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Playground magazine

Record Label


Studio !K7

Present location: Berlin, Germany

Since: 1996

Sub-labels: Ever Records, Gold Dust Media, Rapster Records, Strut


Studio !K7 is an independent label founded by Horst Weidenmüller, operating out of Berlin but with offices in New York, Hamburg, London and Tokyo. !K7 specialises in different styles of electronic music, especially house, techno, downtempo and breaks. The label is particularly known for its celebrated DJ mix series, “DJ-Kicks”, one of the best and longest running DJ mix series ever.  It includes contributions over the years by the likes of Carl Craig, Stacey Pullen, Tiga, Erlend Øye, Four Tet, Chromeo, James Holden and Kode 9, among many others.

The label started in 1996, a year after the first “DJ-Kicks”, by CJ Bolland. At the time, the concept of the series was innovative, as DJ mixes weren't usually released officially on CD. At the same time, !K7 started to release music by artists like Nicolette, K-Hand, Nick Holder, Kruder & Dorfmeister and Terrence Parker – receiving a great reception from the electronic music fans. The turn of the century was marked by the signing of artists like A Guy Called Gerald, Matthew Herbert and Terranova, among others, who contributed to the imprint's fame. In 2001, they created the subsidiary Rapster Records, focussing on hip-hop, soul and urban music. In 2006, they started Ever, another sub-label, this time specialising in guitar music, with artists such as Cortney Tidwell and Howie Beck. In 2008, !K7 acquired Strut, who specialised in African music and rare grooves, while that same year another hip-hop label joined the club, Gold Dust Media. Some of !K7's most successful releases in the second half of the noughties included work by Swayzak, Joakim, Jimmy Edgar and Brandt Brauer Frick.

Selected discography

Dave Clarke: “X-Mix: Electro Boogie” (1996)

Carl Craig: “DJ Kicks” (1996)

Kruder Dorfmeister: “The K&D Sessions™” (1998)

A Guy Called Gerald: “Essence” (2000)

Herbert: “Bodily Functions” (2001)

Tiga: “DJ Kicks” (2002)

Recloose: “Cardiology” (2002)

Erlend Øye: “DJ Kicks” (2004)

The Glimmers: “DJ Kicks” (2005)

Quiet Village: “Silent Movie” (2008)

James Holden: “DJ Kicks” (2010)


A Guy Called Gerald

Boozoo Bajou

Chris de Luca

Benjamin Diamond

Five Deez



Beth Hirsch

Nick Holder

Kruder & Dorfmeister



Out Hud

Princess Superstar

Quiet Village

Ursula Rucker

Ian Simmonds


Dani Siciliano

Smith & Mighty






Trüby Trio