Last week we delved into older music on collectible labels like Vertigo and Impulse! and Apple. Let's dig into more modern music on such labels.
Ian McKaye of Minor Threat and Fugazi formed Dischord with Jeff Nelson. Dischord specializes in a Do It Yourself ethic. Listen to Fugazi's "Arpeggiator" played on Sound And Safe With Trent. Scott Williams played "Child Of Chaos" by Lungfish.
Another label that started by featuring post punk was Rough Trade, which Geoff Travis founded after traveling America and building a huge record collection. The label soon broadened its aesthetic base, signing bands like Scritti Politti, whose "Skank Bloc Bologna" was played by Mike L. Also check out The Monochrome Set, whose "Take Foz" was played by John Allen. In the 1990s and 2000s, the label signed current bands. Listen to "Track 4" from Super Furry Animals played by Zzzzzzero Hour by Bill Mac.
Factory Records was established in England in 1978, and focused on New Wave bands such as Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark and James Also on the Factory roster was Joy Division. On 100% Whatever, Mary Wing played their seven inch, "Incubation." . "Blown Away" was done by another Factory band, A Certain Ratio, and played by Irwin.
"Salt Lake City Sunday" by industrial innovator Fad Gadget was released on Mute Records and played by Meghan on Underwater Theme Park. Fad Gadget often used "found objects" like drills and electric razors in early examples of this genre. Irene Trudel played Nick Cave And Warren Ellis' "The English Surgeon: Black Silk / Brain Retractor / Dandy Brain Cannula."
Are you thinking this post is a little obsessed with post punk and industrial? I was surprised discovering how small labels became so specialized after 1973 or '74--only five years but a lifetime removed from the eceltic experimentation of early Vertigo or such aspirations the Beatles had for Apple. Sugar Hill was one of niche labels, featuring early hip hop. Marty McSorley played "The Message II (Survival)" by Melle Mel And Duke Bootee. On Coffee Break for Heroes and Villains, Noah played some of the very first of the genre, "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five.
This is only a dust speck starting point for a huge topic. Use this as a departure point to find more small labels and more great music.