TF Archives

If- Records (Andrez Bergen)

Author: Terry Rance
Sunday, January 1, 1995
IF- Records is the eclectic brainchild of DJ and music journalist Andrez Bergen. Beginning in 1992 as an experimental video outlet, IF- has gone on to explore the realms of sculpture and installation-based art, always with one eye firmly upon progressive new directions and the fringe elements of the mainstream. It's this philosophy which has helped shape his sideline project IF- Records and the live music events put on by IF- in conjunction with So!! Productions - most notably in relation to the 'Zoetrope' live electro sessions this year.

Andrez started up the label at the beginning of 1995 and since then IF- has been responsible for the two 'Zeitgeist' compilations of Melbourne-based techno and experimental electronic sounds, the 'Perception Camera' album by Guyver 3, and EP's each by Soulenoid and Little Nobody. "I started IF- Records principally because I was receiving all these great demo tapes from local artists for my show on PBS, and no-one here was putting them out. Rather than sitting around griping about it, I thought I'd try and help them myself." He shrugs. "If we were making a decent profit or if I had a whole wad of spare cash then I'd obviously be doing a lot more with the label because there are some fantastic producers coming through in Melbourne, but you know how it is where finances are involved . . ."

Foremost in the IF- ideology has been the support of local talent, both through the label and the live gigs they put on. To this extent IF- has helped to establish the careers of more recent Melbourne-based producers such as Soulenoid, Guyver 3, Blimp, Little Nobody, Honeysmack, Amnesia and TR-Storm as well as more established artists like Voiteck, Zen Paradox, Black Lung and FSOM. What's in store for the label-

"Right now we're concentrating on the live techno events such as Zoetrope and our work with Club Filter, and that's done through our new subsidiary which we call So!! Productions - it kind of has a good ring to it; it sounds a bit more affirmative and decisive with two exclamation marks rather than just a humble question mark," Andrez reports with a facetious grin.

Other work is also afoot. "That's the big one - 'Z3'. Sounds enigmatic, doesn't it-" he quips. "Kind of like 'T2 - Judgement Day' or 'ID4'. If we can do anything like the marketing and propaganda campaign those people mustered up, then we'll sell a couple of hundred thousand copies before the CD's even pressed!" He pauses to savour the thought. "But unfortunately our budget is about a millionth of what they had for those films - literally! - so I think our release will be a little more humble."

"Anyway, 'Z3' is just the acronym for 'Zeitgeist 3'. We've been compiling it for a few months now, generally taking our time and working to make it something special. There's got to be a sense of progression about it when compared with the previous two compilations, and I think we're finding just that. I think it might surprise a few people - this time it's more oriented towards a dancefloor scenario but it's still progressive and subversive in its own way. 'Z3' is an open drift-net that takes in a range of influences, from nu-skool electro to techno, house and drum 'n' bass - Melbourne style."

Andrez goes on to note the producers who have been confirmed for this compilation. "People like Voiteck, Zen Paradox, TR-Storm, Soulenoid, Honeysmack, Blimp and Little Nobody, as well as a few new artists."

Remixes by respected German producers Thomas P Heckmann (alias Drax) and Martin Damm (Biochip C & Subsonic 808) graced the first two compilations - will this international injection take place on the third- "Well, we got a remix from Cem Oral [aka Jammin' Unit and G104] from Pharma Records over in Berlin - it's a flanged-out, fucked-up interpretation of the Krang track that appeared on 'Zeitgeist 2' and it's a treat!"

Every two months IF- puts on the Zoetrope gigs at the Punters Club in Fitzroy. What i