After 16-years of hard graft and unwavering determination, Hamburg’s iconic outlet of deep house Smallville Records Store has closed its doors for the very last time.
Announced yesterday in a statement by Julius Steinhoff – “it is with teary eyes to announce that Smallville Records store in Hamburg closed down” – Steinhoff also announced the end of Smallpeople, the production collaboration between himself and Just von Ahlefeld aka Dionne – “the Smallpeople project unfortunately came to an end, too, as Just and I are now taking two different paths.”
First opened in 2005 by Julius Steinhoff, Stella Plazonja and Peter Kersten aka Lawrence, the Smallville Records Store was originally located at Hein-Hoyer-Strasse, before relocating to Neuer Kamp in 2017.
The record store and label quickly became synonymous with the deep house sound emerging from Hamburg, amplified by emblematic artwork by local artist Stefan Marx, resulting in Smallville becoming a key hang-out spot and cultural institution for all electronic music heads visiting the German city.
Extracted from a feature on Electronic Beats about Hamburg, Steinhoff remarked on the founding principals of the label and record store.
“A warm quality is something we look for, but other than that I think it’s a hard term to describe. I suppose certain synth pads tend to make something deep, or contemplative, creating something that tells a story instead of just having a track work on the dancefloor. Maybe it’s about the melody? I don’t know. With the Smallville store it was all about establishing a place where we can meet people outside of the bar and club context who appreciate exactly that. In the beginning we always saw the same people coming here, but over time things have changed.”
Fortunately it’s not all bad news – Steinhoff will continue the label together with Stefan Marx – “we are ready to move things forward together and bring you new surprises, like the first album on Fuck Reality, another Smallville album, new soft goods and maybe, even, the lost Smallville 50 could be in sight.”
Additionally a new record store named Remoto Records will open at Neuer Kamp. For a deeper dive into the history of Smallville, we recommend watching the Slices video filmed in 2009 at Hein-Hoyer-Strasse.
Photo by Hard Drive Library