Founded in late 2014 by Dinamarca & Ghazal, Stockholm-based Staycore functions more as a family than a traditional record label, pushing radical post-internet overkill and contemporary takes on global club sounds favouring dancehall, dembow, kuduro and soca grooves. Enigmatic, full of references, avoiding restrictive concepts such as gender, ethnicity or nation, the platform challenges hegemonic structures with its complex, garish and confrontational style as it brings artists into an open community that transcends individual releases, parties and sonic boundaries. Staycore friends and collaborators are based everywhere from Mexico and Uruguay to Germany and Croatia, forming a post-global network with sisters and brothers in spirit such as Lil Tantrum, Endgame and label crews such as NAAFI, NON, Halcyon Veil or Janus. On 30 June, Staycore’s core roster - Toxe, Mobilegirl, Mechatok, Alx9696, Dinamarca and Ghazal - comes together in Berlin for the first time in celebration of their new “Erelitha” compilation. “Erelitha” gave the imprint’s worldwide network of producers the task to capture the core of what makes summer nice in the first place, instead of limiting it to a time of year that doesn’t synchronously take place in both hemispheres.
Label co-head Dinamarca has built up a reputation for transgressing traditional genre barriers and bringing in sounds of the Caribbean wrapped with sharp reggaeton, Spanish versions of American rap hits, the latest dancehall standards and more. As a blogger in Sweden, promoter in Dubai, and now a DJ, producer and the imprint’s second co-head, Ghazal has approached dance music with an open spirit and a flair for creativity. A staunch supporter of marginalized communities, she has built Staycore as an open, creative space both in terms of its members and image.
Classically trained as a guitarist, Mechatok balances a deeply ingrained sense of melody with a preference for the rougher side of the dance music spectrum. Berlin-based compatriot Bao-Tran Tran or mobilegirl shifts tempos and adds triplet bleeps and bloops, metallic crunches, or reggaeton kicks to turn R&B classics into post-internet-friendly dance tracks.
Toxe is just about to finish high school but has already been named a producer to watch by Noisey, FADER and Dazed. She offers up a rougher side of the Staycore world, drawing influence as much from the icy sonics of Classical Curves as she does the dissolving atmospherics of noise and ambient music.
Alx9696 does a little bit of everything, playing the roll of dancer, DJ and visual lead depending on what’s needed. Alx has been a vital component of Staycore’s transformation into a label, party and crew to reckon with, providing an indescribable spark to whatever is currently happening, whether that means dancing all night or stepping in to DJ.