Interview with Klaus Kugel, co-founder and co-director of the label Nemu Records

Nemu Records is a German music label that sails with its interesting productions in the digital seas of Kathodik. His releases, refined editions ranging from Free Jazz to Minimal Improvisation, always published with an “adventurous” attitude, are well received on Kathodik. Also for Nemu Records, as for the other interviews, I realized that the time had come for a deepening of knowledge of the label and the philosophy that animates it and I spoke about it with Klaus Kugel, co-founder and co-director of Nemu Records. Klaus talked about the hows and whys of making improvised music in the Gernany today, providing an interesting take on Music.

Here you can find the Italian translation

What are the origins of the Nemu Records? How did the idea come about? What were your inspirations? What models, if any, have you referred to?

More than twenty years ago I had already had cd releases on various labels, including HatHut, and I was disappointed that little was actually done for the promotion of the cds and the bands associated with them.
I decided to take matters into my own hands. My friend, the violonist Albrecht Maurer, was enthusiastic to join me, and so we started Nemu Records with our first recording ‘MARS’ (nemu 001).
Nemu is the short form for NEw MUsic.
Our model was and is simple: Nemu Records is a platform for musicians who play avantgarde music and who don’t want to run after any labels anymore who, if they really release a recording, don’t really care about it after all. Financially, the system is very simple. The musicians abide by the graphic rules, pay all expenses, and own the entire production. The music has to be avant garde / new music.
We would not agree to a mainstream music release.
Everything started very well, we had a very good response with our cd releases, found an excellent label manager (Jimi Wunderlich) and a good distribution ( right away.

Where are the labels based?

The label is based in Germany; that’s because both of our laptops are in Germany 🙂
We do not have an office.
And we’re just now starting to sell the CDs through Bandcamp.

How do you choose the releases?

We are releasing recordings from ourself, and from friends or collegues. The music has to be first rate, avantgarde / new music / improv / composed – no mainstream.
When friends or colleagues release a CD on Nemu, we coach them through the entire process.


Why is it mostly Cd releases?

We started when LPs was already out.
CDs are the best for us as we send many copies to radios, reviewers etc..
Our format is digifile, no plastic, and easy to send by post.

Do you plan for future vinyl releases?

If musicians on our platform want to do that, they’re welcome to do it.
I myself am not interested in doing it with my own releases.
But who knows how it will be in the future 🙂

What do you think about co-productions between record labels? Do you think it is a viable option for your labels?

Nowadays the tendency is rather that there are more and more independent small musician labels.
I think it only makes sense for small labels to collaborate on distribution.

Do you think it is important to use social media to promote improvised music?

Yes, for sure. That’s the only reason why I use facebook.
It was realy very useful so far.

How do you see the national and international improvised music scene? Artists, clubs, etc.?

There have never been so many super trained and talented musicians as there are today, even in the avant-garde field. Our scene will probably always be a marginal phenomenon.
Honestly, I can’t predict where things are going to go from here.

Could you tell us something about some of your future projects?

The next upcoming cd is a trio recording that we did in Bonn in June 2022, with trio
Roby Glod – alto & soprano saxophone
Christian Ramond – double bass
Klaus Kugel – drums
It will be released in September 2023.
All updates from Nemu Records are always posted here:

Link: Nemu Records Home Page