2004 - Bum on the Carpet: “Amsterdam’s finest label, and Wouda’s own, Dopeness Galore, is serving it up on vinyl, and I’m diggin’ both the mid-tempo super-subdued synths and the strutting slow soul of the original.” - XLR8R Magazine
2006 - The Timeless Interpretations: “Musical bliss, deep pockets, and wonderful bridges that combine to form something special—a truly ground breaking project.” - Okayplayer
2007 - “Best Seller” Pharoah Sanders ‘Finest: “The Pharoah may remain an acquired taste, but few jazzmen can equal his formula of groove + spirituality = soul.” - The Independent
2007 - Frank N Dank’s The EP: “The Dopeness sound was different…man, if they is ready to do an album, let’s do it! They know how to get it crackin’.” - Frank Nitty in Skinny Magazine
2008 - Kid Sublime’s Rappin’ Blak: “It’s a brilliant album. Full support from me!” - Laurent Garnier
2009 - Chet Baker ‘Finest: “It’s a complete godsend, therefore, that Dutch maverick label Dopeness Galore have compiled this addictive selection of recordings from Baker’s Timeless archive.” - Straight No Chaser
2011 - Suzi Analogue: “This is just what I need right now!” - DJ Spinna
2011 - “Big Dopeness Galore fan here…” - Rich Medina
The Dopeness Galore story started with Wouda’s first single, which he pressed up on vinyl back in 2004. It must be an auspicious start when Afrika Bambaataa buys two copies of your first record and praises its mid-tempo funk. But it was when the label linked with Amsterdam-based jazz label Timeless Records, which had recordings from legends like Art Blakey and Marion Brown, Archie Shepp and McCoy Tyner to name a couple. Wouda and Jacob Malik Ladder aka Kid Sublime wanted to bring the feel of the Timeless catalogue up to the modern day, and started the Timeless Interpretations Project. That LP featured reworks by the likes of Domu and Mark de Clive-Lowe, Alex Attias, and John Arnold among others.That’s when things really started moving fast, and the label teamed up with Rush Hour for the full distribution business.
Another game-changer was Frank n Dank’s double EP, which saw the Detroit rappers deliver their strongest and most coherent raps to date, pulling together a collection of beats from dutch producers like I.N.T., Kid Sublime, Wouda, Elsas and Y’skid. It was quickly followed by Kid Sublime’s last LP Rappin’ Blak, a collection of raw soulful beats and conscious party throw-downs.
But Dopeness wasn’t made to get stuck in one style, and after their hip hop exploration, they dug deep again to bring some curveballs for their unsuspecting music lovers. Chet Baker and Pharaoh Sanders were represented with the ‘Finest project, collecting together and remastering the artists’ best gems. Oddball drummer and electronics mad scientist Overlast also took the label in a different direction all his own, and the rich personal tapestry of Dopeness Galore started to become clearer. Forthcoming artists to collaborate with the label will be Rednose Distrikt ten year anniversary, and Suzi Analogue, so you know there’s no precedent for what to expect…
Story of Dopeness written by Max Cole
Photo of Wouda taken by Simon Wald-Lasowski