There are various music labels that have had a major impact in the world of music over many decades. Here is a list of some of the best in the business.
1. XL Recording
Year Founded: 1989
Notable artists/releases: Radiohead, Adele, M.I.A., Kaytranada
XL was initially started up for the sake of rave and dance music in 1989. But things started changing in the early 2000s, which saw them begin to release in other genres. Some of their popular releases include In Rainbows by Radiohead, White Blood Cells by White Stripes and Boy in da Corner, the monumental track by Dizzee Rascal, among others.
XL never closes the door on fresh talent and this has seen them sign some of the best new artists in the last five years. They have managed to retain their affinity for the underground and use their many years of experience to hold on to their mantle as the most influential indie label of all time.
Click here to visit the XL website.
Year Founded: 1984
Notable artists/releases: James Blake, Nicolas Jaar, and Paul White
Sabine Maes and Vandepapeliere came together in 1984 to form R&S. This was a response to the lackluster music environment in Belgium and the need for change. All went well until 2000, when the duo felt like they had enough and put the label on hiatus. By then, they had released some of the greatest hits from iconic artists like Ken Ishii, Aphex Twin and many others. But six years later they revived the label and since then they haven’t looked back. Some of the big names they have produced include James Blake, Nicolas Jaar and Vondelpark among others. R&S will no doubt continue to fly.
Click here to visit the R&S website.
Year Founded: 2012
Notable artists/releases: Shlohmo, Ryan Hemsworth, RL Grime
This label may be small but its reputation belies its stature, due to the large number of projects they continue to undertake on yearly basis. They have been truly making a mark on the electronic music genre with their ingenuity and smart moves.
In 2015, they started a new label, Tombstone Recordings which will focus on releasing free music from their favorite emerging artists.
Click here to visit the WEDIDIT website.
4. Ninja Tune
Year Founded: 1990
Notable artists/releases: Bonobo, Actress, FaltyDL, The Bug
The desire to release underground experimental music saw Ninja Tune form in 1990. Since then, they have never deviated, or even considered branching off from that calling. This has seen them release some of the best British electronic music to date. They have a sister label known as Big Data which has carved a niche in hip hop and grime. It’s no doubt Ninja Tune will continue being a relevant record label to music lovers for many years to come.
Click here to visit the Ninja Tune website.
Year Founded: 1989
Notable artists/releases: Hudson Mohawke, Evian Christ, Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada
You cannot mention electronic music and expect Warp Records not to come up. This is because of their talent and reputation in producing some of the most experimental acts in the industry. Aphex Twin, Death Grips and Hudson Mohawke are just a few of the artists that have passed through Warp Records who have left a mark on the world of music.
Warp Records is a true game changer and we believe they will remain at the pinnacle of the genre for a long time to come.
Click here to visit the Warp website.
6. Domino Records
Year Founded: 1993
Notable artists/releases: Blood Orange, Arctic Monkeys, Animal Collective
Started in a bedroom by two music enthusiasts, Jacqui Rice and Laurence Bell, Domino has continued to trend as the home of indie rock. Due to hard work and a dedicated team, the label has grown from a local record label to an international powerhouse.
Elliott Smith and Neutral Milk Hotel are among some of their biggest releases, and the list goes on. You can always count on Domino when it comes to indie rock.
Click here to visit the Domino website.
7. Zoom Lens
Year Founded: 2009
Notable artists/releases: Meishi Smile, LLLL
This worldwide label based in Los Angeles is famous for experimental and pop music. The popular names of Meishi Smile and LLLL is proof that Zoom Lens is without a doubt a global record label cutting across the genre and border divide.
Zoom has released hits from Japan, Philippines and North America as well, and promises to continue erasing regional segregations.
Click here to visit the Zoom Lens Website.