Record Labels and the Success of Techno: Capriccio

Alex Calhoun —  September 5, 2013 — Leave a comment

L 140656 1285163937Record labels that release Techno and House run the gamut of size and output. Some labels have been running since the late 70s and Early 80’s and have an enormous back catalog of releases, while others may just be some small DIY project of local Techno artists or DJs that only puts out a microcosm of recordings.  Detroit’s Capriccio records is arguably one of the smallest, least producing labels in Detroit Techno history, but in the same respect probably one of the most influential.

Capriccio records (not to be confused with the German Classical music label of the same name) was so small that they only had one release in 1981. The release, “Sharivari” by A Number of Names, however, is regarded in many circles as the first true “Techno” record. To add to this, Capriccio was only responsible for the first couple hundred copies of this record, and not any of the bootlegs or re-presses that would pop up around the globe in the decades that followed.


To fans of Detroit Techno, especially the very early tracks, “Sharivari” is one of the greats, and I bet some readers are singing it in their heads right now. For a crate digger or record collector, finding an original copy of this record is the ultimate Detroit Techno scavenger hunt. It’s got those haunting robotic vocals and spacey synths that have come to define the sounds of Detroit Techno as a genre, and sounds just as slick and modern in a DJ’s set as it did in 1981. Pretty awesome for Detroit’s smallest record label.

Alex Calhoun


Alex Calhoun is a writer, vinyl collector, and lover of all things odd and electronic. He currently lives in the Detroit Metro area.
September 2013
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