Mar 11, 2013
Labels Of The Moment
Up-and-comers and established labels come together in our newest chart, celebrating the best of the myriad of artistic collectives that live in electronic music. Top 10 DJs and local scene conquerors alike are present, offering everything from downtempo to hard house. Prepare for an expansion of your musical palate.
Jeremy Rathbun’s Pick: InStereo Recordings
WhiteNoize - Insecure (Original Mix) [InStereo]

InStereo Recordings has been a consistent producer of excellent house music since 2001, full of old school samples, disco, and funky vibes. Founded by DJ Dan, the label has released quality funky tracks from TJR, Phunk Investigation, Jerome Robins, and even past remixes from Wolfgang Gartner, Lazy Rich and Hard Rock Sofa. The label is most recently known for putting out Insecure by WhiteNoize, which topped out at a #4 spot on the Beatport Top 100.

Josh Stewart’s Pick: Loodma Recordings
ID3 feat. Soundmouse - Hummingbird (Original Mix) [Loodma]

Loodma Recordings is the multi-genre project from Estonian music enthusiast Lauri Loodma. This generally downtempo label offers a platform for upcoming producers to express some of the most unorthodox yet beautifully produced EDM today. With a roster of true up-and-comers that includes the likes of Galimatias and The Walton Hoax, Loodma Recordings has a discography worth knowing.

Matt Heidkamp’s Pick: Ninja Tune
Bonobo - Cirrus (Original Mix) [Ninja Tune]

Ninja Tune seems to be the place to go if you’re an electronic artist whose style falls outside the realm of normalcy. Operating since 1990, the label continues to progress and push the envelope. So far in 2013, Ninja Tune has released a future garage-laden EP from FaltyDL, the cerebral Silver Cloud EP from Actress, and is slated to release Bonobo’s first album in over three years, The North Borders, in April.

Bryan Stauffer’s Pick: Revealed Recordings
Firebeatz - Here We F*cking Go (Original Mix) [Revealed]

Born in 2010, Hardwell’s Revealed Recordings has quickly established itself as one of the most highly regarded labels in the world. Revealed has unleashed big room bombs like Hardwell’s Spaceman and Apollo, Showtek’s How We Do, and Firebeatz’s Here We F*cking Go. Look for the preeminent Dutch label to be a mainstay for years to come.

Mike Davies’ Pick: Perfecto Fluoro
Bryan Kearney - The Nettle (Original Mix) [Perfecto Fluoro]

Having returned solidly to his trance roots after dabbling in the mainstream, Paul Oakenfold re-launched the Perfecto Fluoro brand in 2011 and the label has since gone from strength to strength. Perfecto Fluoro boasts releases from the likes of Magnus, Infected Mushroom, Man With No Name, Protoculture, and Bryan Kearney, making it a mix of up-and-coming producers and all-time legends. Fluoro have been a major force behind the return of psytrance over the past few years, but with a somewhat quiet web presence, the label lets the music do the talking, with Oakenfold’s own Full On Fluoro podcast a great place to find out what they’re all about.

Jesse Champagne’s Pick: Pretty Lights Music
Michal Menert - The Same Disease (Original Mix) [Pretty Lights]

Most of you have probably heard of Pretty Lights; we here at LT3 are long-time fans of his superb blend of “Electro Hip-Hop Soul." What you might not know, however, is that he also happens to run his own label, Pretty Lights Music, and that it’s full of some supremely talented, like-minded producers. Artists such as Gramatik, Michal Menert, and Paper Diamond combine pieces of hip hop, funk, trip hop, dubstep, blues, rock, and glitch hop to create some of the most cutting-edge sounds heard anywhere, provided to you on a donation basis. Pretty Lights may have his name on the office door, but one listen to these artists will prove that it’s not just a one-man show.

Arthur Shikhman’s Pick: Visionquest
Subb-an & Tom Trago feat. Seth Troxler - Time (Original Mix) [Visionquest]

Led by Lee Curtiss, Ryan Crosson, Seth Troxler, and Shaun Reeves, Visionquest has been powering the electronic music kingdom for two years with spiritual energies previously unknown to the masses. These four prime selectors are redefining deep house through their Detroit-based imprint, curating heady releases from the likes of Benoit & Sergio, Tale Of Us, Guy Gerber, and Butch, among others. Hot on the heels of the success of Visionquest’s first mind-bending full-length from Crosson and Cesar Merveille, the collective is set to take over the world in 2013 with a debut album from dream-pop duo Footprintz and a 13-date global tour that will include stops in Ibiza, Paris, the American wilderness, and rural Chile.

