“The title ‘Unter Deck’ is German and a blend of ‘under sheets’ and the nautic ‘below decks’. I guess I made this tune rather like a blanket or a pillow to rest on, or a cosy cabin on a sail boat, round and warm, slow an peaceful. And dynamic-wise very much opposite to all the physical dance music I was writing with Robosonic. So happy it found it’s harbour with The Ambient Zone.”
At six years old, CORD LABUHN had his first real career aspiration : becoming an ‘inventor’. Or space traveller. At least working in some kind of laboratory. Hence he became a producer of beats, tunes, records, imagery & merch – and toured the whole planet to play music for the most spaced out…
Earlier, when the ghost of Jimi Hendrix jumped out of his parents record collection and passionately promoted the guitar as the weapon of choice for a leftist punk, folk, if not eurodance infected teenager of the 90s, the piano and his sister’s drumset would have to step back for a while.
A few years later when TV was still the thing and gaming consoles like PS1 were battling N64, Cord the Beatmaker was rather staring at tiny AKAI S2000, MPC and CRT displays, head-nodding, turning the jogwheels, dreaming of a second turntable to complete his DJ setup – the true school, golden age hiphop way. Next mission – still as a school kid – was a self-released vinyl record with international distribution through a self-founded label. Arriving in Berlin and founding the mashup label „BROKEN BOOTLEGS“ was good sparring for more delinquent ventures in professional sampling culture. Musical diversion had found an anarchic playground, genre-bending seemed to be a good concept for a radical open mind.
To date, his longest running project is ROBOSONIC, which was formed as a DJ-producer duo together with Sacha Robotti over 10 years ago. A while after their unconventional, free-spirited debut album „Sturm und Drang“ (2007) they took the world by storm with a string of popular tunes and remixes that went into the crates of tens of thousands of DJs worldwide and made it to top spots in the infamous Beatport charts ROBOSONIC became an authentic figurehead for something dubbed “Golden Era House” (Juice Magazine).
Today, after his partner emigrated to the US, Cord the DJ is playing most of the ROBOSONIC shows alone. The house & techno driven sets and releases under this moniker are internationally recognised and performances in 40+ countries reflect the universal appeal of a trademark sound they unleashed into the world.
Somewhere along that way Cord Labuhn has succeeded not only in making marks in the history of Berlin’s musical identity but also in commercial and academic fields of his own design: His Humboldt University thesis on the digital future of DJing and its cultural conflicts, was published in 2009 with support from the Goethe Institute and Fink Verlag. From research and Academia to entrepreneurial inspiration, Cord’s practical but stylish invention – the “Punchi” towelscarf – has become not only a trademark for connecting creative endeavors with “real life matters” in physical form, but also for his creation of hybrids – bringing together the best of both worlds. Add commissioned works in the field of fashion and you may empathise as to why Cord the human often seems too ‘lazy’ for much disposable social media content in the century of the selfie.
For 2017 Cord Labuhn has redefined his structures and launches a series called OUTTAKES. The label and collaborative hub serves primarily as a studio-to-listeners feed – to pilot an own musical direction, independent from A&R decisions, laws of the market – out of the box. A conscious counterpart and soulful antidote to the dance music business with its particular formulas,t he project has already found favour with, and features contributions from the likes of EPMD.
Cord’s artful hybrids and organic blends, zone effortlessly between subversive underground culture, the high-heel house and hippie hoppie heaven – and we are delighted to welcome him to The Ambient Zone