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Chris Eckman, together with German music publisher Peter Weber, established Glitterbeat, "the best global label which operates from Ljubljana. Foto: MMC RTV SLO/Shipo

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From the unforgettable scenes of Seattle to steering the "best global label, which operates from Ljubljana"

An album of translated poems by Dane Zajc
17. May 2018 ob 12:58
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

"We define what we do at the label as independent, alternative, lateral music – definitely niche oriented, which is not part of any particular genre as such," says musician, producer and co-founder of the Glitterbeat record label, Chris Eckman. Years ago he decided to leave his native Seattle and settle down in Ljubljana.

In the past, Chris Eckman was best known as the frontman of the popular Seattle band The Walkabouts, which was active between 1984 and 2015. Three years before The Walkabouts disbanded, Chris Eckman, together with German music publisher Peter Weber, established Glitterbeat, "the best global label which operates from Ljubljana". Glitterbeat first operated as an extension of the legendary German record label Glitterhouse, but quickly decided to go independent. In four years, from 2014 to 2017, it received the Womax (World Music Expo) award for best record label of the year. The award is given out based on the voting results of journalists from 25 countries (also coming from media houses such as BBC, Radio France International or WDR/Funkhaus Europa), which vote every month for their best new albums covering world music. The overall result can be seen on the World Music Charts Europe (WMCE) platform.

Eckman says the first award surprised them, because in a way they were somewhat on the "sidelines in the field of "world music". I include the quotes, because the record label doesn’t even consider itself as a label working in the field of world music." Glitterbeat’s catalogue includes albums from names like Bassekou Kouyaté, Noura Mint Seymali, Samba Touré, Sacri Cuori, Hanoi Masters or Damir Imamović. The Slovenian trio Širom, made up of Ana Kravanja, Iztok Koren and Samo Kutin, released an album last year called I Can Be A Clay Snapper under Glitterbeat’s label imprint Tak:til. Chris Eckman, as a producer or co-producer, has also worked on many music albums, including with Vlado Kreslin.

The first day of this year’s Druga godba music festival, which will be taking place in Ljubljana and Piran between the 24th and 26th of May, will see a performance by Dirtmusic, a band made up of Eckman, Murat Ertel, also a member of the popular Turkish psychedelic band Baba Zula, and Hugo Race from Australia. The concert will take place at the Monfort old salt warehouse in Piran. This year, Eckman was also involved in many other projects. Among the more interesting was his album The Last Side of the Mountain, which features eleven poems written by Dane Zajc, translated into English and put into music.

Pina Gabrijan, MMC; translated by K. J.
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