August 20, 2011 A look back at Luxury Service Records
CLICK THE LUXURY SERVICE LOGO FOR SOME TUNES
Rob and Zaki first met in the London borough of Cambden at a now out of business record store called Zoom Records. Their first venture together was under their pseudonym “Disco Elements.” They released six volumes of disco infused house tracks on Azuli Records. Following that was the creation of their label, “Luxury Service.” The first 5 releases on the label were produced by the duo and entitled “Jump Cutz.” The “Jump Cutz” are more or less a continuance on the same theme but include tracks that separate themselves from the disco sound. The “Jump Cutz” include tracks that have a deeper element (Take a listen to “Meditate on This” from volume two for a perfect example).
Some of Rob & Zaki’s promo photographs from the 90′s.
By the time Rob and Zaki finished the “Jump Cutz” they were working at Black Market in SoHo and had been DJing for around 12 years. In that time Luxury Service wasn’t following the trend in UK house. People around them were to concerned with genre descriptions and bought into the labeling hype from garage to a new identifier called deep house. A quote from Rob during the Luxury Service days,
“Working at Black Market, a while ago people were asking for house and garage. Now they are asking for deep house, but they are listening to the same records. If the scene changed tomorrow, we’d still be doing the same thing we always have.”
As a result they had the dilemma of getting an audience to identify correctly with their sound. It’s funny to look back to a time that I personally think of as a being cohesive and to realize there was a divide between the disco camp and deeper camp. Zaki talking about the releases on Luxury Service,
“being this diverse has got us into trouble, a lot of the people who like the disco cut-ups think the deeper stuff is weird and a lot of people who like the deep stuff aren’t into the disco.”
Another one of Rob’s observations of the time has a striking resemblance to the state of house now a days. Rob describes the scene in the UK back in the mid 90′s,
“I’d probably say the deep house scene is rather dull anyways, it’s all gone sort of boysy, we’re not into that ‘It’s gotta be house with no vocals thing’.”
Of course it all depends what an individual decides their definition of deep house is, but I have noticed that some friends who surround me call the sort of tracks that are dark, repetitive, and use vocal snippets as a rhythmic tool (not actual words) as deep house. And I have found myself on a dance-floor where mostly young guys are nodding there heads away to this sound. That style seams to get predictable, and I personally would be unable to recall a single song from a night of this sort of music since there isn’t much to distinguish a track by.
We can consider ourselves lucky that people like Rob and Zaki put out the sort of house that gets more than a room of sweaty boys dancing (nothing wrong with that of course). Keep your ears to the ground because rumor has it that Zaki is at work on a new label. He told me that he has fresh original material for 5 releases waiting to be mixed down. A website is coming soon as well! If you want to be up to date on future releases you can keep in touch with Zaki directly through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some Old articles about the label. Click for larger view.
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