Do you have a favourite record label?


Ebullition! My brother had a subscription to HeartAttack 'zine that we pored over every month. Especially enjoyed their end-of-year survey that included such questions as "Are you A) Pro-life B) Pro-choice C) Pro-death?"
Kent McClard became a minor hero to us, and his status was cemented when he drove all the way from California to our frigid city in Canada in the middle of winter to attend the last ever show at a punk house/venue/studio and danced like a complete maniac to all our favourite local hardcore bands.


i think i would enjoy a beer with you


Never aware of the record label of an artist/album

Not really sure what difference it makes


Searching for “label:(label name)” is a great little feature in spotify, I don’t really pay much that attention to it though apart from maybe Erased Tapes or the more electronic focused ones like Hyperdub and Warp.


Makes a big difference. if you like searching and discovering new/interesting music. A lot of (independent) labels have an identity and release lots of great music.

For eg I really like left field experimental heavy music. Southern lord and hydrahead were the go to labels for that kind of music.

For jazz if I see any impulse records album I’ll grab it as 9/10 it’s great music. Some labels are well known for pressing records to a high quality too etc…

Some labels are also owned by musicians (hydrahead owned by Aaron Turner from Isis, Ipecac - Mike Patton or dischord by Ian MacKaye from Fugazi). If you like those artists you’d want to check out what there labels released.


Bella Union
Dead Oceans


I think, particularly on a smaller level, a label can function in the same way as a friend whose tastes/recommendations you trust. So the label putting a record out is the equivalent of it getting an endorsement from that friend and that makes you think it is probably worth listening to.


Ctrl+F ‘Mexican Summer’



Sounds like a decent way of getting into new music which I haven’t tried before (and would like to now), but I think I’d find it frustrating and too much to keep track of. I mean loads of bands change record labels all the time, e.g. The Fall seemed to have a different record label for every album.

And then you have albums being released with different labels nationally and internationally, which all seems a bit confusing (as Brexit as that might sound).

I’d imagine it’s an interesting way of pinpointing the exact ‘phases’ of bands though.


But as long as you’re a fan of the band I don’t really see what difference it makes. Seems a bit odd to say you’re a fan of the record label, rather than the band.


Has to be Warp for me. Changed my life.


True it requires a bit of time. Its more of a smaller label kind of thing like Flashinglight has mentioned above. Its not really a case of buying every release - its more to do with keeping an eye out for the record label when flicking through magazines articles/ record reviews. Often when bands go on tour they often take bands who are on the same label as them aswell.


But a lot of the time, people become fans of the band because of the label. A decent label will often act like a curator. You like interesting electronic music? Chances are you can take a punt on a Warp release. Like left-field rap music? Stones Throw. In the 90s I’d always check out what Sub Pop were putting out.


Exactly. Warp was almost shorthand for the whole IDM genre of the 90s. I’ve still got some carrier bags with the warp logo from when I made pilgrimages to the shop in Sheffield


Never knew you could do this, cheers


Lots of excellent labels already mentioned. The only other one I can think off the top of my head is Temporary Residence. Oh, actually - Undergroove as well. They were a go-to in my youth - used to get everything they put out and knew it would be interesting. Also gonna fly the flag for Firefly, which was great for emo. And that’s just prodded my memory a bit - Revelation were great as well!


Interesting. I’m definitely going to investigate this. This is probably going to change the way I think about music. Just found out that the Kinks 60s albums were produced by Pye, which Donovan’s were also produced by, whereas their early 70s stuff was on RCA (the same as David Bowie’s 70s albums), I guess all those albums do have a certain likeness about them, even if they’re by different artists.

I guess it’s a little bit like how Simpsons episodes produced by different showrunners (and animation studios for that matter) have distinct ‘styles’ to them. Like how Al Jean & Mike Reiss episodes (Seasons 3 and 4) tend to be quite similar in how they’re written and produced, and how episodes animated by Klasky Csupo look similar.


The first label I would suggest would be City Slang. Bands/artists I’ve loved on it are:

The Notwist
Get Well Soon
Laura Gibson
St Thomas
Dear Reader
Sir Was
Son Lux
Timber Timbre

and probably a fair few other bands also.


Specialist Subject
Big Scary Monsters
Richter Collective (RIP)
Sargent House
Holy Roar


Around 2007-2008 I bought tons of stuff from the US because the exchange rate was close to $2 to £1 and postal rates hadn’t skyrocketed - so that everything I bought felt like a bargain. Good times…