The 405 caught up with Christof Ellinghaus to discuss how City Slang started, how he got into music, his roster, inspiration, and the artists we should all be keeping our eyes on.

If you wish to find out more about the label that boasts the likes of CocoRosie, Junip and WHY? - head here.



Brief intro...

City Slang started in 1990 because I was booking bands, most of them from the US, and some of them had approached me about the need of a home base abroad. So I acted like I knew what I was doing and got away with that, for a while. Looking back at all this time it really adds up to a beautifully seamless transition from totally clueless to hopelessly jaded.

Why/How I you get into music...

I just never thought of being part of some "industry". Insofar another interesting transition from living in oblivion to living in denial. I'm not industry. Are you?

I really just got into music as a way out of a pretty boring small town life. And listening to music while getting high was simply mind altering. That I was actually part of an industry only dawned on me after Nirvana had hit it big. There I was, sitting on a Hole album taking calls from Metallica managers, discussing EU priorities with MTV. That briefly felt like "industry".

What impresses me about the artists on my roster...

Where do I start? With Kurt Wagner's amazing multitude of artistic abilities? Or with Dan Snaith. He's like no other. The way he assembles his songs. I don't know if I can name anybody else with that much finesse and intuition. I think HEALTH are real innovators. Stuff that makes you think while you jump. And the real Gesamtkunstwerk is named EMA and she is amazing…! Oh, and I like drummers. Watching drummers to me is like watching a ballet. So awe inspiring. John Convertino. BJ Miller. Cosmic Neman. Danny Seim. Too many to mention. But yes, I like to watch...

Where I find your inspiration...

I think it's seeing the bands live. Nothing beats a great live delivery and the invigoration that comes with it. And nothing is more frustrating than to have a great record by a band not able to convert it to the stage. Other than that I rely on the good people around me to point me towards things. Some blogs. Some sites. Some soundclouds. The whole lot really. But that is not über inspiring. Getting blown away by a band live, that is it. Hearing an amazing track for the very first time is great too. But how often do you hold a pint in in your hands in front of your computer?

What I'm currently listening to...

Should I really say what I am listening to? It's all rough mixes and unfinished stuff. Well, not all of it. I am actually going though another heavy Four Tet phase right now. It really seems like everything Kieran touches turns to gold. That remix he did for Neneh Cherry and the Thing? So incredible. He just builds it up only to take this great new corner very late in the song. He did that on the To Rococo Rot remix as well he made for us last year. I bow to the genius that is Four Tet. His Pink collection. There Is Love In You. Total genius!

Ones to watch...

That ON AN ON album we are about to put out I think is an amazing approach to pop music. What a great combination, that band and Newfeld. He clearly is nuts. And inspired! Oh, and of course the best record to come out this spring is the new Junip album. Holy shit. José Gonzalez and his friends have really come through. That 'Line Of Fire' song? Does music get any better? And I do love the Sinkane album. Another case of, well I really liked the record, but then I saw them live. Holy crap. That's how good you are??!! And lastly, I know that Cherilyn Macneil, who records under the name Dear Reader is about to unleash a glorious new album of extremely beautiful music called Rivonia.