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Legendary NYC Dance Label Astralwerks Headed to LA; GM Glenn Mendlinger To Depart (Exclusive)

Astralwerks
Courtesy of Astralwerks

     

The Capitol Music Group label's New York office will be phased out by June 1. It is unclear if any staffers are making the West Coast move.

Astralwerks, the seminal New York-based dance label that has been home to such groundbreaking acts over the last 25 years as Air, The Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim and Kraftwerk, is relocating to Los Angeles. SVP/general manager Glenn Mendlinger -- who has been with the label for more than 20 years --will leave the company

The Capitol Music Group (CMG) label's New York office will be phased out by June 1, with Mendlinger departing then. It is unclear if any Astralwerks staffers are making the West Coast move.

“Over the two decades that I have been at Astralwerks, our extraordinary and relentlessly passionate team has achieved success at a level I never could have imagined,” Mendlinger told Billboard via email. “Halsey’s breathtaking and explosive success; our dominance in dance music -- featuring the likes of The Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta and The Chemical Brothers and our keen eye for spotting early and innovative talent such as EDEN, Lemaitre and Albin Lee Meldau, have all contributed to the label’s remarkable stature.

“While we are on top I believe it is now time to look towards and pursue my next challenge,” Mendlinger continued. “I could not be prouder of our success, and I could not be more excited about what lies ahead. [CMG chairman/CEO] Steve Barnett and [CMG COO] Michelle Jubelirer are a formidable team. They inspired me to always shoot higher and run farther, and I look forward to rooting for their continued success.”

The move follows a pattern of westward migration since Barnett took over CMG in 2012. The former Columbia Records co-chairman and COO has already relocated Caroline, the company’s independent services arm, from New York to Los Angeles and other imprints such as Harvest soon followed.

Among other recent changes at the CMG, Caroline and Harvest co-general manager Piero Giramonti left the company at the end of 2017 with Jacqueline Saturn continuing to helm both companies.

Astralwerks, which sources say has been consistently profitable, launched in 1993 as Caroline’s dance imprint, taking its moniker as an amalgam of Van Morrison’s classic Astralweeks album and the last half from electronic pioneers Kraftwerk.

The first release was Amorphous Androgynous’ Tales of Ephidrina, which originally came out on Caroline (best known for its rock roster) before being switched to the nascent Astralwerks. 

In the following years, Astralwerks became a leading label in the electronic world, working with such groundbreaking acts as The Chemical Brothers, Air and Fatboy Slim. More recent successes over the last decade have included releases from David Guetta, Hot Chip and Swedish House Mafia. Last year, Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Earlier this month, Astralwerks released limited edition double vinyl sets of several Brian Eno classics, including Here Come the Warm Jets and Another Green World.

A representative for CMG declined to comment.

Assistance in this story provided by Hannah Karp and Ed Christman.