There is no doubt that Techno as a genre of music was developed and spread across the globe by a handful of Artists and labels out of Detroit in its first wave. But when you think of labels that helped to spread its electronic grooves across Europe, one can’t help but to have R&S Records come to mind. R&S, along with its army of sub-labels, put out many amazing releases not only by Techno pioneers from Detroit, but also from Europe, and all across the globe.
R&S was founded in 1984 in Ghent, Belgium. Its name is taken from the Initials of founders Renaat Vandepapeliere and Sabine Maes, who began the label in response to their disdain for the current dance music scene in Belgium at the time. Many of the earlier releases included the developing Belgian New Beat genre in the 1980’s, but also included many early Techno and House artists from the US. Many second wave techno artists got releases on R&S including Suburban Knight, Joey Beltram, and Eddie Fowlkes. R&S also released some of the earliest works of idm/techno legend The Aphex Twin. The R&S back catalog is so lengthy and packed full of electronic music gems, I suggest any true fan spend some time perusing their Discogs page to see the true breadth of releases.
After a long period of success, R&S went on a hiatus from 2001-2006 due in part the founder’s boredom with the music industry at the time. However, R&S records re-launched in 2006 and went on to put out more great releases from artists like Model 500, Orlando Voorn, and James Blake. While the releases are more varied and boundary pushing than its earlier, more techno-centric sounds, R&S continues to put out innovative dance music across the globe.