After four years bringing leading US house and techno DJ-producers to UK clubs, Nick Harris and Redg Weeks started NRK Music in 1997 as a reaction against the substandard dance music littering this rapidly growing field. They swiftly built a formidable reputation for master-works of emotional deepness, soaring euphoria and startling innovation; both roof-raising in clubs and soul-melting at home.
Since the 90s’ golden age of vinyl landmarks and rampant electronic experimentation, most of the independent labels which proliferated back then have disappeared, but NRK continues to issue its knowledgeable, passionate celebrations, including the recent Back In The Box series. Artifacts presents three CDs of stellar catalogue highlights (one mixed by Harris) from the likes of Sirus, Quentin Harris, Nick Holder, DJ Q, Trackheadz, Foremost Poets, Kerri Chandler, Q-Burns, Ed Davenport, Audio Soul Project, Hipp-E, Kings Of Tomorrow and veteran pioneer François K riding the space disco. Some tracks appear in their remix incarnations, including Carl Craig’s magnificent rework of Hot Lizard’s The Theme and Charles Webster’s sublime handling of Shara Nelson’s soul-searing vocal on Nufrequency’s Go That Deep. Elsewhere, there’s Salt City, Joshua, Tom Middleton, Joey Negro, Peter Dildo, King Britt and Pete Heller.
A beautifully presented monument to one of the UK’s longest-running independent labels, it deservedly blows one of the biggest trumpets in British electronic dance music history.