I find it quite touching to hear independent labels from the far corners of the world. People operating out of pure passion; exploring a genre with childlike curiosity. Sometimes without a local scene whatsoever, let alone in the pre-internet days. Based in Curitiba, Brazil, Endorphins Lab originated from exactly that.
“Living in Brazil is a daily challenge and cultural education always comes at the end of the line. But it intrigued us to learn to understand why reggae and funk bass lines were different and marvelous,” they explain in their first outing to the world. “We didn’t call it the ‘bassline’ because we didn’t know that. Instead, we called it ‘low sounds’ which needed good speakers to hear. Even without knowing any music theory, we were already training our ears to perceive creative differences and certain sounds. Including figuring out sampling: how Nas, to us, ‘imitated’ Ahmad Jamal… Who did it for him? How did he do that?!”
“Back in those days, we were also seduced by A&M and Blue Note cover patterns, Ella and Louis smiling and sitting side by side, the red Os Afro-sambas cover art, the colors of the 90s, rap albums covers, fonts, graffiti, photos, and many more record covers. This also bombarded our imagination and we wondered again: who does this? How?!”
“Like you guys [at The Find], we want to make the hip-hop culture even stronger, propagating the importance of beatmaking as an art form.”
Three years ago, they started the plans to launch a beat label. “Professionally, because Brazilian beatmakers deserve that. Sadly, in Brazil, there’s still a lack of recognition for beatmakers as artists; as creative minds. Like you guys [at The Find], we want to make the hip-hop culture even stronger, propagating the importance of beatmaking as an art form. Here at Endorphins Lab, we sample the world. We listen locally to produce globally.”
Refresh by Curitiba-based beatmaker Allb is their first release. An instrumental album carefully merging Brazilian samples (with the main focus on percussion) with jazz fusion, hip-hop, bossa nova, and Candomblé and Umbanda references.