Independent Label Market 2015 preview

27.03.15

This weekend, Independent Label Market will once again set up shop in London, bringing a wide selection of labels together under the Old Spitalfields Market roof. In just a few years the fixture has become one of the most highly anticipated events in the city’s calendar, drawing in music lovers with a pitch-perfect blend of exclusive releases, DJ sets, and independent brewers. Finishing the day, there'll be DJ sets from Warp and Night Slugs to wrap things up nicely.

No different from past editions, Saturday's Easter market boasts an extensive array of exhibitors. With a long list of household names as well as a few newly established imprints, those in attendance can expect plenty of opportunity to pick up some gems, both new and old. Each label will be bringing with them a selection from their back catalogues plus a selection of market exclusives, rarities, signed goods and exclusive test pressings – word has it that Four Tet is also bringing his mum.

With Saturday now just a few days away, we’ve taken the opportunity to pick out some of the key releases from labels whose stalls are worth visiting. We've left a few labels out – face it, if you're a regular reader of Dummy, you don't need to be told to visit Night Slugs, Fade to Mind, or Warp's stalls.

Brownswood

One of the more established labels in appearance on Saturday, Brownswood champions an incredibly diverse catalogue of releases. Unconcerned with the constraints of genre and style, Brownswood perfectly encapsulates the Independent Label Market mindset. Founded in 2006 as a way for DJ and co-founder Gilles Peterson to release music from the many unsigned artists who were sending him music to play on his Radio 1 show, the label has continued cultivate their own sub-culture of originality and worldly aesthetic. A quick look through any one of the 11 Brownswood Bubblers compilations to date is as good an indication as any that this is a label that places value in good quality music above all else.  From Peterson’s Havana Cultura to the tracks that first broke Ben Westbeach, aka Breach, Brownswood’s back catalogue is about as wildly diverse as they come.

Key releases: Ben Westbeech – So Good Today 12”, Mala –Mala in Cuba LP, Diggs Duke –The Upper Hand & Other Grand Illusions EP, Owiny Sigoma Band – Power Punch!!! LP

On the day: Alongside past releases, the new Emanative double vinyl put together in aid of the Steve Reid Foundation will also be up for grabs at the Brownswood stall. It features, amongst others, collaborations with Rocketnumbernine, Collocutor and Four Tet.

Eglo

Sharing a stall with Four Tet’s TEXT label, best bud and DJ booth cohort Floating Points will also be offering up a number of Eglo represses, as well as an exclusive new release. Established in 2009, Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points’ Eglo label has, like Brownswood, racked up a varied set of releases to date. Starting life as a platform for his own musical output, the Eglo roster has steadily grown, with friends and collaborators like Fatima and Funkineven eventually becoming label mainstays in their own right.

Key releases: Floating Points – Shadows EPFatima – Yellow Memories LP, Floating Points – King Bromeliad 12”Funkineven & Fatima – Phone Line EP

On the day: There’ll be plenty of exclusive stuff up for grabs from Elgo on the day including an Eglo Records X Carhartt WIP collaboration T-Shirt and Eglo Records Tote Bag, not to mention the highly anticipated Floating Points, James Holden and Maalem Mahmoud Guinia 12" collaboration.

City Slang

Another of the larger labels exhibiting, Berlin’s City Slang label was initially established with the sole purpose of releasing the Flaming Lips LP In a Priest Driven Ambulance. With a number of other US bands like The Lemonheads, Das Damen and Yo La Tengo also searching for a means of introducing their music to a UK audience, it was ‘almost by chance’ that City Slang came into being. The label has continued to evolve over the past two decades, bringing an abundance releases and artists to an international audience. Stand out bands include the veterans Lambchop, Arcade Fire and Caribou, but the City Slang catalogue is also made up of a number of rising solo artists like Sinkane, Hauschka and Black Yaya.

Key releases: Sinkane – Mean Love LP, Caribou – Your Love Will Set You Free (c2’s Set U Free Remix) 12”, Hauschka – Salon Des Amateurs LP, To Rococo Rot – Instrument LP

On the day: Limited edition Caribou merchandise, including screen print posters and some t-shirts will be available from City Slang. There will also be a box of limited edition hand-stamped Calexico singles for the track ‘Cumbia De Donde’ b/w ‘Torn Right Thru’ from their forthcoming album ‘Edge of the Sun’.

Third Ear

Though a London-based label, since its inception, Third Ear has a done an exceptional job of bringing the Detroit sound to a wider audience. Compilations like Detroit Beatdown, In Yer Third Ear and Enjoy Detroit have earned the label much acclaim, collating some of the best rough-and-ready cuts around. Though, geographically, Motor City might well be a long way from home, the label and its many European artists have certainly etched the Third Ear name into Detroit’s revered musical border. In their fondness for funk and soul driven sounds, Third Ear artists like Wbeeza and Piranhahead place a fresh twist on the hardware-heavy house music of acclaimed Detroit artists like Theo Parrish, Moodyman and Kyle Hall.

Key releases: Wbeeza – Can Of Worms EP, Theo Parrish – Falling Up (Carl Craig Remix) 12”, In Yer Third Ear 2013, Detroit Beatdown LP

Mr Bongo

Beginning life as a small record shop selling both independent hip-hop releases and hard-to-find Latin music, the evolution of Mr. Bongo has followed a long and circuitous path. Over the past 25 years, the label has amassed a recording roster made up of a number of well-known Latin, African and Jazz artists, whilst also establishing itself as a name in World Cinema. The label has also re-issued a number of records under their ‘Classic African Recordings’ series, which includes LPs from the likes of Ebo Taylor and C.K Mann & His Carousel 7.

Key releases: Ebo Taylor –Ebo Taylor LP, Prince Fatty – Supersize LP, Seu Jorge – Carolina LP, Mr Bongo Latin 7s”

On the day: Mr. Bongo will have plenty of exclusive stuff up for grabs including 3 brand new 'Brazil 45’ 7”’s, test press LP’s and 7”’s, some previously unavailable ‘1989’ tote bags and more.

Erased Tapes

London based label, Erased Tapes places a focus on the more avant-garde side of music. Much of the label’s releases are strongly influenced by classical composition, but take the genre in a contemporary neo-classical direction. Pianists like Nils Frahm and Lubomyr Melnyk have been driving forces in establishing Erased Tapes as a domineering platform for such music. That being said, label founder Robert Raths hasn’t shied away from curating a roster that goes beyond classical, something that the work of artists like singer Douglas Dare and atmospheric electronic producer Rival Consoles certainly attests to.

Key releases: Nils Frahm – Spaces LP, Erased Tapes – Happiness Will be Erased LP, Douglas Dare – Whelm, Rival Consoles – Sonne EP

Upset The Rhythm

Upset The Rhythm have been putting on shows since 2003 and putting out records since 2005. Always run for the love rather than the money, you only need to flick through the label's discography to see how on top of things they've been: John Maus, Future Islands, No Age, and Trash Kit have all put out vinyl through UTR. The label won't take you for a mug either – their records are inexpensive and unfussy, so don't expect to pay through the roof for any double heavyweight triple gatefold editions.

Key releases: John Maus 'Love Is Real',