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The History of tokafi

It all started in the year 2003 with a long talk in a The Hague-bar, with a scribble on the back of a napkin, with a name and an idea. Dirk and myself wanted to set up a new label for Classical music, which brought back the excitement and the warm sound of the early recordings and presented the music in a fresh and modern way. This was to be the start of a revolution, that would empower a generation of artists, who did things differently and searched for new interpretations – subsequently we called the label “mouvement nouveau”.

It was clear to us from the beginning that simply setting up a record company wouldn’t do. We wanted to create something truly unique and a place people could come to, regardless of our albums. The music was to be a part of something bigger, something that could actually change the world of Classical music. That’s why we decided on combining the label with an internet magazine that presented the music we liked in a language that was accessible to many, while still being ambitious. “Mouvement Nouveau-the magazine” started in late 2004 as a PDF-only magazine, featuring articles, interviews and reviews. Three editions were made in total. And there was a sampler by the name of “Premiere Etape” which people could download for free. Many thousands did and got to know artists such as Aalfang mit Pferdekopf, j frede, the Halcyon Ensemble and Nadine Schuster. At the same time, we discovered that it was more interesting to present the information in a dynamic form and to update the page every day. And then we threw away all our initial objections and embraced new and experimental music.

From February of 2006, “mouvement nouveau” will be called tokafi. A name, which can mean everything at first, but which we associate with an open-minded approach to music and a place where you can go out and explore the sounds that could change your life. Especially those that mainstream media have ignored for far too long. What those early years taught us was that the often cited barriers between friends of different genres exist – but that many are willing and even hungry to mount them. The whole point of a music mag should not be to vent editor’s frustration or (in a lucky moment) true enthusiasm, but rather to make listeners find out about great new music. So that’s what tokafi will be about: a portal, a space for discovery, a magazine and a radio station. And the story goes on – there’s much more to come!