German electronic label Cécille Records is relaunching after going on “indefinite leave” in 2015 — rebooting a rich legacy of deep, minimal house and techno that became known as the ‘Mannheim Sound’.
Founded in 2007 by Nick Curly and Marc Scholl, Cecille was a go-to cult label for subtly shifting soulful melodies and dense grooves rather than hammered-home drops. The pair sought out emerging and underground producers like SiS, Johnny D and Markus Fix, who eventually became international figures.
It seems like there’s been a few years of soul-searching at Cécille HQ, admitting recently that “success came to us very quickly back then, maybe too quickly”. Still, they would’ve been encouraged by the positive comments when in 2017 Curly asked on social media: “Should we bring back Cécille Records or did you all forget about this label already?” Turns out fans hadn’t forgotten the label, and Cécille is about to refresh their memories with CEC036 — a new remix by UK producer Archie Hamilton of ‘Nesrib’ by SiS, a hall of fame record and one of the label’s defining releases.
Cécille say they’re back to take care of “unfinished business”, after setting a goal of having three releases they were “100% satisfied” with to make the comeback “special”. They’ve already got “the next two ready and waiting”, so expect more future-driven releases. But in the meantime, take a refresher course in the Mannheim Sound, as Nick and Marc have compiled their top 10 tracks from the dozens of Cécille releases, with insights and thoughts from the pair.
1 & 2- Sis – ‘Nesrib’ [CEC007 / 2008] // Butch ‘No Worries’ [CEC15 / 2010]
Here we had a little difficulty choosing between the top two choices in this list. Both have received ‘Track Of The Year’ awards and both artists have contributed so many amazing tracks on the label over the years. With ‘Nesrib’ we noticed right away that it was a hit when we saw clubbers singing along to the lyrics. It was catchy, and people loved that.‘No Worries’ from Butch was a club hit that was ‘Nesrib’s’ equal, it’s a track which we believed definitely shaped the loop house generation which pushed it to come out on top. Listen/Buy.
3 – Sebo K. – Saxtrack (Reboot twisted Fist Remix) [CEC012 / 2009]
Sebo K often played together with Nick and gave him a demo, we thought it was great, but we knew we could make more out of it. One of our best friends is Frank aka Reboot, so it was just a question of time when we would work together. We sent Frank the parts and he immediately had an idea and already sent the first preview from the hotel room whilst he was on tour. Listen/Buy.
4 – Andomat 3000 – ‘Vertical Smile’ [CEC003 / 2008]
Andomat 3000 was a candidate with whom we wanted to work, as he always risked something with his productions and had a wide range of tracks to his name. We put together an EP pretty quickly and ‘Vertical Smile’ was also rated Track of the Season at WMC Miami. Listen/Buy.
5 – Lee Burrdige & Matthew Dekay – ‘Wongel’ [CEC018 / 2010]
There’s a funny story behind this track. Marc was friends with Cassy, Cassy visited us at our Cécille night in Miami and told us that she got a demo which would be great for Cécille.
Back from WMC Miami in Mannheim we listened to the demo and were totally blown away. Not even a week later Marc flew to Ibiza and got on the plane when a young man came and asked if he would like to swap places with him as he would like to sit with his parents. Marc agreed and swapped places, when he sat down and wanted to put his mobile phone in flight mode with a Cécille logo on it, the person next seat, a young pretty Australian girl, asked, ‘Sorry you are Marc Scholl from Cécille Records, cause my boyfriend is Matthew Dekay’. We still have a close friendship today and that was also the start of Matthew and his girlfriend moving to Berlin to push his house career forward. Listen/Buy. Listen/Buy.
6 – Nick Curly – ‘Dubnoise’ [CEC006 / 2008]
‘Dubnoise’ was Nick’s first statement about Cécille and also stands for our personal groove and style which we wanted to pass on to the outside world. The number is naked groovy and simply great. Listen/Buy.
7 – Johnny D – ‘Love or Leave Me’ [CEC016 / 2010]
Yeah, what can you say to Johnny D? He is definitely one of the most talented house producers in our Rhine-Main area, if not from all over Germany. His style and soul is simply unique. Everything fits, so it was a summer hit and was played by all DJs of different genres. Listen/Buy.
8 – Anthea & Celler – ‘Caedmon Loop’ [CEN006 / 2009]
Nick met Alex Celler at his gigs in London and he showed us some super demos with his best friend Anthea. Both super sympathetic people who gave us two great EPs… the energy especially in ‘Caedmon Loop’ is thrilling. Listen/Buy.
9 – Livio & Roby – ‘All’ [CEN005 / 2009]
We met George and Roby at some festivals and hung out together, when we mentioned about starting the label, they sent us a few tracks every week which felt like candy falling from the sky every time – every track was what we wanted and felt right for the label. Some people may have thought a little too much, as we did three releases in a row from them, but all the tracks were perfect and still remain timeless, no-frills house music at its best. Listen/Buy.
10. Marc Scholl – ‘G’Zu’ [CEC035 / 2013]
In the end Marc Scholl also contributed to the label. Marc never had the intention to become a DJ or to succeed, his EPs are and were just his statement to Cécille. Since Marc came out of drum & bass and hip-hop, he produced a great groove with vocals from Nas. Marco Carola and especially Loco Dice played the track in almost every set and made it an underground club hit. Listen/Buy.
- Cecille Records is open for business again tomorrow (Friday) with Archie Hamilton’s remix of ‘Nesrib’. Preorder and buy here, and listen again to the preview below…