Lord knows that there are thousands of record labels in the world. So how does one go about separating itself from the rest (other than through awesome music)? That would be with a good name. Thankfully, these labels all have great music as well.
Here’s a look at the best names of currently active labels (in alphabetical order):
Why would Jello Biafra settle for an ordinary name? Alternative Tentacles could reference the outspoken owner’s far-reaching releases, or it could be a metaphor for an alternative to battle the slimy spread of big brother’s observation.
Named after an early 20th Century British Vorticist magazine, Blast First (Petite) contains a similarly avant-garde spirit, releasing records in the UK by adventurers of modern rock.
The prefix “crypto” can stand for a number of things, including secrecy and an intestinal parasite. It’s up to each listener to decide whether this experimental jazz label is merely lurking beneath the radar or inducing illness.
4. Hydra Head
Combine mythology (or nerdery) with great tunes and odds are that you’ll win us over.
Like Cryptogramophone, Ipecac conjures images of gastrointestinal badness, noting its namesake’s abilities with the tagline “Making people sick since 1999.” We imagine that Ipecac, also like Cryptogramophone, simply has too much quality shit for mainstream music fans to handle.
Where would this list be without some sort of phallic allusion?
In an industry full of repetition, Mimicry Records is a misnomer; this label run by Secret Chiefs 3 composer Trey Spruance has some of the best, most inventive artists around. Spruance gets bonus points for using Web of Mimicry as the name for his online home.
8. Ninja Tune
Shadowy hip hop + stealthy martial arts? We’re sold.
9. Planet Mu
Also written as Planet μ, this English IDM label is named after the first syllable of the word “music,” not after our bovine friends.
10. Thrill Jockey
With an audacious and expansive catalog, Thrill Jockey is aptly named and a wonderful resource for those that seek musical exhilaration.
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