For a long time now, Los Angeles has been a central hub for electronic labels. This dates back over the last 10 years, and countless imprints have made LA their home with a diverse range of different soundscapes. Names like OWSLA, Mad Decent, Alpha Pup, SMOG, Dim Mak, Brainfeeder, and many more have been highly influential on the scene, and now we've seen labels like Size, Buygore, and a division of Hospital Records step in.
Everywhere we look there are more labels, helping spawn a scene of electronic music that is undeniable. There are far too many to name, but this list focuses on 15 labels from the Los Angeles that have been highly influential. These labels have come up over the last five years, each discovering their own niche of talent to influence the LA area and beyond. Take a listen, and discover some new labels to fill your eardrums.
Soulection is truly a worldwide operation, but the continually evolving collective, record label, and state of mind birthed in 2011 claims Los Angeles as their place of residence. Seemingly pulling influence from LA beat scene, R&B, hip-hop, soul, future bass, and much more, the forward-thinking group of young minds has taken over with their radio show, cutting-edge music, and Sound Of Tomorrow showcases. Names like Sango, Sam Gellaitry, Mr. Carmack, and Esta grace their roster, but that's only the start.
In a similar vein to Soulection, HW&W Recordings also started in 2011 and has taken over their globe with names like Kaytranada, Stwo, Pomo, Evil Needle, and Ta-Ku releasing on their illustrious platform. They claim Los Angeles as one of their many homes including Toronto and New York, and have built a sound that perfectly teeters between a hip-hop state of mind and electronic sensibilities. They've created a gold standard that is hard to match up, and you won't hear anything sub-par or lacking emotion on any of their releases.
Next Wave Records
We hate to play favorites, but Next Wave Records has become quite the obsession since they started dropping blissful and visceral music in the last year. They are a new operation that is mostly online based at this point, but releases from Jerry Folk, Manila Killa, Prince Fox, Bearson, Atlas Bound, Syre, and even a recent Two Fresh collaboration with Towkio and Joey Purp has proved that they are not the label to be slept on. We can't predict the future, but we have a feeling this summer will be huge for them.
Prep School Recordings
Founded in 2012 by rising Los Angeles based producer Dr. Fresch and his friends, Prep School Recordings has quickly transformed from an outlet to release their own music to bringing the world no shortage of highly addicting cuts. Lately we've seen releases from the likes of Louis Vivet, Loud Luxury, and Ardency stem from the burgeoning label, most often focusing their attention to a more underground and emotional style of house music. This is all just the beginning for Prep School, but based off their output just in 2015, they have a lot more on the way and a lot to prove.
Born out of LA's obsession with beats, Team Supreme has build a legacy based out of weekly beat cyphers, a raw yet harmonious crossover between hip-hop and the electronic world, and a stacked roster that's making major moves. Boasting artists like Djemba Djemba, Great Dane, Penthouse Penthouse, Dot, AWE, Mr. Carmack, Two Fresh, and many more, Team Supreme has proved that making the music you love and never cutting corners will pay off soon enough. Whether they're dropping official releases, random beats, or big remixes, the result is always something worth digging into.
Part collective and part record label, WEDIDIT has been making major waves these past few years with a fresh batch of talented producers including RL Grime, Purple, Shlohmo, and Groundislava. The crew has an overall darker aesthetic, yet still creates R&B influenced, hip-hop laden, and often times club ready anthems that will get people moving. Big releases on the label recently include Rl Grime's massive album Void, the remixes from that release, and singles from the upcoming Purple album that's dropping on June 16th. Overall, it's a good time to be associated with WeDitIt.
Main Course Records
Although Main Course reps cities across the world, there's no denying the impact the label has on the current Los Angeles dance scene. Astronomar and Bot both call LA their permanent home while Neoteric holds it down in London and Canada, and the label has helped fill the scene with club rattling and dark house beats that keep bodies moving in the club. The Main Course team are known for stepping up to the plate at AC Slater's monthly Night Bass event, and they recently hosted their two year anniversary at Avalon in Hollywood. Deep, dark, and dirty. Just how LA likes it.
