- Berlin based imprint !K7 was founded in 1996 by Horst Weidenmüller. The label is most widely known for its ongoing DJ Kicks mix series, described by James Holden as "one of the few remaining mix CDs worth paying for", with previous alumni including Carl Craig, Thievery Corporation, Nightmares On Wax, Hot Chip, Kode9 and the aforementioned Border Community boss. !K7's current day stable includes artists as disparate as Detroit electro funkateer Jimmy Edgar, Belgian electro band Goose and live techno outfit Brandt Brauer Frick. Much like its Cologne based contemporary Kompakt, !K7 has also grown from a label into a distribution empire, and currently distributes music for the likes of Rush Hour, BBE, Skint and Environ. It also runs a number of sub-labels including the incredibly impressive Strut.
Knee Deep US
- Following their early noughties success on labels like Fluential and Defected, it was almost inevitable that German funky house duo Knee Deep would launch their own imprint. Knee Deep Recordings finally appeared in 2003, initially as an outfit for their productions and those of like-minded producers. Initially, the label's sound was typical of the duo's own mid-noughties releases - chunky, soulful house bursting with thick lower end - but changes in the musical landscape have brought about a refreshing change in outlook. Via releases from the likes of Lovebirds (whose "Best Before 2008" is a highlight) and Florian Kruse, Knee Deep has successfully repositioned itself as a home for quality European and US deep house.
- Kompakt's role in shaping modern electronic music can't be understated. Since it was founded in 1998 by Wolfgang Voigt, Jürgen Paape and Michael Mayer, the label has been at the forefront of pushing minimal and melodic electronic music underpinned by a true appreciation of pop music, as seen on the long running Pop Ambient and Total compilation series. Legendary producers who have contributed to the label include Superpitcher, Michael Mayer and Justus Köhncke. In recent years Kompakt has been a platform for a new breed of electronic producers, with superlative albums from the likes of DJ Koze, Gui Boratto and Matias Aguayo.
- Based out of Hamburg, Kontor Records is one of Germany's most successful electronic music imprints, having been in the game for over a decade. Kontor focus primarily on the commercial end of the dance music spectrum, having made their name via a succession of house and trance compilations and 12" releases. Kontor's success is thanks in no small part to the appearance of commercial icons such as ATB, Tiesto, Fedde Le Grand and The Freemasons in their release schedule.