent. Therefore the way Nina Kraviz chooses to stay silent can be considered to be out of opportunism, hypocrisy and a abuse of freedom, thereby going against the values on which house and techno music and their respective cultures are built. The cultures and communities from which Nina did build her career. We see this silence as a sign of double standards and of disinterest, and we consider it a symptom of a toxic positivity and a toxic ignorance in the techno scene that Clone Record chooses not to represent. The house and techno scene are supposed to stand up for minorities, for the less privileged and the oppressed and for freedom of expression. It is built by minorities and oppressed people, and we should not allow ourselves to forget just that.

Nina Kraviz is too big to fail. There are enough people who dont know or who don’t care. Or because they are priviliged enough to say “Its about the music” or who just see the money and status which comes with her fame. I’m not worried about her career, I’m worried about the toxic behaviour which rottens the scene and the culture which gave us the music which we celebrate everyday, I worry about the values of the house and techno culture.
While many festivals and clubs conveniently accept her right to remain silent, we in our opinion have all the reasons to end the collaboration, even if she would distance herself from past USSR flattery in a near future and even if she would take distance from her Pro-Putin outings at some point. We won’t be waiting for a sign of empathy with the victims of Russia’s aggression while the murdering and raping continues. We cannot wait and hope for a statement, a personal message or actions showing that she stands for the same morals in which the house and techno scenes are rooted, while we already have several signs that she doesn’t. Simply put, this is not the moral behavior and energy we want to represent or be associated with.

I hope this sufficiently clarifies and explains my personal stance as well as the standpoint and actions taken by Clone Records/Clone Distribution. Everyone should make their own decisions, I am not calling out to cancel anybody. Make your own decisions on what kind of energy you allow in your life!

Stay safe!!

Serge

We are hiring: sales & promotions operative – 24-32 hours

To reinforce our Clone.nl and Clone Records staff we are looking for motivated and enthousiastic new colleagues. The position we’re offering comprises the responsibility for many of our online, and more specifically, social media-based promotion and sales efforts. This position thereby offers plenty of inspiring creative, aesthetic and commercial challenges.

We are looking for:

– Aesthetic and commercial attitude towards online- and social promotion

– Experience with, and knowledge of social-media platforms and their developments

– Basic knowledge of Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator and basic video-editing skills

– Copywriting skills and a proficient level of English language

– Love for (independently made) electronic music, and quality music in general, is required

– In-depth knowledge of the Independent music label-landscape is preferred

– Education (MBO+) and experience in the fields of marketing, sales, culture and the arts is a bonus!

We are offering:

– Solid position in an informal, safe and inspiring environment

– Plenty of opportunities to learn and develop in an internationally oriented and renowned musical environment

– Salary depending on age, experience and education

If your are interested in this position, kindly send your application to [email protected] before the 15th of april!

Job alert: production & planning associate – 24-32 hours

To reinforce our Clone Records label staff we are looking for a motivated and enthousiastic new colleague. This position offer the responsibility for organising and planning productions for both our own labels as well as for our production & distribution partners. This position thereby offers plenty of inspiring creative, aesthetic and commercial challenges.

We are looking for:

– A responsible and conscientiously working organiser

– Excellent communication skills

– Proficient level of English language

– Love for (independently made) electronic music, and quality music in general, is required

– In-depth knowledge of the Independent music label-landscape is preferred

– Education (MBO+) and experience in the fields of marketing, sales, culture and the arts is a bonus!

We are offering:

– Solid position in an informal, safe and inspiring environment

– Plenty of opportunities to learn and develop in an internationally oriented and renowned musical environment

– Salary depending on age, experience and education

If your are interested in this position, kindly send your application to [email protected] before the 15th of april!

Clone Store Selection December 1996

Couple weeks ago an old buddy emailed me… “Serge… I digitalized some old mixes you did back in the days… you interested in the files? They’re pretty cool! One has written ‘Clone Store selection December 1996’ on it”. Dude of course!!

Recorded in the very first Clone store location, the old Urban Unit skatestore garage… 23 years ago. While my neightbours of Midtown records were selling shit and shit loads of gabber (which was at its peak and total mainstream in 1996), I was selling records to the freaks and recording mixes like this in the quiet hours in the shop.

The only Pioneer equipment used was the headphone, the classic SE450… mixed on a crappy Realistic mixer…..the tape had some glitches as it’s probably a copy, or a copy of a copy, as the reach of such a mix was probably about 10 friends who all copied from each other… Funny when you realize how easy is it to reach 1000’s via Soundcloud and Youtube these days, while back then you only made these mix tapes for a couple buddies… :-)

I can use some help with track id’s as I barely remember 4 of them… time screws up your memory 😂
(Goosebump alert at 55.30 minutes!!)

La Mer

For this release we’re heading back to Claude Debussy with his classic recording “La Mer” conducted by Jun Märkl and performed by Orchestre National De Lyon!