Body High Records
Founded in 2011 by Samo Sound Boy and Jerome LOL, who make up the duo DJ Dodger Stadium, Body High is much for than a record label. Selling merch, throwing events, and releasing music that is increasingly hard to describe with each new release. It's 80th's synth and classic disco sounds meets music from the future, somehow coming together to create electrifying music perfect for listening to today, 20 years from now, and 30 years ago. Timeless music that stays true to the label's name, and releases from Jim-E Stack, Todd Edwards, and DJ Sliink have solidified the Body High imprint.
Founded in 2012 by forward-thinking Los Angeles based producer Kastle, Symbols Recordings has become associated with a manifold of different styles with a focus on underground and upcoming names in electronic music. Initial releases from Jason Burns, Xavier, Austin Paul, Cosmic Revenge, and Kastle himself caught the attention of those in love with synth heavy music, followed up by an official Symbols mix series and eventually the SMBDL Series. Next up is an album dropping from New York based producer Kadahn on June 16th, and hopefully more in the very near future.
Nest HQ (OWSLA)
While Skrillex's OWSLA imprint has established itself as one of the leading labels in electronic music over the years, it's been interesting watching their sub-label Nest HQ develop with it's bevy of jaw-dropping releases. Boasting a media platform, free music on a weekly basis, and fresh mixes, Nest HQ has consistently become the place to hear and hear about artists on the rise. Recent releases from Moody Good, Albin Myers & Carli, G-Buck, Born Dirty, and San Holo have kept the movement flowing with out of the box creations, and boy do we love free downloads.
Glass Air Records
Founded by The Glitch Mob as an outlet to release their own music, Glass Air Records has grown with a series of ethereal releases from the likes of Nasty Ways, Ooah and LoBounce, and a beauteous release form rising vocalist Yaarohs. The label is still young, but each carefully crafted release has caught our attention with emotional precision that darts directly to your heart. The imprint was also used to release their stunning 2014 album Love Death Immortality, along with the remix release that included fresh takes from Bassnectar, Eprom, and Mord Fustang.
Another label that strays towards the darker aesthetic is Lil Death, making the mark in the LA scene by releasing music and throwing underground events that have been going off lately. Listen to their mixes or original tracks, and you will hear a techno noir sound that focuses on the gritty and dirty of the Los Angeles nightlife. Producers and DJs like Tamara Sky, Deathface, and H3X3n have stemmed from their label over the years, and they definitely stand out from anyone on this list with a more evil and menacing touch.
According to Shifty Rhythms, they are an LA based collective, record label, and video arcade featuring highly talented producers like Neo Fresco, Hex Cougar, Planet Rock, DZZ, and more. The group has been making more and more waves this past year while associating with events around the area, along with a serious of forward-thinking EPs that are now on issue number 10. Their sound is all over the place, from electrifying synth heavy tracks to more house leaning jaunts, but each one is seriously worth bumping on repeat.
Born out of artists and those heavily involved with The Do LaB and Lightning In A Bottle, the collective and label Headtron has become a home for glitched-out bass music and talented producers. Names like Gladkill, Morillo, Russ Liquid, Thriftworks, and Sugarpill have graced their releases over the years, dating back to classic remix releases and the more recent Succulent Selections album. Their transformative and conscious sound is hard to stray from, and the Headtron name has become a staple of the underground bass world.
Los Angeles Music Project (LAMP)
Continually churning out quality content and music, LAMP has caught our attention with a constant spree of original tracks, fresh mixes, and their "Track Of The Day" selections that help listeners find music all the damn time. Press play on their Soundcloud, and find yourself immersed in an array of house and techno sensations from rising names like Templeton, Sleepy Cat, MR PUZL, and Atlas Boda, perfectly balancing summer vibes with tracks made for small clubs in the LA scene.
Night Bass Records
Everyone in the Los Angeles scene and many people beyond know about the AC Slater formed event Night Bass, taking place one a month at Sound Nightclub and bringing the best in house, techno, garage, and club sounds. Now the whole movement is stretching further with a Night Bass stage at EDC Las Vegas this year, and the recent formation of Night Bass Records. Their first release is coming on June 30th, with 7 tracks from the likes of Jack Beats, AC Slater, Chris Lorenzo, and Petey Clicks, so we felt they deserved a mention. We have a feeling this is going to blow up throughout 2015, so we are looking towards the future.