The idea of running an imprint putting out to the world fresh and original music emerged in Iulian's mind in the very early days of streaming platforms in Romania. First attempt to this came as naturally as a netlabel: Exposed Audio.

Around 2004, Markus Homm and Iulian felt like balancing the nonmaterial aspect of Music with a project that would direct more energy toward the material representation of Electronic Music. They then decided to open up a specialized Electronic Music record shop in Romania, the second one to be created there, becoming part of the only ones to support the format when everyone else (almost) moved the full digital way (as Tim Humphrey genuinely said in one of his latest posts — shout out to you brother for those words). 

Collecting valuable knowledge about running a Business related to Vinyl records, a friend asked Iulian if he could run a vinyl label for them around 2012, but as learning to develop and establish The Rabbit Hole in 2012, Iulian starts to feel there is a need to wire tightly all actors of the community. Thoughts of an online community centered around  Electronic Music emerge and start developing, but the knowledge to make the idea a reality is missing, which leads him to close the file and store it preciously in an accessible place, for it to possibly become the seed of another project. 

As his friend decides now to run The Rabbit Hole alone, it is time now to think about running his very own Imprint: Stomping Grounds. But at the same time, Minimal sound starts to be overloaded at that time with a consequent load of nonsense that starts to annoy everyone around, similarly as what happened to every genre that became extremely popular. 

Meanwhile, release by astonishing music heads such as Egal 3 aka VID, S.A.M., Discret Popescu aka Crihan, Jay Bliss himself, OCH, or more recently V.I.C.A.R.I. start lining up, reassuring the long-time Minimal heads about the consistency of the genre, the idea to refocus on a timeless vision of Music becomes more of an evidence every single day. 

Thoughts of records that would fit almost every situation came up, records that would connect one genre to another, connect one heart to another, and become a timeless bridge tightening up the community. Records that would use the power of Deep, the almighty power of its softness to guide like an Ariadne thread the story of Electronic Music to establish its right to exist once again, and for the decades to come. 

You cannot go wrong going Deep. And looking back to all the amazing releases out on Stomping Grounds, this was the only way forward: a sub-label was born under the name of Vade Mecum (and you’re about to brush your teeth with the deep every day of your life now), seeing the likes of Mark & Matt Thibideau, Ohm & Octal Industries, Merv amongst other legends putting their music out under its colors. And speaking of colors, Iulian could count on the talented mind of the Berlin based Romanian designerClaudiu Stefan to turn ideas, words, and Music, into a work of art that would lift the records up to collectible items.

Federsen was recently invited to provide two timeless pieces for a Vade Mecum 10" color series. A record you'll always have space enough to keep in your bag.

The amazingly talented Claudiu Stefan designing the visual identity of the label with an abstract twist

Moving Forward Again