2006 10 FAVOURITE LABELS
As I commenced preparing this year's 'Favourite Labels' installment, it quickly dawned on me that a goodly share of the labels that appeared last year could just as easily re-appear in the 2006 list. Consequently, I decided upon a slightly different strategy and, in a manner of speaking, chose to share the wealth by featuring ten entirely different yet equally deserving labels.
Year founded and location: 2001; Berlin, Germany
CONSUMERS RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT
year founded and location: founded in 2004 in philadelphia, usa; since december 2005, foundsound has a second office in marseille, france.
managed by: sylvain takerkart (aka fusiphorm), sean o'neal (aka someone else), and kate iwanowicz (aka miskate)
currently promoting: at the moment, we are promoting miskate's new release pharm wacker ep (found sound-10), featuring two tracks both for the big, big dancefloors as well as the dingy afterhours. coming in january is the dumbest ep ever ( found sound-11) by ben parris, along with a remix by butane. this release features four tracks that are deep, funky, metilculous, bugged-out, and slapstickingly goofy. since his first relase on foundsound, ben has come along way with developing his sound. this release is an excellent sample of his own strong evolution. in february, fusiphorm will release his long awaited new 12-inch ( found sound-12).
future: the first half of 2007 will see found sound release its first full-length artist album, the debut album of someone else, that will be available both on cd and 2 x 12-inch.
favourite label(s): microcosm, musik krause/freude am tanzen, contexterrior, goosehound, igloo, karat, soundslike, perlon, thrill jockey, chain reaction, basic channel, circus company, mille plateaux, playhouse, fuzzy box, and the list goes on...
INNER CURRENTYear founded and founders: 2005 by Rick Diaz Granados and Inoel Miranda
Location: Brooklyn, New York, USA
Styles: A fusion of... downtempo, electronica, hip-hop, jazz, dub, leftfield, etc.
Roster: Dept. of Transportation, ILL Padre, Urban Quilt, Tundra, Take, Milford Reynolds, Glen Porter, Ino, RD Granados, Tsunchoo, Akello Uchenna
Managed by: Rick Diaz Granados and Inoel Miranda
Why established: Aside from wanting to start a label for many years, I [Granados] had been working on a lot of music and wanted an outlet for it. I also think there's a sound out there that I would like to hear more of, and wasn't hearing it.
Differentiating characteristics: It's hard to comment on that at such an early stage of development. I'm just following my intuition and aural aesthetics. I think that will be up to the public to decide once the catalog expands and we hopefully forge a sound of our own. However, I can say that we have plans of merging the audio with visuals—released on DVD. I come from a graphic design/arts background and feel most IC releases have a cinematic feel, so I think it's just a natural evolution to combine these two disciplines.
Label philosophy: Stick to your guns, always!
Proudest accomplishment: Putting our first record out.
Currently promoting: Domestic Blend Vol. 1
Upcoming: Glen Porter's I ALONE LP, Milford Reynolds' Second Hand Music
Favourite label(s): Ninja Tune, Blue Note, Matador, Warp, CTI, Dischord, Trojan, Mo Wax, Impulse
Non-Inner Current artist who perfectly embodies the label's esthetic: Cinematic Orchestra
Album we wished we'd issued: Poets Of Rhythm's Discern/Define
Year founded and location: We opened the small record store Delirium in early 1993 as a franchise shop of the original Frankfurt Delirium shop. But from the beginning, we have been very individual in our own musical style as well as in the way we rule our shop. That's why we decided in late 1995 to leave the franchise deal and rename it Kompakt.
Managed by: Michael Mayer, Wolfgang Voigt, Jürgen Paape, Reinhard Voigt
Distinguishing characteristics: The philosophy is very simple: be youself; remain yourself. Don't let anybody influence your music. Stay incalculable. Follow your heart. Music comes first; money comes second.
Proudest accomplishment: The biggest international success—music styled by Kompakt—was, apart from the legendary Cologne Minimal Techno school in the mid-'90s: Schaffeltechno.
Currently promoting: Albums: Andrew Thomas's Gaps in the Sun (first release on mp3 label Komp3), Michael Mayer's Immer 2, Pop Ambient 2007, Hug's (John Dahlbäck) Heroes; Singles: SCSI-9 (K2), Gui Boratto (K2), Speicher 41 (Axel Bartsch), Speicher 42 (Dmitiri Gren), Rex the Dog, Thomas Fehlmann
Future: Our future is bright. We'll stay independent. Long live Vinyl.
Favourite label(s): Kompakt, K2, Speicher, Komp3, SSM, Kompakt Pop
Year founded and founders: 1997 by Rune Kristoffersen; first release appeared in January 1998.
Location: Oslo, Norway.
Styles: Electronica, jazz, improv, contemporary, preferably all of this melded into one undefinable category.
Roster: Alog, Deathprod, Food, Arve Henriksen, In The Country, Arne Nordheim, Nils Økland, Phonophani, Scorch Trio, Shining, Skyphone, Spunk, Supersilent, Susanna and the Magical Orchestra, Maja Ratkje, Humcrush, MoHa and more.
Managed by: Rune Kristoffersen.
Why established: To provide an outlet for the explosion of Norwegian talent within the genres described above.Differentiating characteristics: Rune Grammofon is dedicated to releasing work by adventurous and creative Norwegian artists and composers. Its visually distinctive releases are issued in the digipak format with exclusive designs by Kim Hiorthøy.
Label Philosophy: Art before commerce.
Proudest accomplishment: Many, but the Supersilent DVD and Money Will Ruin Everything book/2-CD are two special projects we are very happy about.
Currently promoting: Huntsville's For the Middle Class and In The Country's Losing Stones, Collecting Bones
Upcoming: New albums by Shining, Arve Henriksen, Alog, Supersilent, and more
Favourite label(s): Impulse, Factory, 4AD, Rough Trade, Tzadik, Häpna.
Non-Rune Grammofon artist who perfectly embodies the Rune Grammofon esthetic: Nobody does this better than Supersilent, but maybe Tortoise or Jaga Jazzist.
Album(s) we wished we'd issued: Captain Beefheart: Trout Mask Replica, King Crimson: Red, This Heat: This Heat, Joy Division: Closer, David Sylvian: Secrets of The Beehive, Black Dog: Bytes, Radiohead: Kid A (the list could go on forever and is of course totally unrealistic....).
Year founded and location: 1990 in Sheffield England; moved to London in 199; opened New York office in 2000.
Managed by: Simon Halliday, Priya Dewan, and Stephen Christian
Identity: Quite diverse nowadays. Warp was perceived as an electronic dance mainstay in its first decade but we've diversified the roster quite a lot with acts such as Broadcast, Prefuse 73, Battles, !!!, Maximo Park, and Grizzly Bear. We've still got some wicked electronic shit, too—Aphex, Boards of Canada, LFO, Clark, and Squarepusher—but I don't like differentiating between the two because it's just good music.
Distinguishing characteristics: Hopefully, there is a certain quality and originality which comes with a Warp album, something incredible in its genre.
Proudest accomplishment: Being a valid label for so long and yet still being very ambitious about the future. I would like to think our proudest moment is still to come.
Currently promoting: Grizzly Bear, Clark , Jamie Lidell
Future: !!!, Battles, Maximo Park
Favourite label(s): Motown and Philadelphia International: putting out those songs, wow, can you imagine it? Altantic is pretty good too. Nowadays, XL rides that fine line between good underground music and getting the word out, Soul Jazz compilations are always worth buying, and Rephlex puts out solidly good tunes too.