In episode 4 of our “On Tape” series we introduce the Leipzig label GLYK. Since 2017 it has been releasing music that can be located somewhere “in between”. We arranged to meet label head DJ Balduin and wanted to know what the tape medium means to him and what drives him with his label.

Balduin is a DJ and producer from Leipzig who is probably already known to many people – we already had him in a detailed interview. His album “Concrete Mimosa” on Kann Records was one of our top records of last year and was in constant rotation. He is also – together with friend Yet Unseen – the DJ duo Feuerbach.

In addition to DJing and producing, Balduin has been running the GLYK label for several years, which is somewhere between ambient, house and experimental. It all started with a series of events that he started with a few like-minded friends while he was still a student in Weimar – “Music for Couples and Mentally Ill People”.

Photo: Nikolas Fabian Kammerer

This involved renting rooms in broken-down shared apartments or playing in a bar, laying out a few mattresses or attaching things to rotating motors on the ceilings. It could happen at such an event that a television burst into flames or guests were hit in the face by a glove rotating through the room. Baldwin remembers:

“At that time in Weimar there were only club events or student parties, which we were very bored with were. And we thought: There is so much good music that we would like to hear loudly and in different contexts. So let's create some context. The music should tell a story. Anyone who wanted to concentrate on that had something to discover, but not in the way you might know from ambient circles. That now everyone must listen reverently. We wanted to create something between deep listening and ecstasy.”

Photo: Nikolas Fabian Kammerer

However, Balduin has always run GLYK as a label entirely on its own. Especially since after the Weimar period, the friends spread out in all directions. Musically, the label, similar to the DJ duo Feuerbach, moves between the two mutual poles of “harmonious” and “uncomfortable”. Baldwin says:

“I don’t like driving just one line. An image should emerge as it oscillates. I find it boring when after two releases I can already guess where a label is going.”

Balduin finds the artists online or sometimes in his immediate musical environment. It's not important that the music is easy to consume per se – sometimes it's a concept that appeals to him, he says. For example, the publication of “Composition 1960 #7” by New York producer John D. Murphy. This is the minimalist techno interpretation of a neo-classical piece.

Photo: Nikolas Fabian Kammerer

Balduin himself studied media art in Weimar and sees the physical releases as a playground for his creativity. He does all the artwork himself. Is it important to him to release music on physical media in addition to the digital release? I wanted to know:

“Not all music benefits from being released on a physical recording medium. But I think it's cool to have a medium you can touch. I'm all about creating beautiful things that I hope others will also find great. The special thing about the physical medium is not just its sound quality or the interaction with it, but also that it stands somewhere and takes up space. Then it should be a product that I like to have with me.”

And what about the cassette medium in particular?

“I generally find it exciting that every medium has its own characteristics and dictates how I listen to an album. On the record it is divided into two or four parts, on the CD it is in one go. On streaming portals, the algorithm often dictates what happens next after the album is over. And with the tape, the way I found it was that it automatically starts all over again.”

From the front? Yes, because DJ Balduin has a tape deck with an auto-reverse function. This means that the cassette will be played again after one run. Every medium has its own way of telling an album. By repeatedly listening to cassettes, he realized how rarely he listened to albums on repeat. And that is also one of the aspects that makes publishing music on cassettes appealing to him.

“You hear the music completely differently. And certain pieces only stick on the second or third run through,” is his experience. Baldwin doesn't want to commit to one medium for future releases. Whether on tape, digital or on record – the main thing is that it continues in the way that feels best to him. What is certain is that the one-person label GLYK is currently moving strongly towards a collective publishing platform.

“For a long time I thought I alone had to know where the label was going, even though opinions from those around me always influenced my decisions. In recent years, many of the people who were involved in the first Weimar events have moved to Leipzig. At the moment the label is bringing us all together creatively again. A new energy is emerging and it’s nice to find out together what GLYK can become.”

You can feel some of this energy live very quickly. On June 1, 2024 at the Kunstverein Leipzig. From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. With Lino Rex, Vanessa Bettina, Dj Ony, M-pha & Mikolaj, Yet Unseen, SRS, Matthias Schäfer, Elisabeth Kraus, Pia von Reis and Max Wiesner (and more)

And here are a few more tape releases from GLYK that we highly recommend to you:


At this point a big thank you to Nikolas Fabian Kammerer for the wonderful photos for this story. Here he tells us how he perceived the shoot with Balduin:

“It was already clear to me in advance that GLYK was a creative label. The fact that Balduin put so much effort into the portraits surprised me (in a positive way!). This sparkling creativity 'on set' is of course a win-win situation.”


Leave a Reply