In 1903, Claude Debussy, one of the greatest innovators of Western music, went through a tumultuous period in which he lost some of his best friends. In order to escape the chaos at home, the impressionist composer and his mistress Emma made a trip along the coast of France. This gave him the necessary inspiration to complete La mer, an ode to the turbulent sea, within two years.
La mer (1905), which carries the subtitle ‘three symphonic sketches for orchestra’, has an exceptionally visual character, and evokes associations with the shine of the midday sun on the sea surface, the breaking of the waves, the splashing of foam and the sparkling of water droplets. It is known that Debussy was an ardent lover of impressionist painting and Japanese prints, and drew inspiration from the colorful seascapes of William Turner and Claude Monet when composing La mer. In addition, he chose a Hokusai print to adorn the front cover of the original edition of La mer, The Great Wave off Kanagawa, on which two boats are ruthlessly swallowed by a wall of seawater.

La mer is a musical painting that makes the different faces of the sea audible, the lovely and magical, but also the restless and grim. The opening sounds of the first part, De l’aube à midi sur la mer (‘From Dawn Till Noon on the Sea’), are energetic and uplifting, but have a somewhat threatening undertone, so that the listener immediately understands he is confronted with a majestic, unpredictable natural phenomenon. The waves alternately swell and weaken, while in the meantime, the sun gradually moves towards its highest point in the sky, casting its burning, dazzling rays over the turbulent surface of the water.

In the second part, Jeux de vagues (‘Play of the Waves’), the sea shows itself at its friendliest. It is the sea as we desire it when we go on a beach holiday, a sea that is pleasantly rippling and babbling, and inviting us to meditatively stare at it. Debussy composed La mer for a relatively large symphony orchestra. He did not do so in order to achieve a high dynamic range, but rather to have a comprehensive palette of orchestral timbres at his disposal. Thus, he could ‘paint’ all individual waves, swirls, gusts of wind, breezes and drip effects through an appropriate musical instrument.

The third part, Dialogue du vent et de la mer (‘Dialogue of the Wind and the Sea’), has a dialogical structure in which each musical image sounds in duplicate, as if the wind and the sea were entangled in a mirroring dance. The water surface is again tumultuous, and the listener could get the impression that the sea of ​​Debussy is subject to mood swings. Therefore, it is not surprising that La mer is often regarded as a metaphor for life as a whole, which is just as capricious as the sea, and subject to the same dynamics of ebb and flow.

Myrthe Meester

Pre-order vinyl: https://clone.nl/item58713.html
Artwork by Lost Communication

Frei Aber Froh!

We’re proud to announce our 2nd release! A classic recording of one of Johannes Brahms greatest works, Symphony No.3 conducted by World Famous conductor Jaap van Zweden on vinyl for the very first time!

The Conquest of Freedom

Frei aber einsam, this became the life motto of violinist Joseph Joachim after he divorced his wife. Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) wrote a melancholic violin sonata for his friend Joachim, in which the notes F-A-E (Frei Aber Einsam) were central. In his Third Symphony, however, the great German composer decided to reflect his own life motto, Frei aber froh, which he did through the sequence of the notes F-A flat-F. This makes the Third Symphony one of the few instrumental compositions to which Brahms gave an extra-musical meaning. “Free but happy” expresses his independent attitude to life: Brahms never got married, but devoted his entire life to composing music, studying the music of his classical predecessors and to his beloved solitary walks in nature.

Brahms went down in history as a neoclassicist, who – contrary to his revolutionary, theatrical contemporaries Liszt and Wagner – wanted to stand up for classical form principles and abstract, “absolute” music. Still, he was unmistakably a Romantic and an original composer. Since Brahms grew up in a time when great composers from the past, such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, were rediscovered and honored, he had to find a way to relate to that glorious past. Unlike Wagner and Liszt, who wanted to take a radically new course, Brahms developed a personal musical language that built on the principles of his precious predecessors. Sometimes, however, he experienced this “ancestor worship” as a heavy burden. “I shall never compose a symphony!” he claimed in 1870. “You have no idea how someone like me feels when he hears such a giant marching behind him all the time.” Brahms was referring to Beethoven, his greatest idol. By that time, however, he had already started writing his First Symphony, which he did not finish until 1876, at the age of 43. Soon after that a Second (1877), Third (1883) and Fourth Symphony (1885) followed, which became a success among the general public and earned him the honorary title “third B” in the list of the big B’s, after Bach and Beethoven.

Brahms’s Third symphony opens with the aforementioned Frei aber froh-motif in F minor. This is remarkable, since the symphony itself is written in F major. An innovative aspect of the Third Symphony is precisely this continuous, restless conflict between major and minor, which adds an intoxicating tension to the work. Immediately after the F-A-F-motif, Brahms introduces a second melody, which has a heroic, majestic character, and is interspersed with an airy, lyrical motif in which the clarinet plays the leading role, to be heard for the first time in the second minute. It takes a great effort to conquer freedom, the music seems to suggest, but that effort is richly rewarded by light and happy moments.

