Sunday, 29 January 2012

Labels To Love Top Ten - February 2012

It's been a depressing feature of 2012 thus far that so many individuals who run some of my favourite small labels have expressed the concern that they can't be optimistic about still being around in 2013. Obviously I hope they're wrong about that, but it got me thinking that, however much I value good websites and blogs in their efforts to discover and celebrate new music, a number of these small labels consistently come up with the goods and remain the most reliable source of such stuff that they'd leave a hell of a hole in my listening experience if they were no longer there.

Feeling a bit powerless, I felt all I could do, in addition to continuing to feature their releases in my Dandelion Radio show, was to keep a monthly log of those labels that, in a current snapshot in time, are flying the flag for innovative new sounds most vigorously, and do this on a more or less monthly basis.

February 2012 features my first such stab. What follows are the ten labels whose music I'm playing most both privately and in the show right now and in recent months. Some are still relatively new, others well-established. What they have in common is their contribution to the discovery and promotion of great tunes.

Inevitably, many of my favourite labels won't make the list in a particular month, often because they've gone through a period of relative inactivity or simply that I've found myself listening to something else of late.

Anyway, for now, I reckon these ten labels are doing the job as well as anyone at the moment, and roughly in this order. Long may they thrive.

10. Bristol Archive Records:
9. Audio Antihero
8. Warp
7. I Blame The Parents
6. Probe Plus
5. Metal Postcard
4. Fruits De Mer
3. Bleeding Gold
2. Daddy Tank
1. Melting Records

Many of the above feature in my February show on Dandelion Radio, with more, including tracks from some great forthcoming releases, to follow in March.

Mark W

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