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Labels We Love: 10 More of Our Favorite Labels, Plus Some Newcomers Worth Watching

All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

Without question, Labels We Love is one of our favorite annual activities here at XLR8R, as the series gives us a chance to recognize some of the top imprints from around the globe. At the same time, putting together Labels We Love is always something of a stressful process, as we can only go deep with a few imprints. The fact is, there are so many quality labels out there that featuring them all, especially in any kind of comprehensive fashion, would be impossible. Still, we want to make sure that we at least shine a small light on those imprints we feel have been particularly interesting over the past year, which is why we've once again assembled this list. We've written a little bit about 10 of our favorite label outposts, and have also taken the time to highlight five newer labels whose impressive initial runs have assured us that they'll be worth watching in the year ahead. Admittedly, these blurbs don't tell the whole story, but we're hoping they'll at least compel readers to take a closer look at what we think are some of the best imprints in the game. Read more » 

Labels We Love: Night Slugs B2B PAN

All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

There's little denying that Night Slugs and PAN have been two of the most innovative labels in electronic music during the past few years. Founded in London in 2010 and 2008 respectively, both imprints have since worked ceaselessly, carving out their own distinct paths at the increasingly flexible borders between dance music and electronic experimentation. Read more » 

Labels We Love: Hyperdub

All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

Without question, 2014 has been a year of extreme ups and downs for Hyperdub, the London-based label headed up by Kode9 (a.k.a. Steve Goodman). On the one hand, the crew has tragically lost two of its most beloved members, footwork pioneer DJ Rashad and innovative MC The Spaceape. At the same time, Hyperdub has spent the bulk of the year celebrating its 10th anniversary, both with a lengthy run of label nights around the globe and an extensive four-part compilation series. Furthermore, the imprint's futuristic vision, which disregards traditional notions of genre while uniting seemingly disparate strains of bass-heavy soundsystem music from both sides of the Atlantic, has effectively become one of the most influential forces in the electronic sphere. As such, selecting Hyperdub for this year's Labels We Love was an easy choice to make. We asked Kode9 to help us look back on his label's legacy by selecting 10 tracks from the Hyperdub catalog—one from each year of its decade-long run—and explaining why they stick out in his memory. Read more » 

Labels We Love: Clone

All week long, XLR8R is presenting its annual focus on Labels We Love. Click here to check out the rest of the series.

The story of Clone Records' early days is a familiar tale in electronic music. Label owner Serge, a DJ and occasional producer seldom referred to by his surname (Verschuur, for the record), started the label in 1993 because he could, and because it was easier for him to release records by himself than rely on others to do it. Clone's success is a well-trodden story of self-reliance and a DIY attitude to making things happen, and the name of the Rotterdam-based label is a tangential reference to this too, since many other labels in the US that Serge admired, especially in Chicago, were born not from grand ambition but through a pretty simple desire to get records out as quickly, and with as little fuss, as possible. Read more » 

Military Juntas, Ice Cream, and (Not) Smoking: 10 Things You Need to Know About Matias Aguayo

Matias Aguayo's music has always seemed like something of a strange fit for Cologne's Kompakt label. While Kompakt has, for the last 20 years, been a standard-bearer for the more subdued, deconstructed strains of techno and house, Aguayo takes an all-encompassing approach to his worldly, pop-inflected sound. That sound is equally informed by his German upbringing, his Latin American roots, and a sense for unusual time signatures (at least in the realm of dance music), but what primarily sets the Berlin-based Aguayo apart from his Kompakt brethren is his voice, which he not only uses for singing, but also for constructing basslines and rhythmic elements. Read more » 

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