Go-Kart started in 1993 or 1994 – when exactly, we can't really remember. When Greg Ross realized that you didn't need to be rich, famous, or even smart to run a record label, he cashed in his bar mitvah bonds and put out his first 7" EP. Since then we have released over 100 records that run the gamut from brutal hardcore to snotty punk to sugar coated pop music. Inconsistent? Definitely. The staff of Go-Kart pays no attention to the fleeting trends. We release music that we like from people we like.
The Lunachicks, Anti-Flag, Buzzcocks, GBH, and Weston have each called Go-Kart their home at some point in their careers, as have lesser-known (but no less amazing) bands such as Toxic Narcotic, Two Man Advantage, The Meatmen, The Amazombies, and dozens more.
Our sampler, the low-budget Go-Kart vs. The Corporate Giant series, is widely sought after by punk rock fans worldwide, and will see it's fourth incarnation sometime in 2005. In addition to all of this, Go-Kart can take the credit for being the very first label to release a commercially sold compilation of MP3s known as the Go-Kart MP300 Raceway, featuring 2 CDs filled with 300 songs from 150 punk, pop, hardcore, and rock bands ranging from the famous to the obscure!
For years, Go-Kart has been the most prolific and recognizable punk rock label in New York City, and even had it's own punk record store in Manhattan's infamous lower east side for a few years during the 1990s. Today, we continue the fine tradition of ignoring what's popular, and slowly going broke in the process. At the very least, life at Go-Kart is never boring, and it's always filled with great music from some of the most creative bands in the world today!
So that is basically the extremely shortened and somehow distorted story of our big brother Go-Kart Records US.
The newly born European division, Go-Kart Records Europe, is run by German individuals (my name is Fritz, what’s yours?) who have a long-lasting history in the local and international punk-scene - be it by running and writing for fanzines or just having a grip on how this pseudo business works. Our horizon regarding music certainly is not limited to the sometimes dusty world of punk/hardcore in 2006. Therefore we strife to work with European artists we like and admire for what they are doing and that is basically why we gave us the title “The No-Category Label”.
So how come we are around now? Well, the idea of a European label was born in New York City back in 2002/2003 while working for Go-Kart in Brooklyn. We had to experience a lot of problems directly dealing with our European Distributions. The time shift was one of a series of problems which made it hard for us to properly communicate with Europe. When it was time to move back to Germany, we arrived with the ideas in our heads to start division to help support US releases in Europe to properly market them as well as release valuable European bands on our own. There’s no doubt we will stick to our ideals and release stuff we like – no matter how not trendy that might be.
So make sure you pay attention, well that is if you want to hear some great music. There is no middle of the road here, you will either love or hate each band on Go-Kart – but to us that’s what a label should be. If you want the cookie cutter fluff that others churn out, then you may want to look elsewhere. It has been said many times in many ways - Go-Kart may not be the biggest label in the world – but we are one of the best :)