For the record, it certainly wouldn’t be bombastic to say that Creme Organization is one of the most influential labels of the past 10 years. Coming straight outta The Hague and having strong links with Bunker, It’s formidable early catalogue featured the emerging talents of none other than Legowelt, Orgue Electronique, Rude 66 and Bangkok Impact to name but a few, and in more recent years the label has released cuts from John Heckle, Myrriad, J.T.C, Willie Burns, Traxx, Basic Soul Unit and D’Marc Cantu. Creme also boasts one of the most arresting visual aesthetics around, with a majority of the artwork bearing the stamp of supremely gifted draftsman Mehdi. All this makes for a meaty stew of raw and nourishing realness. Or in some cases, unrealness. Oor Merk caught up with label founder and owner TLR to talk past, present and future shit. Not only are TLR’s curatorial talents evidenced by the strong roster and release schedule of Creme, but he also happens to be a seriousely fine DJ, which many of you will be aware of. Luckily for us, he canned some of that heat. The result is a beast of a mix which can be found below, chock full of exclusives no less!
Mark: So, you’re at work? You share an office with Mr. Tavares of Bunker fame and the stupidly talented Mr. Mehdi, right?
TLR: I have an office with Mehdi.. here’s some corporate info:
Mehdi + Me = IQ82 Media = Godspill Mailorder (with one other guy working for it)
Mehdi = Godspill
Me = Global Darkness = Creme
Bunker is stuck in a basement somewhere
Ah, so Guy is still operating from dank premises somewhere in The Hague. For the young ‘uns out there, tell us what Global Darkness is…
Its the umbrella company for Creme, some internet crap etc. It’s just the thing I chose when regestering at the chamber of commerce. “Are you sure about that name sir”? “Yup.. quite.” Haha.
In terms of web presence, I dare say that Global Darkness was pretty influential though….
Yeah I guess it was. It was one of the first things out there, before discogs, wikipedia etc. that made an attempt to organise info about this thing of ours: artist bios etc. And the forum was a big thing back then. I think the only other thing that was about the same was Electro Empire and Phinnweb. Internet 1.0 was a very different place as you will remember, being over 30.
Yeah, the children don’t know how hardcore and real it all was.
Nope. And I can take you back before the internet even with letters and faxes and shit. That sounds ancient even to me now. I dunno how the hell we managed.
Tell us more ancient one!
No cellphones. Goddam gramps, you tell em. Anyway, back to the now.
Indeed. I’m guessing that beards is a mandatory look over at Creme/Godspill HQ? Like a work uniform. You have to have a shaved head and a face tattoo to work at Rubadub. Are we simply perpetuating a stereotypical view of underground techno/house blokes by looking like baldy, beardy moody cunts?
I think it might be like women in an office who sync their periods… some subconscious thing were you align to a tribe. We’re working on some gang sign too.
And Creme’s been ploughing the field of unrestrained talent for what, ten years now? At what point did you realise that their might be something in this whole releasing records thing?
Yeah, well over 10 years now. I realised there was something in this whole releasing thing straight away. It caught on very quickly for us, and I was sort of riding a high for the first few years. Then minimal came, and the crisis and web 2.0 reshuffled all the cards in the record bizz. We sort of survived that slump and now we seem to be on the right side of hip again, so that’s cool.
In regards to being on the right side of hip, why do you think that is? There’s certainly a bunch of like-minded labels flourishing at the moment too, some who may even have been inspired by Creme…
I dont know exactly, but it seems like the pendulum of taste swings back and forth, even if it’s becoming more and more diffuse these days with so many things existing simultaneously. There is obviously some Zeitgeist involved. But I like to think its also because I have dedicated myself to releasing music I like without being to conscious of what is going on around me, or what is hip or not. Somehow this personal approach is a bit more timeless than a more businesslike one. I notice a lot of people around us are there for years and years, and a lot of the likeminded labels & artists (which I feel close to) have also been around for ages, toiling in obscurity mostly. All of a sudden its cool to be an outsider or something. If they only knew what it’s really like, haha.
