Sonic Groove Records: Pioneers of American Techno Culture

This post was written by The Forgotten

In the vibrant streets of Brooklyn, back in April 1990, a musical legend and techno visionary, DJ Frankie Bones, quietly revolutionized the music scene. He launched Groove Records, a small record store that would become the birthplace of New York City’s burgeoning techno movement.

Shortly after opening its doors, Frankie Bones was joined by his younger brother, Adam X, and together, they embarked on an ambitious mission to spearhead the American techno movement. Groove Records had a singular mission: to introduce New Yorkers to techno music from all corners of the world. However, they went a step further by organizing underground rave events, which would later be recognized as the “techno underground.” These events provided a platform for local artists to showcase their early productions, thanks to the launch of ‘Brooklyn Groove Productions,’ a label that would eventually help propel the distinctive New York sound onto the global stage. Groove Records swiftly became the go-to destination for discovering the freshest and most innovative music, establishing itself as a true cultural institution. Simultaneously, this movement gave rise to a diverse and thriving techno scene that flourished up and down the East Coast of America.

Fast forward to the end of 1994, and Groove Records faced a significant turning point. Their rental lease was set to expire. With careful planning and a bold vision, Frankie and Adam, along with their partner, Heather Heart, crafted a plan to take the scene to new heights. In January 1995, the store reopened its doors as ‘Sonic Groove Records,’ located in the heart of Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. This marked the dawn of a new era and the golden age of the Techno culture. By cultivating a massive clientele and introducing them to the cutting-edge sounds of the global techno movement, Sonic Groove rapidly became one of the most iconic establishments in techno history.

During this transformative period, Adam X introduced the world to the Sonic Groove Records imprint, serving as a platform for fellow producers and close friends, including Reade Truth, Neil Landstrumm, Abe Duque, Dietrich Schoenemann, and many others. The unique sounds of these artists, combined with the productions of Adam X and Frankie, solidified Sonic Groove as an essential entity in electronic music culture, both as a record label and a store. Over the next decade, thousands of sizzling techno titles on vinyl flew off the store’s shelves.

Today, Sonic Groove Records stands as a testament to the enduring power of techno music. With a rich history that spans over three decades, the label continues to champion the underground techno scene. Its legacy, rooted in the early days of American techno culture, serves as an inspiration for new generations of techno enthusiasts. Sonic Groove Records remains committed to pushing the boundaries of electronic music, making it clear that techno is a timeless and ever-evolving genre that will continue to shape the future of music for years to come.

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