Made In America: 15 Awesome Indie Record Labels

Gianna Marx
Made In America: 15 Awesome Indie Record Labels
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With today’s technology making it easier and easier for aspiring artists to self-produce and distribute their work online, the sheer amount of music out there is, quite frankly, overwhelming. While there are definitely plenty of hidden gems, it can be difficult to find the truly amazing amongst all of the mediocre bands crowding the Web. That’s where these 15 awesome indie record labels come in. Thanks to their hard work, we are able to easily enjoy the incredible sounds of some unforgettable talent. From indie rock to techno to metal, these labels represent an incredible array of talent, and with music insiders and performers such as Diplo and Steve Aoki taking the reins, we can be sure that the music is in the right hands.

In celebration of our nation’s independence, we’ve rounded up our favorite indie record labels dedicated to bringing us awesome music from the good ol’ U.S. of A. These companies have taken the American entrepreneurial spirit to heart — combining a passion for music with savvy business techniques to ensure that the right music makes it to our ears.

 

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ASTRALWERKS

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 1993

ARTISTS: Bat for Lashes, Empire of the Sun, David Guetta, Phoenix, Swedish House Mafia

GENRES: Techno, Electronica

Photo: Astralwerks/

CANTORA RECORDS

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 2005

ARTISTS: MGMT, Francis and the Lights, Bear Hands, Savoir Adore

GENRES: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, Psychedelic Pop

Photo: Cantora Records/

DFA RECORDS

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 2001

ARTISTS: Free Energy, Hot Chip, LCD Soundsystem

GENRES: Dance-Punk, Electronic, Disco

Photo: DFA Records/

KEMADO

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 2002

ARTISTS: Wild Hunt, Electric Voyage, Saviours

GENRES: Rock, Indie Rock, Alternative Rock, Metal, Hard Rock

Photo: Kemado/

MATADOR RECORDS

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 1989

ARTISTS: Belle and Sebastian, Interpol, The New Pornographers, Sonic Youth

GENRES: Indie Rock

Photo: Matador Records/

THE POP MANIFESTO

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 2010

ARTISTS: Blood Diamonds, Typical Girls, Vital Caress

GENRES: Electronic, Fusion, House

Photo: The Pop Manifesto/

POLYVINYL

HOMETOWN: Champaign, IL

ESTABLISHED: 1995

ARTISTS: Deerhoof, Of Montreal, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin

GENRES: Various

Photo: Polyvinyl/

SADDLE CREEK

HOMETOWN: Omaha, NE

ESTABLISHED: 1993

ARTISTS: Bright Eyes, Land of Talk, Spoon

GENRES: Rock

Photo: Saddle Creek/

SUB POP RECORDS

HOMETOWN: Seattle, WA

ESTABLISHED: 1986

ARTISTS: Beach House, Fleet Foxes, Iron and Wine, The Shins

GENRES: Indie Rock

Photo: Sub Pop/

ULTRA RECORDS

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 1995

ARTISTS: Adrian Lux, Basshunter, Benny Benassi, Calvin Harris, Deadmau5, Kaskade, Steve Aoki, Wolfgang Gartner

GENRES: EDM

Photo: Ultra Records/

DOWNTOWN RECORDS

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 2006

ARTISTS: Cold War Kids, Electric Guest, Miike Snow, Santigold, Scissor Sistors

GENRES: Various

Check out the following slides for Downtown Records' affiliated labels. 

Photo: Downtown Records/

DIM MAK

HOMETOWN: Los Angeles

ESTABLISHED: 1996 by Steve Aoki

ARTISTS: Bloody Beetroots, Datsik, Dada Life, Zedd, Zeds Dead

GENRES: Electronic, House

FOOL'S GOLD

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 2007

ARTISTS: Chromeo, Danny Brown, Kid Cudi, Laidback Luke

GENRES: Various

Photo: Fool's Gold/

MAD DECENT

HOMETOWN: Philadelphia

ESTABLISHED: 2005 by Diplo

ARTISTS: Diplo, Major Lazer

GENRES: Various

Photo: Mad Decent/

RCRD LBL 

HOMETOWN: New York City

ESTABLISHED: 2007

ARTISTS: Various

GENRES: Various

Although not a record label in the traditional sense, RCRD LBL is Downtown Records' online destination for the latest new music and free downloads from a wide variety of top and emerging artists.

Photo: RCRD LBL/

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