Of course. I guess those who are in it for the money are a bit deluded anyway, aren’t they? I mean, you might as well put all that time into studying law. Because Creme has already passed through myriad trends, are you better prepared for when the shit hits the fan?
Well, I think the cowboys days of the music bizz are over, right? The times in the 90’s when you could still shift 20,000 Unit Moebius records (like KK did) and make a quick buck are behind us, so it attracts a different kind of “entrepreneur”. As for me, I have no special preparation. Just a crazy low overhead and no way out, so its either swim or drown like a pwopah shark.
Well, without wanting to sound terribly fucking cliched, there’s more than a bit of punk in that attitude.Your love of Punk and Hardcore is pretty well documented actually. I think that ethos can be seen and heard in Creme, in it’s own special way, would you agree?
Yeah, it all boils down to DIY I guess. In my formative years I have spent way too much time listening to Crass “Big A, Little A” and reading dodgy fanzines and going to low level gigs in squats and stuff. “External control are you gonna let them get you? Do you wanna be a prisoner in the boundaries they set you?” Somehow it all seemed very natural to me, like the only way to approach anything is with a DIY attitude. All the great art is made that way, wether its by choice or out of necessity. Nothing good has ever come from the corporate world. They might incorporate something good, but usually they just end up sucking the life out of it. Which doesnt mean I am “anti system” or anything, but I do think the important stuff should be left to the individual. I will still call the cops if my bike is stolen though.
Ha! Is your dedication to said DIY approach and the running of Creme the reason why there isn’t more records with your name on them? There was Mr. Clavio with Legowelt that we know of, but maybe there’s some gems out there that we didn’t know you were responsible for?
It’s not so much a dedication, more second nature. I really don’t think about how to approach stuff. I wouldn’t know how to do it any other way. I am a dilettante. Music wise I get up to some things, but under the radar for now. I might throw some stuff in DJ sets or whatever, but I have no plans to really release anything at the moment, and I wouldn’t really wanna use Creme as a platform for some shit I made, because it’s just too easy. If I do anything I will give it to other people first to kind of legitimize it to myself, and others whose opinion I value. But as with anything I say, this may swing wildly within the next 24 hours and I might have a release out all of a sudden.
Next up in the Creme release schedule are “Commanchee’s Revenge” and Str8 Jakkin Kru, right? Two completely different, yet amazing records that may or may not come from the past. All rather clandestine. Can you shed shed some light on the origins of these records?
Lets just say “Commanchee’s Revenge” is pretty easy to find out if you know how to use google. Str8 Jakkin Kru I don’t know if we can release with all the samples and stuff, although I would like to. I have to figure out how to do that one because I think its great (and legit for once as well). I mean there’s no smoke screen around it, it’s really was done by a bunch of guys in the early 90’s that had no pull whatsoever, and were just ignored. If only they had known the DIY spirit, then discogs might have another $400 entry. Next up is Orgue Electronique’s remix of Henry Saiz’s “Our Discovery” too. Lovely tune. That and Commanchee are first up.
OK, so Comanchee’s Revenge is Legowelt? Now that I think about it, google wouldn’t even have been necessary. A closer listen might have been adequate!
Yeah, its that dude again.
Last, but most certainly not least, tell us a bit about this blinding mix you’ve graced us with. If there’s anything to tell that is….
There’s a ton of upcoming stuff in it. I get sent a lot of music (most of it garbage), but I am also tapped into some cool channels. I kinda forgot about this one because I end up doing a few a week, just so I have something to listen to in the car, but let me see.. yeah.. this one has some upcoming stuff from Awanto, Yor, Jared Wilson, Myriadd, Bleak and some things I am not sure whether they’re out or not. Also some new stuff I dig: MCDE, Theo Parrish, DJ Muscle from WT and some Neville Watson things. Thats about it I think, all thrown through a variety of appliances to make it pump like a beast in heat, cause I like a thick, crunchy, bass heavy rolling sound in the mix.
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