12 Artist-Ran Record Labels You Should Know About
There are many record labels we hold near and dear to our hearts that time and time again never cease to showcase insanely good tunes and sign incredibly talented artists.
A give-and-take relationship is definitely present between an artist and their label, as an artist makes the label and the label makes the artist; they both build up each other's status.
A label should have some sort of image and unique swagger for themselves that properly represent what they're about and who they sign. And obviously, they should have a cool name. Take OWSLA for example (ran by Skrillex) that has created a unique aesthetic and brand for itself that sets it apart from other labels.
You'd be surprised to know that many of the hot and poppin' labels that you all know and love are actually ran by artists themselves.
Ran By: Above & Beyond
Releases From: Above & Beyond, Mat Zo, Ilan Bluestone, Jason Ross, Arty and more.
No one can pull at your heart strings quite like British trio Above & Beyond can, so naturally a whole entire label had to be created for not only their melodic, emotional and truly beautiful tracks to be released on, but for tracks and artists of similar sound that have the ability to bring tears to the eyes of AnjunaFam around the world.
Ran By: Armin Van Buuren, Maykel Piron and David Lewis, whose names stand for ‘ArMaDa’
Releases From: Armin Van Buuren, Dash Berlin, Markus Schulz, Andrew Rayel, Cosmic Gate and more.
ASOT leader Armin Van Buuren sure knows how to put a crowd in a state of trance, as do the rest of the artists on his label. Founded in 2003, Armada has built up its reputation over the years of being the beacon for all things trance and establishing themselves as a brand of their own, rather than just a label.
Ran By: Coyu
Releases From: Coyu, Hot Since 82, Jay Lumen, Gabriel Ananda, Dosem and more.
Barcelona-based label Suara is run by Spanish house/techno DJ and producer Coyu, and Suara really is all about music..and cats! Suara represents quality dance music that has a bit of flavor to it, and the label's love for cats definitely makes them stand out. And I mean, who doesn't love cats? Dance little kitties!
Ran By: Claude VonStroke
Releases From: Claude VonStroke, Kill Frenzy, Justin Martin, Justin Jay, Walker & Royce, Will Clarke and more.
Gather around, little birds, as I tell you the tale of how papa bird VonStroke started this quirky little label of wonders. Personally, Dirtybird is my favorite label of all time, and being a fan of the music alone makes you feel like you're a part of the Dirtybird family. And to make you feel even more at home, they decided to start throwing down a festival out in Cali curated specifically to the label and thus, The Dirtybird Campout was born. The label got started in San Fran back in 2005 and the rest is history. But if there's one thing for sure about Dirtybird, it's that they specialize in releasing only the grooviest and quirkiest house and tech-house around.
5) Mad Decent
Ran By: Diplo
Releases From: Diplo, Jauz, Dillon Francis, Party Favor, Brillz and more.
2005 seemed to be the year for the start of many notable labels, as it is the same year that Diplo's notorious Mad Decent imprint got started as well. You've most likely heard of Mad Decent and know by now that the music released on the label is more than just decent. Mad Decent is home to some of the biggest names in the industry and their epic Mad Decent Block Parties that take place all over the country are known to get rowdy AF.
6) Night Bass
Ran By: AC Slater
Releases From: AC Slater, Destructo, Chris Lorenzo, Jack Beats, Low Steppa and more.
If you're craving that deep UK bass-heavy house, garage and grime, then you've come to the right place. Although Night Bass has only been around for 2 years, it has skyrocketed to the top by nesting with some of the most reputable labels in the dance music industry. The releases on Night Bass are hard-hitting gems handpicked by AC himself that break down the barriers of what we all think electronic music should be, and it blows our minds by showing us what electronic music CAN be.
Ran By: Datsik
Releases From: Datsik, Bear Grillz, Protohype, Getter, Must Die! and more.
A more perfect name for a label could not exist, especially when this label is notorious for dishing out some serious bass in your face from only the filthiest dubstep artists around. Started by a master in heavy bass and dubstep himself, Datsik, Firepower Records was born in 2012 and is based out of Canada, and shines light onto not only known artists and their tracks, but emerging dubstep artists as well.
Ran By: Adam Beyer
Releases From: Adam Beyer, Alan Fitzpatrick, Joseph Capriati, Marco Carola, Victor Calderone, Bart Skills and more.
Gimme some dark heavy beats! And what label can deliver them better than the Adam Beyer's legendary techno imprint? Home to some of the most recognized techno tracks, Drumcode has been around since '96 and has had a continued streak of success throughout all the years, and this is a streak that will only continue for many years to come.
Ran By: Deadmau5
Releases From: Deadmau5, Rezz, Matt Lange, ATTLAS and more.
The label name says it all, created and curated 8 years ago by the legend, the mau5 himself- Deadmau5.
10) Bromance Records
Ran By: Brodinski
Releases From: Brodinski, Gesaffelstein, Louisahhh!!!, Sam Tiba, Kaytranada and more.
This French label is like one big frat house of bad-ass Parisian artists, and was started by DJ and producer Brodinski. Since 2011, Bromance has been the home to a unique style of electronic music, dabbling more in the french-house/techno scene and created this one-of-a-kind dope aesthetic for themselves and their artists.
11) Fools Gold
Ran By: A-Trak
Releases From: A-Trak, Alvin Risk, Promnite, Sleepy Tom, Oliver, Tchami and more.
You can recognize this notorious "Fools Gold" bar logo from a mile away! Everything that scratch-master A-Trak produces is pure gold, so there is no foolery about this or any of the releases on his Fools Gold imprint. Based out of Brooklyn, FG specializes in rap, hip-hop and electronic music and has been raising the bar since 2007.
Ran By: Borgore
Releases From: Borgore, Getter, Jackal, Jauz, Styles & Complete, Ookay and more.
Hip-hop, future bass, dubstep, trap and even some house- could a label get any more diverse with genres? Although Buygore releases more trap and dubstep tracks, Borgore keeps the label well-rounded by releasing all sorts of different music stylings, but one thing is for sure: that Buygore releases bangers.