Pangea Recordings is dedicated to pushing forward the best in underground electronic dance music for over a decade.
The label has been at the forefront of melodic Dance Music with over 200 individual releases picking up DJ support from the likes of Sasha, John Digweed, Hernan Cattaneo, Nick Warren, Paul Oakenfold, Above & Beyond, Max Graham, Booka Shade, Guy J, Microtrauma, and many more.
We caught up with label boss Samer Salhab a.k.a. Dj Samer to find out about a special release celebrating 15 years of Pangea Recordings…
Hi Samer, what made you decide to start up your imprint, and is there a story behind its name?
Pangea was a concept I formed in 1996 when I was introduced to the music in Gainesville, Florida, at the legendary venue Simon’s. To understand what the label stands for, I must tell you a bit about myself. Being of Palestinian ancestry, I have always longed for unity in my part of the world where division has become so commonplace. Being that Pangea literally stands for a united physical world, I decided to use it as a symbol and focus on using dance and electronic music to help bring about unity and foster relationships among people. Funny to say, a dancefloor can represent how the world should be: people of all shapes and colours finding strength in their need to dance their troubles away and just have a good time! To say I am proud of it would be an understatement as I know now that our music brings people together.
What does Pangea bring to the scene and how does it stand out from the crowd?
While it is true that we tend to focus on progressive house, I look for music that tends to withstand the test of time no matter what genre. Many of our tracks released through the years sound just as good now as when they were first heard by the public.
Further, I believe that each release has its own “half-life” that deserves respect in order for a release to fully develop, and therefore we do not tend to release tracks every week, two weeks, or even four weeks. We tend to give each release its space to develop as we believe that each release is special and deserves its own time to develop. Many labels are in a race to get a release out as soon as possible to give their listeners as much as possible to listen to. I do not want to be a part of that race. I can comfortably say that being from a different school of thought with respect to how music releases should be developed makes us stand apart from most other labels in our genre. It’s a formula that works or we would not be here almost 20 years later releasing quality music.
Who would you class as your labels core artists?
We have developed some amazing core artists here at the label: Barry Jamieson, Luke Chable, Mick Wilson, Sapiens, Audioglider, Sean McClellan, Bobby Benninger and many more.
Are there any unexpected aspects do you find hard about running a label in today’s industry?
It is not easy to stay relevant given all of the releases available every week on Beatport! But again, I think we have developed a formula to stay as relevant as we can in the coming years. You also have to keep a positive outlook on your music, it’s easy to get mired down in negativity when you feel that you should be getting more attention than you currently are. The tendency to want to judge yourself is strong. Keeping a strong and positive outlook on things is a key ingredient to being able to survive the cutthroat world that the music industry. All of us in the scene can name someone who fell a victim of this type of thinking, and what it did to their music and/or label.
Could you list some of the highlights of 2019, and what you have planned for next year?
What a year it was for us. 2019 was the first year we were #1 on the Beatport Best of Progressive House Chart, and it was the first year we had back to back releases in the top 50 of the Beatport Progressive House Releases Chart consecutively. Also, 2019 was the first year Pangea consistently had premiers in key magazines and websites. I feel that the hard work has paid off: our music is regularly chosen as a weapon by some of the most iconic DJs in the scene and has gained notoriety as a record label that is much revered.
We have a big year lined up for 2020. Not only do we have releases lined up from some of our core artists, but we are also trying to expand back into events as we did at the start of the millennium.
How do you support the artists on your label, and what qualities do you look for when signing music?
I spoke a bit earlier about how we like to develop a release rather than just put out music constantly. One of the ways we develop a release is to work hand in hand with a publicist in order to get a release the exposure it deserves. I believe it is absolutely key to get tracks to the folks who are most likely to publish information about the release in music magazines and press websites, as they separate our releases from the others. Here is a good example: why pay Beatport Hype to place your release in a chart when you can hire a publicist to do the real job of getting your tracks into people’s ears the right way and grow your label organically! The result: We have one release right now in the Beatport Top 100 in 4 various genres, which I am very proud of.
You can order a copy of Pangea Recordings’s 15-year anniversary release from HERE