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"Lo-Fi" Label Not Not Fun Embraces Club Music

The upcoming EP by Cruise Family confirms the slight electro shift of the lo-fi experimental label.
January 13, 2012, 7:22pm

Not so long ago, the Not Not Fun label was a lo-fi music haven praised by indie enthusiasts from all over for its cutting edge aesthetics, analog approach to music, progressive pop experimentations and drone/noise artists. But at some point during 2011, things started to drift somehow. Thanks to its newly created subsidiary 100% Silk, NNF suddenly became awash in electro beats, sleazy synths and house claps. And the upcoming EP by Cruise Family, set for release in early February and previewed in the official video above, confirms that 2012 will be the year of slow house jams and pitched disco tunes.

Cruise Family's overtly electro sound seems to be a testimony to this artistic shift, which in recent months has pushed NNF (almost) into the realm of club music. What’s the reason for this sudden change of heart? If could be that the label was growing increasingly weary of its numerous copycats—the numerous self-described "lo-fi" and cassette labels who try to emulate its sound with significantly less artistry—they were looking for a new edge. Cleverly noting the house/disco revival that emerged as one of the strongest and most exciting trends of 2011, NNF cast aside its original aversion to club sounds and linear beats and embraced electronic and dance music.

Last spring, they opened 100% Silk, a sister label dedicated to electro sounds that’s already signed a handful of cool and promising artists such as Ital, Octo Octa (new LP to be released soonish) and Maria Minerva.

But this shift has also affected the mothership, which now releases artists who are producing more BPMs in a single track than in the entire NNF back catalogue. Among those is Cruise Family, aka Stefan Kushima, a Viennese producer coming from a drone and psyched-trance background, described in press releases as an "Austrian Space Cadet." His first cassette, released on NNF last summer, indicated a clearer and less claustrophobic sound than his early solo works, but his new EP, called We're In Heaven, goes farther in the direction of dance-friendly club atmospheres. The excerpt above is borderline house music, with typical kicks and claps, with only a remaining trace of cold synths and a certain melancholy for his drone years.

Cruise Family “We’re In Heaven” 12" (NNF247) available soon right here.