Joost Langeveld resurrects his pioneering house music label (Un)Reliable Recordings

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Reliable Records, New Zealand’s premier house music label, is doing its own remix – with its full back catalog now released online, and its founder bringing it back for another round.


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Reliable Recordings was the first label to release local house music in New Zealand, in 1999.

It was the brainchild of Joost Langeveld, who first teamed up with Chris Chetland of Kog Transmissions, then took on the independent label.

For a long time music released by Reliable was not online, but this month its full archive was made available as the label relaunched as (Un)Reliable Recordings.

Tony Stamp spoke with Joost Langeveld to find out what the future holds…

When the label started, inspired by the house music movement that was growing in clubs overseas, the tracks produced here had their own flavor, Langeveld said.

“Reliable Recording’s take on this was a more localized expression…certainly in the late 90s, early 2000s, there wasn’t a lot of production going on [here] in this style we also borrowed from other places.

“There were people who were probably more from the trance background or the outdoor party scene who made music and had a talent for making house beats, and people who were maybe a little more versed in hip hop or jazz. So it definitely had its own unique take.

“And because of friends and friendships…I turned to DJs who played clubs like Roger Perry, Greg Churchill and Dick Johnson, that was their world. So they kind of pulled me into this world and allowed me to do it with them.”

He in turn encouraged them to produce their music in the form of recordings.

Sampler technology was also emerging at this time, he said.

“It’s become affordable to set up small studios at home and it’s allowed people like me to invite DJs into that space and experiment and mess around…which is really the foundation of Reliable.”

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Photo: Unsplash / Long Truong

Reliable was relaunched partly as part of the drive to put the back-catalog online for people to listen to – until now the label’s music only existed on CD and vinyl.

The other reason behind Reliable’s revitalization is to start exploring new opportunities for the label.

Langeveld said that would include playing in the party space, but he also wants to start working with “the incredible talent that’s out there, in terms of a new school of music making.”

“It would be nice to promote a new wave of awesome local dance music.”

He said to expect new releases of some of the old school household names associated with Reliable, and to watch out for exciting new names.

Already, some of the label’s oldest tracks are getting a new lease on life, with remixes created by young producers… and there are other original projects in the works.

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