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Label Mix Interview - Transatlantic

Nina Label Mix

A mix that moves from downtempo to high-energy dance.

By editorial


The Berlin-based label and booking agency Transatlantic was initially conceived as a collaboration between the Dutch DJ and producer Nthng (Jurriaan Terpstra) and Berlin’s Freestyler (Jan Simon). More than a half-decade later, the label continues to release a range of electronic music, with friendship and connection prized above any strict genre regulations. On that note, Transatlantic’s session for Nina starts with gauzy downtempo before upping the velocity midway through. It’s a mix that takes the listener from evening to late night, from the calm of that first cocktail to the frenzy of the dancefloor. We talked to Jan Simon, who now is the sole custodian of the label; give it a read and listen to the mix below.

Where are you based?

Jan Simon: I’m currently based in Berlin.

Can you describe your label mix?

Originally my idea was to highlight some of my favorites and tie together all of the different sounds we’ve released so far but then I realized all of them are highlights (hehe). Now, I tried to compress the feeling of leaving the office on a Friday afternoon in the summer, walking home through a warm city, the smell of excitement in the air, then arriving home and shedding your work skin, sipping prosecco while slowly getting ready to party with your friends, and finally losing and finding yourself in the long hours of a club night. No idea if it worked out, you judge.

What inspired you to start a label?

It actually started out as a sort of pirate radio station from which we streamed 24/7 for a while. Back then we were still two people doing it and it slowly started to morph into a label because we realized that we have many friends making cool music that we wanted to be heard, which led us to start releasing music. That’s still kind of the core idea, sharing music from friends, making new friends through music and just connecting with people who like and do similar things. Also I just really love music and at this point in my life I don’t want to do anything else, it gives me so much. As my bestie says: sound will stay as a friend.

Does your label have a sound or a mission?

My mission is to take over the world (of music) with kindness and love. In all honesty though, the style, I guess ... It is kind of messy, unpredictable, beautiful, and warm. I love when projects are very conceptual but somehow it never works out for me. Maybe because I’m trying to bring together a lot of different styles. I think in the beginning it used to have more of a specific sound but more and more it starts to span into every direction.

I used to buy a lot of CDs as a teenager and I feel like nowadays it has become more common to buy or download single tracks rather than a whole release. I would listen to the CDs over and over again because I tend to get quite obsessive with music. What I remember vividly was that basically on any album there were always like two or three tracks I would skip immediately because I didn’t feel them. However, coming back over and over, I ended up appreciating different tracks and over time, sometimes the ones I used to skip became the most interesting ones. Maybe because they were more difficult to digest? I don’t know. 

Anyways, I always liked to relate this idea to our release catalog. Like maybe there’s some release you initially enjoy and then there’s some odd ones that over time you end up appreciating the most. Just a variety in sound I guess. Something you can come back to and discover something new and different. I also don’t think there’s anyone that only likes one genre or one style in music so I never understood why you would want to limit your output to a certain style.

Tell us about your scene(s).

Berlin is very techno and house on the first look but there’s actually more to discover and more support structures than you’d think. I think. But we don’t really have a scene and that’s bugging me quite a lot because I love connecting with people through music. We’re planning on doing more events so hopefully I’ll be able to make new friends and maybe form a scene around our music in the end.

What's your A&R process?

I love to put out music from upcoming people that nobody knows rather than “established” artists, so I love to dive deep into SoundCloud especially. I’m working as a postman by day. Basically all I do is ride around the city on my bike and listen to music. I just open the SoundCloud universe and if I hear something I like, I hit up the people and if we vibe, maybe something comes out of it.

What labels do you look up to?

I have a few favorites that hold a very dear place in my heart, especially the now defunct Club Paradiso, everything they did was magical and so well thought through. Another favorite is audio bambino, they’re just pushing sick sound at a frequency that nobody can keep up with. The third one would definitely, definitely be Chain Reaction, one of the most fascinating and complete collections of sounds I’ve ever heard.

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