Kontor represents the independent label from Germany, specialised on Electronic Dance Music. Since 1996 Kontor Records has repeatedly disproved the theory that innovative music and commercial success are incompatible. The label has shown that, contrary to popular opinion, it is indeed possible to establish long-term album selling artists in the dance sector. Kontor has risen to the status of a global player, an international electronic dance music operation to be reckoned with.
It all began as a hot Hamburg night club, a musical platform for local DJ talent, progressivly earning a worldwide reputation for superlative dance music.
DJ and musical mastermind Jens Thele set things in motion back in 1995, opening a club for house parties in a distinguished Hanseatic commercial house (Kontorhaus in German) in Hamburg’s city centre. In no time at all, Kontor was one of the hottest addresses in town, not only for clubgoers but also for DJs who saw the venue as the perfect sounding board for their freshest vinyl discoveries and their own productions.
The masterstroke was combining the two creative forces of club and label. Kontor’s rapid growth saw initial successes for local Hamburg DJs and producers. Word filtered through to acts from other parts of the country and beyond. International producers came knocking on Kontor’s door, each additional name doing its bit to spread Kontor’s fame across the world map: ATB, Blank & Jones, Ferry Corsten, Tiësto, Spiller, Sunbeam, Trance Allstars, The Underdog Project and so on.
Take André Tanneberger a.k.a. ATB, for example. The Bochum DJ and producer has been with Kontor since 1998. His debut track "9 PM (Till I Come)" sold over 2 million copies and claimed the #1 spot in the UK charts. Then Scooter, of course, releasing their material on their Sheffield Tunes imprint, a Kontor label affiliate. The Scooter story encompasses a #1 album in the UK charts (famously toppling Madonna from the top spot) and hugely successful tours throughout Great Britain.
The Atzen – Frauenarzt & Manny Marc – have now taken their place on the wall of fame since teaming up with Kontor Records in 2009. Their "Atzenmusik Vol. 2" album shot into the charts at #5 and went on to reach gold status, whilst their "Disco Pogo" smash was snapped up in the US and featured on the cult series Jersey Shore!
French superstar DJ Martin Solveig also put his faith in Kontor in 2010 and was rewarded with gold and platinum for his very first release on the Hamburg label, another proud addition to the artist roster.
Sister company Kontor New Media has forged ahead in the digital aggregator market to become one of the most effective players in the world, taking care of internet distribution for approx. 1,000 labels, not only in the dance scene but across all musical genres. In just five years, Kontor New Media has established itself as the go-to company for digital distribution.