The second part in C major has a rural atmosphere, and Brahms’s well-beloved friend Clara Schumann called it “a pure idyll; I can see the worshippers kneeling about the little forest shrine, I hear the babbling brook and the buzz of insects…” Here too, the clarinet, one of Brahms’s favorite instruments, plays a central role. The third movement in C minor opens with one of Brahms’s best known and most poetical melodies, evoking associations with the darkness of the night and the longing for a loved one. The mysterious opening motif of the fourth movement, in the ancient Phrygian mode, is interspersed with a fierce, heroic melody that makes it understandable why Hans Richter, the conductor of the symphony’s premiere, spoke of “Brahms’s Eroica”. Only in the final measures do these wildly succeeding motives come to reconciliation, when Brahms concludes his hopeful freedom symphony with the slowly dying away of the Frei aber froh-motif.

Text by Myrthe Meester

Pre-order vinyl: https://clone.nl/item57653.html

Clone Records subsidiary Edit.Futurum

We’re are happy to announce the first release on our new subsidiary Edit.Futurum, with a focus our favourite classical music on vinyl!

We will start with one of the greatest innovators of Western music, Claude Debussy.

No one can resist the seductive singing of the sirens, according to classical mythology. Claude Debussy (1862-1918), one of the greatest innovators of Western music, was the first to bring the illustrious siren singing to the concert hall, accompanied by rippling waves and the silver glow of the moon. In doing so, the impressionist composer proceeded like a visual artist: he did not compose elaborate harmonies, but sought a dreamy interplay of ‘sound patches’ that evoke associations with colour, texture and light. For many, listening to Debussy is therefore a synesthetic experience in which hearing, vision, touch and of course the imagination come together.

Trois nocturnes (1899), inspired by the atmosphere of the night, consists of three acoustic poems in which Debussy wanted to ‘paint’ the light of the moon on the clouds, on a festive procession and on the sea around the siren island. He was inspired by the impressionist moonlight paintings by James Whistler, also called Nocturnes. In the first part of his experimental composition, Nuages, one can hear silvery-lit clouds slide slowly past the moon. In contrast to traditional Western music, this nocturne has no tension build-up, no development towards a climax, no abrasive dissonants that require a solution. No, Debussy’s music does not work towards a goal, but floats steadily and unperturbed, like clouds. ‘Music is a free, vibrant art which measures up to the elements, to the wind, the sky, the sea!’ Debussy wrote. He wanted to ‘take a lesson in freedom from the blossoming of the trees’. In this way, he hoped to rid music of the rigid confines that had stuck to it over the centuries, but also of the bombastic grandeur à la Wagner.

Debussy found another important source of inspiration in the Javanese gamelan music, with which he came into contact during the Paris World Exposition in 1889. From that meditative, self-contained music, he learned to regard instrumental timbre and simple musical motifs as ends in themselves, which do not necessarily have to be in the service of an overarching structure. The nocturnes of Debussy do not tell a story, but rather breathe an atmosphere, a state of mind, a fleeting impression.

In the second nocturne, entitled Fêtes, one hears cheerful, festive sounds rising from the night like flaming torches against a moonlit sky. Note the march-like sounds that suddenly interfere with the festivities, and evoke associations with a solemn procession, in which bombastic brass and percussion are not absent. The third nocturne, Sirènes, is the most ethereal of the three. Just like Nuages, it does not move towards a climax, but the sounds swirl aimlessly through the night, waving and repeating themselves – sometimes slightly varied, sometimes literally. It is not difficult to imagine beautiful, naked female figures with lush hair, who enchant passing sailors with their wordless singing and lure them into their deadly arms.

In fact, Trois nocturnes is an intoxicating siren song from start to end. ‘All people come to music to seek oblivion’, Debussy believed. ‘It is necessary to abandon yourself completely and let the music do as it will with you.’

Text by Myrthe Meester

Artwork by Lost Communication

Pre-order https://clone.nl/item57271.html

Our 2nd edition of the Clone Cycling Series…

Coping with long nights in clubs, dancing or dj’ing for hours, digging and strolling record fairs for days requires some stamina and a healthy life style. Some skateboarding, surfing, playing football with your mates all contribute to that.

It’s no secret that the Dutch love riding their bikes though, and therefore we designed our 2nd cycling kit to make our life on the bike a bit more comfortable. A high quality aero cycling jersey manufactured by Belgium company Vermarc, known for providing team kits to some of the top pro cycling teams such as the winning Quickstep team with Niki Terpstra and Philipe Gilbert.

The aero team jersey is ergonomically cut for the riding position, (tight around the arms and shoulders, longer in the back) in optimum performance fabrics. Three back pockets, full length zipper in the front.
The jerseys comes in both a male and female versions.
The bibshort and arm pieces are available on special request.

Order:
Male: https://clone.nl/item52057.html
Female: https://clone.nl/item52052.html

fotocredits: @TitiaHahne

Serge at the Boiler Room – Rotterdam Special

That Boiler Room in BAR was FUN! In true Rotterdam no-nonsense style the place was a sweatbox in no time. Thanks to everyone who came down and danced with us. Check out Serge’s hour chockfull of fierce electro, techno and acid below!


And a very special shout out to our shopcolleague Rafique dancing his ass off just behind Serge… ;)

The whole Boiler Room Rotterdam Special right here!