HOW WE STARTED
Unterschall started as a collective, organizing underground Post-Punk and Darkwave Shows in Leipzig, Germany in 2017. Since then, we organized several shows with well-known artists like, Drab Majesty, Totenwald, Zarkoff, TRAITRS, Konstantin Unwohl, Neon Lies, Isotropia, Oberst Panizza, Kontravoid, Buzz Kull, Zack Zack Zack and many more.
THE SPIRIT OF DIY
With the pandemic beginning in early 2020, the use of DIY spaces was rebalanced. The use of physical spaces for concerts and parties was severely restricted, so cultural events shifted to immaterial spaces (streaming). This posed a challenge for art and culture, as they rely on atmospheres and corporeal experiences, which, after all, can only come to full unfoldment in real life spaces.
At the same time, opportunities for creativity and new concepts emerged. Thus, the pandemic conditions gave birth to new musical projects or strengthened the output of already existing ones. Especially within the darker music genres, these circumstances created a catalyzing moment because the pre-apocalyptic vibes were always an oblique motivator for post-punk, dark-wave and everything related.
This momentum encouraged us to turn our previous motivation, organizing concerts, into another output, offering artists an alternative platform – the first Unterschall Compilation Tape.
As with our events, we also wanted to donate a part of our profits with the compilation. Since with the pandemic, the already terrible conditions for refugees became even worse and were additionally sidelined within the media coverage, we decided to donate to the NGO »stand by me Lesbos«. After the tape was sold out, we were able to raise €300 to donate to the NGO.
We really enjoyed the whole process of tape production. From the musical curation, the communication with the artists, the design, and production of the artwork, and finally the recording of the tape itself. We are thrilled to say that our first release was entirely done in the spirit of DIY.
After this first project, it was clear to us that this work was more than just fun, and the idea of Unterschall Records was articulated for the first time. We liked the idea of creating a DIY-driven label, dedicated with passion for details, small to medium-sized releases, developing own designs and printing merch.
Since then, the three of us have been working together with our artists to build up our label and to realize more exciting releases – and of course also more concerts.
How we Work
The reason we started our label is relatively simple, we love good music and the whole creative process that goes with it, for the artists as well as for us as a label.
We want to offer an environment to artists in which they can freely develop and benefit from the mutual exchange. Collaboration is especially close to our hearts, as we believe it enhances the overall creative process. Artists get an outside perspective as well as complementary input, and we in turn get a more profound understanding of which aspects we need to focus on individually for each artist (and their release). This does not mean that we want to interfere or influence the creative process, it is rather meant to be an offer to sharpen the perception for one’s own artistic practice. The differentiated perception that can arise thanks to an outside perspective ultimately helps to create a coherent outcome whose theme and aesthetics run like a red thread from the artist’s identity through cover artwork, merch design and the design of appropriate marketing measures.
It is important to us to keep our artists’ hands free so that they can concentrate on the most important thing – the Music. To ensure this, we can support with our expertise as well as our network in the following areas:
There is always the possibility for us to work together with other DIY-Labels, as long the idea and the goals are the same. If you are interested in working with us, e-mail us, and we are sure we will find a way to make it possible. The last goal we have got is to support the community which has given us so much over the last couple of years.