Chris Porter’s Pick: RAM Records
DC Breaks - Shaman (Original Mix) [RAM]

Named after Andy C’s astrological sign, RAM Records has supplied some of the most recognized, high-powered anthems over the past 21 years; Body Rock, Hotness, and Truly One, to name a few. The label’s artist roster reads like the Justice League of D&B and its official events at The End, Fabric, and recently in Miami, have been some of the most heralded parties ever. RAM is already off to a fast start this year with Rene LaVice’s Insidious LP and DC Breaks’ Shaman/Let It Go EP. Mind Vortex’s Alive EP drops today, and Loadstar’s debut LP Future Perfect on May 5th.

Marcos Milos’ Pick: Traum
Ryan Davis & Electric Rescue - Stroll (Roel Hoogendoorn Remix)[Traum]

Run by Riley (Triple R) and Jacqueline Reinhold, German-based label Traum is renowned for pushing the envelope in developing intelligent minimal and progressive techno. Max Cooper, Nathan Fake, and Applescal–whose album I reviewed a few weeks back–have all found homes with the Traum camp over the years. Another highly revered artist of theirs is Ryan Davis. With recent chart success and an extraordinary new EP made in collaboration with Electric Rescue entitled A Walk, he’s showing a profound aptitude in creating create lush musical landscapes for both remixes and original tracks alike. Watch the music video for Roam before perusing through the depths of Traum’s library at Beatport.

Steve Anderson’s Pick: Wall Recordings
Dyro & Ansol - Top Of The World (Original Mix) [Wall]

Wall Recordings was founded in 2007 by Nick van der Wall, better known as Afrojack. Reflecting the quality big-room production stylings of its Grammy-winning founder, Wall has been responsible for some of dance music’s most addicting releases from an impressive roster of heavyweights: R3hab, Sidney Samson, Shermanology, Hard Rock Sofa, Spencer & Hill, Dyro, and Quintino, just to name a few. Notable recent releases include Afrojack’s remix of Keane’s Sovereign Light Cafe, Afrojack’s Rock The House, and Dyro & Ansol’s Top Of The World. Big things are in store for the Dutch imprint; Afrojack’s debut studio album is due to be released this April on Wall, with its lead single being As Your Friend featuring American recording-artist Chris Brown.

Jerry Shikhman’s Pick: dirtybird
Claude VonStroke & J. Phlip - California (Julio Bashmore Remix) [dirtybird]

Ten years ago, four San Francisco locals threw a small party which went on to have an enormous impact on how we dance. Today we know these four as Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, Leroy Peppers, and Worthy, who, along with J. Phlip, make up the label which currently leads the underground house music scene. dirtybird Records, which is headed by VonStroke, has had over 80 releases since 2005, and that hardly begins to describe their success. Their real fame and fortune comes from their ability to throw an unforgettable party, Now, ten years since the first one, they’re throwing the most massive, exclusive parties all over the world.

Chris Downar’s Pick: We Did It/FoF
Shlohmo - Without (Original Mix) [FoF]

Based in the heart of LA, the We Did It Collective and sister label FoF Music have been an instrumental part in sculpting the sounds of the underground. Stacked with brilliant productions by artists such as RL Grime, Ryan Hemsworth, and most notably Shlohmo, every release so far has breathed a wealth of creativity into the local beats scene. Their latest release is Shlohmo’s highly-anticipated Laid Out EP.

Josh Bennett’s Pick: Energetic Sounds
Swolenbeatz - Showtime (Original Mix) [Energetic Sounds]

Newest Armada sublabel Energetic Sounds may be small in size at the moment, but its tracks are about as big as you can get. Playing host to artists like Artento Divini under his new Divini & Warning collaboration as well as Jonas Stenberg and Swolenbeatz, Energetic Sounds is proof positive that Armada is taking a liking to the housier sounds present in trance today. The tracks released on the label thus far have been a mix of Dutch electro, hard house, and big room and trance stylings.