Ear to the Ground: More Labels We Love

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This year’s up-and-coming labels to listen for.

words Lulu McAllister and Chris Sabbath

Apple Pips
Run by producer Laurie “Appleblim” Osbourne (of Skull Disco notoriety), this London label has been wading in the deeper ends of the dubstep lagoon since starting up in 2008. Prominent releases from Brackles, Ramadanman, and T++ leave us wanting a whole lot more from this growing imprint.

?Brainfeeder is the bastard child of electronic hip-hoppist Flying Lotus. Launched in the summer of 2008 with the debut from 8-bit beatsmith Samiyam, this label has got a pretty diverse platter of goodies to choose from. Ras G’s Brotha From Anotha Planet really caught us with a left hook, and we’re hoping for the same from the likes of Dr. Strangeloop, MatthewDavid, and The Gaslamp Killer.

??Dutty Artz
?DJ /rupture, Matt Shadetek, and Geko Jones operate Dutty Artz out of their Brooklyn digs, with a clear emphasis on the riddim vibes. Lovers of the bassiest of dancehall, dubstep, and cumbia should look no further. Over the course of its run, Dutty Artz has doubled as what its proprietors describe as “a multimedia web 2.0 copacetic media mafia,” and regularly hosts tropics-soaked showcases featuring Eddie Stats, Uproot Andy, and more.

Flamin’ Hotz
?This Philly imprint is dedicated to dishing out the hottest tracks in dance music, regardless of their place of origin. The Big Apple Bounce EP from DJ S (a.k.a. Proper Villains) is the latest offering, but they’ve also dropped some sizzling baile funk and kuduro. Its roster ranges from the Brooklyn crunk punk pair Ninjasonik and B-more master Cobra Krames to Cousin Cole & Pocketknife, who nimbly serve up jacked-up remixes of folk songs (what?!).

Hessle Audio
?The U.K.’s Hessle Audio has been another worthy contender for the dubstep crown over the past couple of years. In its short life, the label has seen banging singles from Hessle proprietor Ramadanman, Pangaea, TRG, and Untold. Check out the latter's "Anaconda" and the recent bangers from Pearson Sound.

Lovepump United
?Who needs melody, anyway? Lovepump United founders Jake Friedman and Mookie Singerman have found a suitable replacement in volume and fury. Since 2004, the label has championed noise rock and grindcore with bands such as HEALTH and the nearly intolerable AIDS Wolf. This year, look for a slightly softer version of LPU’s usual milieu from Clipd Beaks, in addition to some gritty electronic offerings from Denver’s Pictureplane.

No Hats No Hoods
?For the past two years, the No Hats No Hoods stable has tapped heavily into the U.K. grime scene and has smoked out some fresh and raw up-and-comers in the process. A side-project from the team behind London’s famed Dirty Canvas all-nighters, the label has already gotten its name out with some dope 12-inches from Frisco, Ruff Sqwad, P Money, and Rude Kid.

Sound Pellegrino
?We love this French label co-owned by TTC’s DJ Orgasmic and Teki Latex for its throbbing mix of electro and house tunes. The twosome is off to a good start so far, releasing singles from Harvard Bass, Douster, and Zombie Disco Squad, and we can’t wait to see what comes shooting our way next.

pictured HEALTH