Vakant Records represents the German Berlin based label for minimal techno founded by Alex Knoblauch and Stephan Bolch. Solely run by Alex Knoblauch since 2009.
Welcome to Vakant. At least since the Sex Pistols, "vacant" has been, well, not so pretty a term, signifying the empty, the shallow, the vacuous: the hollow men, with holes for hearts and heads. But Berlin's Vakant label gives the word a new meaning.
Like so many electronic labelskompakt, warp, and ~scape among them Vakant refuses to take space at face value, choosing instead to put a kink in the works, a kick where you least expect it, a cold compress on an 808 heatwave. At its simplest, "Vakant" might stand for the spaces left between the beats.
This is, after all, a "minimal" label, where melody's a thing less glaring than glanced at, where every beat is bracketed by another, be it brother, ghost, or doppelgänger. You groove to the 4/4 inevitable, you glom to the handclaps on the 2 and 4, regular as Greenwich Mean.
But the swerve is in the spaces left unsaid and the hiccups that make a ritual out of happenstance. (Classical music has its accidentals; Techno, born of African drumming and cranky machines, takes the idea into a new, rhythmic realm, and Vakant's riding shotgun the whole way.)
But Vakant is alsoand more importantlya label that leaves that crucial space for the very idea of "minimal" to develop, that recognizes its place in a lineage (after all, we've been doing this minimal thing since Rob Hood, people; since baby ford, since "Baby Wants to Ride").