The following comes from an e-mail communication with
Walter Robotka on 27th March 2001 ...
i decided to start Syntactic
in 1993 when i had enough of being just a music recipient and wanted to get into a more
active role myself. i'd been listening to 'new' music, then called industrial (now a term
that nodbody wants to be labelled with anymore) since 1983 when i discoverd videoclips by
23 Skidoo and Cabaret Voltaire on the television. (before that, i
was musically brought up with Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry whom
i started collecting at the age of six).
in the beginning i had no idea whether it would be possible to start getting some
attention acting from vienna, at a time long before the new electronica scene discovered
it as one of its musical capitals. so i tried carefully - with very small editions, namely
50 test pressings (for which i mistakenly got 60, this is how the extra limited special
editions were born).
i soon discovered that people loved the idea of having something exclusive and kept the
concept, making a little more though to make sure that the people who wanted copies then
also surely got them. over the years, i ended up producing sixty releases and i´m still
releasing music on syntactic up to this day.
the visual concept for the label was to be as
special and colourful as possible with most sleeves designed or even handmade by Lisa
Neukirchner who was responsible for Syntactic´s looks up until 1998.
artists who wanted to make their own covers were welcome to do so, too.
the musical choice for the releases on the label was
always and will always be very subjective; whatever i like and whoever i find interesting
enough, i will release on Syntactic. this is why you have such a wide
range from noise (like Merzbow or The Haters) via
abstract electronica (like Fennesz or Scanner) to synth
pop (a la Bliane L. Reininger or Paul Haig).
what made the start for me easier was the fact that
i had already been friends with most of our musicians before, Robin Storey
is one of my best friends ever, David Jackman was a regular host at
london trips, the Konstruktivist people became buddies more and more and Lagowski,
for example, sold Whitehouse records to me years before the label was
started. this might be also the reason why all these great artists decided to do these
very limited records with me which is a great honour and makes me very happy.
like i said before, the earliest releases were test pressings manufactured in a German
pressing plant, while later issues have become normal small editions with printed label
stickers etc. i am still sticking to the concept of handmade packaging, latest example the
live cassette by Frenk Lebel which is wrapped in special papers with a
piece of cord around it. now most of the record designs are made by my wife -
Walter Robotka - March 2001