Editor’s note: Following the original publication of this post, we were alerted to the announcement that Death Records has closed following accusations of sexual assault against founder Brian Wakefield. Based on this news, we have removed Death Records from this post and mixtape.Download: Mixtape: Great Bay Area Record Labels (Podcast #416)
This episode originally ran on KQED.org.
Record labels can play an important role in nurturing the growth of emerging musicians, and the Bay Area’s many local independent labels are a key piece of the vibrant local music scene. Bay Area labels help the region’s musicians develop, release, and promote their music, and often serve as an important endorsement to help artists capture the ears of music consumers locally and around the world.
This mixtape features new and recent songs from ten Bay Area artists, all coming from albums released by local record labels. As shown in the mix, there’s a great deal of musical diversity among local labels, from Ratskin Records‘ experimental electronic sounds to the punk rock of Digital Regress.
While some of the labels included here have been releasing records for close to a decade, like Empty Cellar Records, which has put out over 30 albums and singles since 2009, the majority have only been in operation for a handful of years. In fact, Text Me Records emerged out of San Francisco’s Different Fur Studios earlier in 2017; the new tape label Processional Cross also arrived this year.
Perhaps the most tangible sign of the Bay Area’s vibrant label scene is the 2017 Bay Area Record Fair, taking place at the Swedish American Hall on November 19, 2017. The free, all ages event offers a unique chance to meet the people behind the Bay’s great independent record labels and check out their latest releases. If you like this mix, you’ll definitely want to attend the record fair.
Listen to the mixtape to learn more about all ten artists and the labels that released their music.
Crisis Man – “Dog in Reverse” (Melters)