Freshness: electronic music thrives on it. Whether it’s that dubplate that gets reloaded five times or that Soundcloud rip doing the rounds, while sounds and styles constantly morph and mutate, there’s always been one consistency: we love it as upfront as possible.
New labels play a hugely influential role in our thirst for future sounds. Nurturing the big guns of tomorrow, it’s the ambitious independents who stealthily lead the charge for new exciting names, sounds and ideas. In the last year there seems to have been an abundance of new labels, all eager to contribute to the never-ending bass story, here are 10 of them. Get to know (if you don’t already know, that is…)
Inspired by their immersive audio/visual BNKR events, the currently unstoppable Methlab ignite the new year with a brand new label of the same name. Catapulting themselves into the techy ether this month with an alarmingly dark release from Allied, future BNKR releases are due from War, Audeka and MachineCode’s Dean Rodell. Unconventional, atmospheric, frenetic tech complemented with an equally future-struck visual package, BNKR will be a force to be reckoned with throughout 2016.
Crucial Recordings was formed last year and they’re putting out some serious dubstep that harks back to the early days. With releases from label boss Sleeper and Foamplate proving popular, the label is already picking up some attention. The next release from their new signing Oxossi is likely to get heads rolling in 2016 if last year’s Rinse-supported Mr Shelby is anything to go by. Big things to come this year for Crucial.
Launched by Xtrah last spring, Cyberfunk’s foremost ethos is to introduce new artists to the scene and encourage progressive creativity. Speaking to us last year, Xtrah explained how he’s “just someone who set up a label so they could keep doing what they love and offer a platform for other people who also want to do the same thing as me.” Balancing brand new acts such as Incognito and Simple Technique with big releases from himself, Mefjus and Break, Cyberfunk has been a one-way trip to Hurter City so far. The next release has already been teased on Noisia Radio and is due imminently.
Last year Belgian dubstep evangelists Duploc added to their magazine, YouTube channel, podcast series and Soundcloud page with the next logical step: a label. Launching with UKF-regular NOCLU the label has slapped out a monthly flow of deep, precision-weighted future dub releases from the likes of Arkwright, Minzo & Artoniks to name a few. Adding another depth to Belgium’s long-established passion for bass, Duploc haven’t missed a trick to date.
Specialising in deep bass space explorations, Kaizen is the brainchild of Madam X. The label soft-launched early last year with a free download compilation but became official last month with the launch of the Kaizen NTS radio show and the label’s debut release from Biome: the walloping steppy Squelch and Griddled. Melting down the most exciting dynamics of bassline, dancehall, jump up grime, glitch, tech and dub, Kaizen are in a very exciting position right now and we’re locked for more…
Low Pitched Records
Since launching with Joedan’s Mad Vexed EP last July Low Pitched have consistently delivered next level bass dispatches. Sitting in that sweet spot between UKG, grime and breakbeat, every track – including their free download packages – has been a certified floor-thriller. Boasting artists such as Spekktrum, Spookz and Sirmo, Low Pitched are doing everything right. Need evidence? Check the bassline on their latest release from P A L F. Ridiculous!
A brand new sub-label established by Portsmouth-based D&B imprint Inform Records, Reform Music focuses on the wider bass spectrum of footwork, halftime, jungle and excitingly unclassifiable sounds in between. So far since they launched this time last year we’ve had two sterling releases from See Jay and Bluescreen and, just last month, they’ve just launched a new mix series. Expect more exciting fast paced fusions very soon.
Irish label Rua Sound launched two weeks ago. And they did so with an absolute gem of a release from Sully. Both Lifted and Rotten celebrate jungle’s most authentic aesthetics with a contemporary twist and come complete with an on-point remix from Sam Binga. Run by Galway’s longstanding SubVersion soundsystem soldiers DJs Welfare and Rob DC, Rua Music have all the roots and future promise a new label needs to go the whole nine years.
London-based deep/liquid D&B imprint Soul Trader have only been in business since May 2015 but they’ve already proved serious strengths. Releases so far have come courtesy of Bcee, Saxxon, HLZ, Random Movement, Salaryman, Mcleod and label boss Surplus. They’ve also played a key role in the return of one of neurofunk’s founding father Skynet. With multi-artist EPs dropping consistently and regularly, there’s a strong sense that Soul Trader will be trading for a long time to come.
This Brighton label formed last year and has been making waves in all the right corners of bass, garage and grime. Recently supported on Rinse by Marcus Nasty their collective comprises forward-thinking artists such as Sirmo, Moony and Distinkt to name a few. In the last four months they’ve delivered two generous free compilations while their latest release is the not-too-small Listen To The Inuit from label co-founder KXVU. Complete with remixes from Bushbaby, Scruloose and Drone, it’s yet another solid statement of intent.