Posts tagged ‘Record Label’

September 12, 2012

Luaka Bop

David Byrne

Luaka Bop is a world music-oriented record label established by David Byrne, former guitarist, singer-songwriter and producer of the art rock-new wave band Talking Heads. It has been a wholly independent label since leaving Universal Music Group’s V2 in 2006. Luaka Bop has been responsible for compilations representing sounds from around the world as well as the release of full length albums, EPs, and singles from individual artists and bands.

‘Brazil Classics’ kicked off the label and a set of seven albums surveying eras and artists ranging from Samba to Tropicália. Ventures into Afro-Peruvian and AfroPean musics unearthed the talents of Susana Baca and Zap Mama, respectively. ‘World Psychedelic Classics’ is made up of three albums and includes artists such as Shuggie Otis, Os Mutantes, as well as West African artists of the late 1960s. Additionally, the label has released ‘Cuba’ and ‘Asia Classics.’

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April 30, 2012

Ghost Box Music

Ghost Box

Ghost Box Music is an English independent record label, established in 2004 by Julian House and Jim Jupp. The concept was hatched by House and Jupp (who attended the same school) in 2003; a manifesto of influences was compiled, which included ‘music for schools, cosmic horror stories, library music, English surrealism, and the dark side of psychedelia.’

Releases on the label (presently encompassing The Focus Group, Eric Zann, Belbury Poly, Roj, and The Advisory Circle, and a rerelease of a Mount Vernon Arts Lab album) tend to share a common design aesthetic – all record covers so far have been by Julian House, with an acknowledged debt to the iconic design of sixties Penguin Books paperbacks. There are shared elements in sound, too; Ghost Box artists tend to draw heavily on influences such as musique concrète, library music, and 1970s soundtracks. Several critics have noticed a melancholic or nostalgic element to the Ghost Box sound as well, prompting comparison to the shorter, ‘interlude’ tracks of Boards of Canada, or similar folk or psychedelia-influenced electronic musicians.

February 16, 2012




8bitpeoples is a DIY record label/arts collective centered in New York City that focuses around the 8-bit aesthetic, which is heavily influenced by vintage videogames. 8bitpeoples was founded in 1999 by Jeremiah ‘Nullsleep’ Johnson and Mike ‘Tangible’ Hanlon. It is currently run by Johnson and labelmate Joshua ‘Bit Shifter’ Davis. Many artists who have appeared on 8bitpeoples have also appeared on compilations on other labels, most notably Astralwerks’ ‘8 Bit Operators’ compilation, a collection of Kraftwerk songs as done in the 8-bit style. 8bitpeoples is also involved in the organization of the Blip Festival, which features 8-bit musicians, often including those on the 8bitpeoples roster.

They provide the vast majority of their releases for free via their website, including printable covers and inserts so that anyone can manufacture a hard copy of their releases.

May 20, 2011

Illegal Art

girl talk

Illegal Art is a sampling label that was started by a person using the name Philo T. Farnsworth in 1998. Its first release was ‘Deconstructing Beck,’ a compilation made exclusively from sampling Beck’s music. This was followed by two other theme-based compilations, ‘Extracted Celluloid’ and ‘Commercial Ad Hoc.’

All three were co-released on Seeland Records, an independent record label created by experimental music band Negativland in 1979 to release their own recordings. The releases were also sponsored by RTMark, an activist collective formed to fight the unchecked growth of corporate interests. After these theme based compilations, Illegal Art focused on artist releases. One of the most popular artists on Illegal Art is Girl Talk (aka Gregg Gillis), who in 2006 released his third album, Night Ripper, to critical acclaim on the label. Illegal Art also released the Steinski Retrospective, spanning his work from 1983-2006.

April 2, 2011

DFA Records


james murphy

DFA Records is an independent record label and production team, launched in September 2001 by Mo’ Wax co-founder Tim Goldsworthy, musician James Murphy, and manager Jonathan Galkin. The label has an exclusive distribution deal with major record label EMI.

James Murphy and Tim Goldsworthy met while working in New York on the David Holmes album ‘Let’s Get Killed.’ DFA Records began on a series of 12″ single vinyl releases starting with The Rapture’s ‘House of Jealous Lovers’ and The Juan Maclean’s ‘By The Time I Get To Venus.’ Notable releases include James Murphy’s band LCD Soundsystem Black Dice, Shit Robot, Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom, J.O.Y., Pixeltan, Black Leotard Front, and Hot Chip.

March 21, 2011

Hefty Records


Hefty Records is an independent record label based in Chicago, founded in 1995 by John Hughes III (aka Slicker). The label has established itself as a home for innovative electronica, releasing post-rock, IDM, downtempo, nu jazz, experimental music, and hip-hop. The label was formed by Hughes (as well as Bill Ding and Dan Snazelle) as a way of releasing his own music from his Ohio University dorm room in 1995. Soon afterwards a demo was given to Hughes from Scott Herren who was added to the roster under the name Savath and Savalas.

Hefty released the ‘Immediate Action’ series in 2000, a limited collection of six vinyl records from various electronic artists. All the records were hand pressed by Hughes, with sleeves created by the Brooklyn graphics company Graphic Havoc (now known as GHAVA), which used a stencil and spray painting technique to create each album; with different stickers to tell them apart.

November 2, 2010



Putumayo [poo-too-mah-yaw] World Music is a New York City based record label, specializing in compilations of music from various nations, regions or musical styles which may be classified as world music. Every release features the distinctive art of English artist Nicola Heindl. The label was established in 1993 and grew out of the Putumayo clothing company, founded by Dan Storper in 1975 and sold in 1997. The name of the company comes from the Putumayo river which delineates the border between Peru and Colombia.

The company claims to be committed to helping the communities in the countries where the music they profit from originates, resulting in donations to non-profit organizations including Oxfam, Mercy Corps, Make-A-Wish and Amnesty International. However, limited information about the company’s philanthropic activities is available on Putumayo’s official website, and the company does not publish its financial information.