If you grew up before the Internet, you might remember how desolate Canada once felt for fans of dance music, especially if you lived outside of a major city centre in the ‘90s. Sifting through local music stores gave off a Fargo-esque desperation, with shops full of Bruce Cockburn anthologies and second-hand copies of Ratt records with unidentifiable stains on them. In that time period, getting your hands on underground dance music was nothing short of transcendent.
Montreal-based Turbo Recordings were there for me in my youth, building connections between the frozen hunk of tundra I called home and the rest of the house and techno universe. The Montreal-born label has released records from a global cast of dance music outcasts over the last sixteen years, from Finnish cosmonaut Jori Hulkkonen to nihilistic Russian civilian Proxy, to releases from puzzling pseudonyms like "Rainer Werner Bassfinder" to ZZT's seminal chaotic anthem "Lower State Of Consciousness" (which, to this day, still has the best one-sheet of all time).
I spoke with Turbo's two frontrunners, Tiga James Sontag and his brother Thomas (better known by the names Tiga and Thomas Von Party) about the rewards and challenges of fifteen years in the business, two-second media attention spans, white label fetishism, and the label's legacy; past, present, and future.