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Labels We Love 2012

Labels You Love: XLR8R Readers' Top 20 Labels

All week long, we've been posting features and lists detailing our favorite labels—if you've missed any of that, catch up with them all here—but for this year's edition of Labels We Love, we wanted to do something a little different. Last week, we put out the call for our readers to vote for their favorite imprints, and although it took a while to tabulate the thousands of votes we received from around the globe, we've come up with a list of the Top 20 labels, as voted by the XLR8R faithful. Looking at results, one thing is immediately clear: our readers have pretty damn good taste. … Read more »

Labels We Still Love

Four days into our Labels We Love coverage, we're guessing that plenty of our readers are thinking, "What about (fill in the name of any label that gets mentioned on XLR8R all the time)?" It's a natural impulse, and one likely exacerbated by the fact that only a handful of labels have been profiled this week. That said, XLR8R obviously has love for lots of imprints, and although we can't go deep with them all, we figured that a few of our old favorites still deserved a special shout out. The following six labels have all been around for awhile now; they've all appeared on XLR8R dozens of times and will likely continue to do so in the months and years ahead. Still, these imprints aren't merely resting on their laurels and letting their reputations do the work. Instead, these labels are continuing to push boundaries. More importantly, they're continuing to release exciting new music, which is why they've been selected as Labels We Still Love. … Read more »

Labels We Like

All week long, XLR8R's Labels We Love series has found us speaking at length with the people behind some of our favorite imprints. So far, those features have only focused on well-established labels, outfits whose names are likely already familiar to the majority of XLR8R readers. That being said, when it comes to labels, we're interested in more than just the obvious candidates. Although it's hard to truly love a label until it has a proven track record and a relatively large body of work, we find still ourselves salivating over new imprints all the time. The world of electronic music is one that moves rather quickly, meaning that interesting new upstarts pop up on what often feels like a daily basis. Granted, many of these will ultimately be flash-in-the-pan operations, but that doesn't make our excitement about their current output any less tangible. In celebration of that rush, we've assembled a list of six Labels We Like. Most of these imprints are new, and some only have a handful of releases to their name, but they've all been turning out music that's piqued our interest and left us wanting more. If they keep it up, perhaps they'll be able to crack the Labels We Love roster somewhere down the road. … Read more »

Labels We Love: Hypercolour

Over the last five years or so, UK label Hypercolour has steadily crept toward dance-music prominence. In that time, it has built from tentative, occasional releases—largely from a homegrown roster—to something approaching an English variation on the conglomerate model employed by Dutch institutions Rush Hour and Clone. Chiefly run by Jamie Russell, Alex Jones, and Ste Roberts, Hypercolour is triangulated between Bristol, London, and Leeds. It incorporates the eponymous main label as well as three sub-labels: Glasstable, Losing Suki, and Hype_LTD, each of which represents a different facet of the management's interests. But at the crux of the operation, of course, are the records. Beyond releases from that initial group of like-minded producers, the label has hosted sterling turns from a vast array of artists, and are poised to further that success in the future, both in terms of quality and diversity. … Read more »

High Five: Rush Hour

When putting together Labels We Love, we quickly realized that it would be almost impossible to exclude Rush Hour from the proceedings. The Amsterdam-based operation began as a record shop back in 1997, stocking its shelves with the best local and imported electronic music it could get its hands on before eventually launching a full-on imprint of its own two years later. Since then, Rush Hour has built a stellar reputation, both as a dependable source for emerging and forward-thinking talents (think Cosmin TRG, BNJMN, Tom Trago, Braille, etc.) and a home for comprehensive and invaluable resissues and collections (think Virgo Four, Anthony "Shake" Shakir, Dream 2 Science, etc.). In truth, we only have one complaint: with the steady flow of output Rush Hour has maintained over the years, and the label's largely under-the-radar promotional presence, it can be a little hard to keep up with it all. To help rectify that situation, we tapped Christiaan MacDonald—one of the original minds behind the entire Rush Hour legacy—to tip us off to the five most overlooked tracks in the imprint's storied history. … Read more »

Labels We Love: 50Weapons

When one takes a look at 50Weapons' catalog over the past two years, the logic would follow that the Modeselektor-helmed imprint had come into being at least in part to present the group's personal slant on the increasingly divergent paths of what could be considered bass music. However, this is far from the case, as 50Weapons' origins in fact date back to a "wild night in Manchester" where the two Berlin residents came up with the idea of releasing 50 records, all of them 50-cent, white-label bootlegs of what they liked to call "just pure high-class DJ music." Ultimately, the pair's initial concept gave way to something more substantial and between the first release—which appeared in the form of a single-sided vinyl 12" from Modeselektor itself—and now, the label has completely transformed into a more traditional endeavor, piecing together an enticing series of singles, EPs, and albums from a roster that has so far proven to be as diverse as it is dependable, as forward thinking as it is dancefloor ready. … Read more »

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