By: Jordan Calvano
Keeping track of every record label has become an impossible task when it comes to electronic music. Every artist with some extra cash and access to the Internet has one now, and finding the right taste-making labels has proven strenuous. It’s crazy to think people complain about the state of music these days. Just follow a couple labels on SoundCloud and Facebook and you’ll have more music than you can handle. This list compiles some of the most relevant labels currently making moves in EDM, highlighting those willing to pursue creativity and take chances with their signees and releases. Some have been around since the mid 90’s, whilst others have only recently started their rough and tumble campaigns through the gritty battlefield of music. All possess one thing in common, though: to make people dance (if they want to). Remember, you can leave your friends behind. Because—and this is very important—if your friends don’t dance, well, they’re no friends of mine.
10. Ghostly International
Ghostly International might not be the most ubiquitous record label in today’s burgeoning industry, but we can guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt you’ve thoroughly immersed yourself in at least one of their poignant releases over the years. The longstanding label from Michigan has consistently thrived on providing fellow music lovers with ethereal and edgy tunes most notably in the downtempo department, lulling eardrums with classic releases like Past Is Prologue and Dive from Tycho, as well as Mux Mool’s Planet High School and Skulltaste. And that’s just scratching the surface.
Recent Releases From: Tycho, Gold Panda, Beacon, Shigeto, and KILN
9. Spinnin' Records
Spinnin’ Records is like a remarkably good-looking man who has spread his fertile seed across the world. Beyond being a complete badass in his own right, he’s also got a handful of sons absolutely wrecking shit beneath him. With names like Doorn, Wall, Music Freedom, Rock The Houze, and Showland, you can imagine daddy Spinnin’ has seen an endless supply of floor-rattling house anthems released via his watchful regime. He must be so damn proud of them. Although shopping for Christmas gifts must be an absolute pain in the ass.
Recent Releases From: Martin Garrix & Jay Hardway, R3hab & Nervo, and DubVision
8. Dim Mak Records
Dim Mak Records has been around since 1996, which is like being around since the cavemen in electronic music years. This industry moves at the speed of light, and keeping up is an “Everyday Struggle.” That’s why Steve Aoki’s imprint decided that throwing cakes, jumping off shit (better than George Watsky we might add), and in general just going “Hard In The Paint” with artists like Waka Flocka Flame and Borgore on tour would be a good idea. From indie (The Willowz) to hardstyle (Coone), you can’t peg the label down. Keep things fresh and diverse on a daily basis. That’s the Dim Mak motto.
Recent Releases From: Botnek, Autoerotique, Felix Cartal, and Static Revenger
7. Ultra Records
Have you ever taken a peek at Ultra Music’s artist roster? It’s mind blowing. They’re like the New York Yankees, but in a good way because winning is no problem. Even artists that own their own labels like Above & Beyond, Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris, and Deamau5 release tunes through Ultra. Just let your jaw drop to the floor as you scroll down the list. We won’t tell anyone. Plus they released a song with Paul McCartney featured on vocals. One more item checked off Ultra’s bucket list. Now go back to their website and “rosterbate.” No judgment from us.
Recent Releases From: Adrian Lux, The Bloody Beetroots, Benny Benassi, Bondax, and Hadouken!
6. Mad Decent / Jeffree's
Mad Decent seems to be at the forefront of every major genre’s ascension (remember the “Harlem Shake”). It’s like Diplo just travels the world in search of genres to pull influence from. Next thing you know it’s the biggest thing to hit electronic music that year. How does he do it? Other labels follow suit, but Mad Decent helped designed the damn suit. And don’t even get us started on twerking. That’s like a genre on its own. Twerkstep. Better yet, how could we survive in this world without RiFF RAFF telling us what to rock? We would be so lost. To quote Mr. JODY HiGHROLLER himself, “I don’t play video games. I quit school in elementary cause of recess. Too many games.” Wise words.
Recent Releases: Dillon Francis, Zeds Dead, Slick Shoota, Faustix & Imanos, and Kennedy Jones