Altered Moods Recordings was initially conceived in the fall of 2004. Its chief director, Malcolm Moore, having started DJing professionally only three years prior, with his roxnadz.com house mix website, felt that there needed to be another outlet for deep, spiritual house music, and despite the fact that the deep house scene – and the music industry as a whole – were on a decline, he was determined to see his vision through.
Part of what fueled that desire was a failed collaborative project between him and three other friends who were well seasoned in the genre. Darand Land, who himself had several releases on the now-dormant Deep4Life imprint, was dabbling around with releasing records on his own Sound Principle project. The first release – Sound Principle 001 – which never made it past the initial test pressing stage was a compilation of songs by Mr. Land and his brother-in-law, Jose Lau. The album received critical acclaim by those who received copies.
The second project – Sound Principle 002 – in which Mr. Moore contributed a song – also did not make it past the test-pressing stage. There was talk about distribution and about how to get the album into people’s hands. That talk unfortunately went nowhere. But it was this failed project that was the incentive to begin Altered Moods Recordings.
At first, there was little activity. The label wasn’t even officially called Altered Moods Recordings initially. Mr. Moore had begun calling the label “Head Nod Recordings,” a tribute to the roxnadz.com site, which had been using “Head Nod” and similar phrasing since its inception in 2001. As he proceeded forward with initial label ideas toward the end of 2004, he encountered a small problem: there was already a Head Nod Recordings, complete with website and discography.
“I remember visiting their website and being unable to believe that there was already someone out there with my idea for a label name,” Mr. Moore recounts. “But rather than face any problems down the line, after a bit of counsel with various people, I decided to find a different name.”
And thus, Altered Moods Recordings was born. The label would remain inactive for most of 2005 as real life and personal changes would affect its chief director. But early in 2006, real, earnest work began on the label’s first official release.
In May of that year, AMR released its first of several MP3 albums, “Moments of Us.” The ambient EP, produced in part by Mr. Moore, finally gave the label a base from which to build. Interest in the label increased greatly shortly after the release. Mr. Moore teamed up with Marco Nega, a German ambient and deep house producer, and the second MP3 release, “Good Natured EP” was completed in August. That
release, combined with Mr. Moore’s work with Mr. Nega would garner even more attention for the label. This partnership would prove even more fruitful later on.
Mr. Moore would then begin the longest project in AMR’s short history: the Love…Lost and Found release. At first, that wasn’t what it was called. But Mr. Moore was determined to release his first vinyl record.
Initially, it was to be a single vinyl release with 3 or 4 tracks. But as word swept through the industry about the previous releases, a number of artists – many of which had never had a vinyl release – became interested. Eventually, the number of tracks had ballooned to 8 – far more than could be reliably contained on one disc. So the album became a double-vinyl.
The release process went through many fits and starts – and was rife with problems, ranging from issues with the artists, to problems with printing, cost overruns and an unexpected delay at the pressing plant. However, everyone persevered and the album was finally released in the beginning of 2007.
Although many who listened to the record thought it was excellent, sales were initially very slow, and would remain so for a number of months. It wasn’t until another deep house label owner – Edward McKeithen (known as DJ Jus-Ed) of Underground Quality – mentioned the album on his weekly radio show, having received a copy from Marco Nega. Mr. McKeithen referred AMR to a well-known distributor – Downtown 161 Records in New York City – who bought the remaining stock on the spot.
It was this contact that would finally get Altered Moods Recordings the worldwide distribution it deserved. The record would receive critical acclaim wherever it went, particularly in Europe. Stocks would quickly be exhausted.
AMR followed up the “Love…Lost and Found” release with several additional deep house net releases and an ambient CD release. It then delved back into vinyl with the release of 2loop (Igor Mazagorov)’s “Deep Blue” EP, which is currently receiving critical acclaim worldwide.
Altered Moods Recordings is positioning itself to become a major player in the house and ambient music scene – all the while keeping things relatively small, always true, and always deep… changing moods, changing lives.