Nordic & Partial Commonwealth Studies on eMusic
Welcome to the eMusic fjord. If you speak or otherwise like Welsh, you’re in for a real treat.
Maybe I’m biased from regional roots, but as good as the labels are on the previous entry, Eurocentric Studies, I like the offerings here even more, although the catalogs tend to be smaller. I personally think the entire population of Iceland must be issued a 4-track recorder on their fourth birthdays with the interesting musicians per capita up there. See if you don’t like these labels a lot more than lutefisk…
Sweden - WU PÆGNE (pop, hip-hop), Kongsvinger Sound & Records (jazz), Tack För Igår (synth-pop), Emotion (synth-pop); Bakery Allstars Recordings (synth-pop, rock); Highspeedart (electronic, experimental, prog rock); Anton Thoursie (rock); Borginihayam (synth-pop); Sigourney (punk); Kamelritt (punk), Rec Rec Records (pop); Popcorn Production (pop); Turpiini (pop); Softakofta (children’s); Hansam (pop); MoeCoe (folk) Wic Mack AB (folk); Majeva, Sväva, Mohlavyr (folk & synth pop); WMWL (electronic); Margit Studios (blues rock); Gycklargruppen Hyckel (?); Close Enough, Chimären; Floridaz;
Finland - Eclipse Music Digital (jazz, prog rock); Petsamo Industries (hip-hop), 3rd Rail Music; Urbaanilegenda (hip-hop); Measured Malice (darkwave industrial?); Skies Ablaze (rock); Kalevan ääni; Vaarin Pojat (metal); Urban Hane; Kirahvi nimeltä Tuike (synth-pop); FILIPPA. (pop); Valassaaret (folk); Metronomi (folk rock); Sepikka (pop); Roots Up! (blues);
Norway - (jazz, electronic, experimental) Dugnad Rec; (hip-hop) PsykeRecords; Emmsje ehf; Blackstone; vagg&velta; GOP; Ni Tusen; (folk rock) Tjernqvist; AIK Trubaduren; Bart Clavier; Lars Enggard; Art Music; Psych Aid Kit; (electronic) Walking Disco; Oyhopper; Ogaard Music; NATTEN; (pop) Local Heroes; seksten millimeter drøm; Viken Music; Remo Munkeboe; (rock) Betty Records; Redder Records; AlligatorX; (Christian) Nina Dunseth; (experimental) Romtid Musikk; Trygve Saather; (classical folk soundtrack) Norge Productions; (folk) Sadhna; Sophie Kvam;
Denmark - (rock) Ramberg med Band, RUMKLANG; (hip-hop) Lille Høg; MUKAFUKA; Farda; (punk) Dwarf Records; (pop) Dansktop Powerpop; seksten millimeter drøm;
Baltics - Sentimony (light trance from Latvia); ICE Audio (Estonian electronica); Musikinė Partija (children’s, pop, rock); Saulės Muzika (folk); Zemer (old folk music);
Iceland - (electronic, synth-pop) Moller, Raftonar; (hip-hop) Nolem, SXSXSX, Bjartr; (hip-hop, folk rock) Basement Studios;
Somewhere Nordic (maybe should just lump most in here to avoid errors) - (light metal) Redder Records; (electronic pop) GBR, Elephantomime Production; Hr. Larsen, Rosengren (soft rock); Borgersen, Bølgan (rock); Kalle.P, Glyggi, Ethyone (hip-hop); Svenssen (rock) Prosject: 2G (rock); Svarta Moln (metal); Brenna Records (synth-pop); Lyskestrekk (wannabe disco synth-pop); Turning Tool (electronic punk); Falth Production (warped synth-pop); Erik Svendsen Lausten (jazz); Bjørn Svin, Svartkonst (electronic); Bergolf (soft rock)
Given that record labels in English-speaking areas don’t always trumpet where they’re headquartered, this section is a bit half-hearted, since looking up each individual label on my master list (http://www.omnifoo.info/pages/eMusic%20Labels.html) to see if it belongs here would take an even longer time. I looked up the top four tiers at least. I’m sure veterans have some that I missed. I welcome comments for addition/revision as ever.
Ireland - All City Dublin (hip-hop); WeGrowWax (downtempo electronic); Dublin Xpress (house);
Canada - Multi Culti, King Deluxe, LOaF (electronic); Monkey Dub (dubstep); Light Organ (most genres covered); Infinite Machine (techno)
Australia & NZ- Feral Media, Provenance (pop); Deaf Ambitions; Green South (folk, Celtic); RKJ (pop singles); Midium (instrumental electronic & rock)
UK - (Welsh rock) Recordiau Cae Gwyn, Recordiau JigCal, Copa, Crai; (post-rock) Indelabel, Awkward Formats; (general rock) Gare du Nord, Unity Glasgow, All the Madmen, Hero Rhymes with Zero, Humble Soul, Fisk, Platform, Shinkansen, Song By Toad, Stolen Body, Stroll On, VRS; (hip-hop) Boot; (folk rock) Sotones, Tantrum; (electronic) Tape Club, Activia Benz, Astro:Dynamics, Burning Witches, Byrd Out Limited, Civil Music, Death Waltz, Downwards, Eglo, Exceptional, Ghost Box, Groove Butta, Hydrogen Dukebox, Illicit Recordings, Intellegenix, Just Music, Leng, Lo Recordings, Off Me Nut, Not Applicable, Passive Front, Quango/Pork, Romeda, Romlus Records, Rotters Golf Club, Skas, Uncharted Audio; (ambient) Focused Silence, Personal Escape, 3rd and Debut, Odd John; (punk, various) The State51 Conspiracy, Overground, Milky Bomb, Trashmouth; (electronic, rock, folk rock) Static Caravan, Accidental Records, wiaiwya, Peacefrog, Pedigree Cuts; (more Welsh folk, reggae, etc.) Rasal Records, Gwymon, Sain, Lliwen Foster, Al Lewis Band; (Scottish folk) Aaron Fyfe; (synth-pop) Moshi Moshi, Drums of Death; (world) Catapulte; (jazz) Gondwana, Jazzman; (avant garde) Bladud Files; (reggae, dub) Pressure Sounds, Yam & Banana, Nice Up!; (turntablism, urban electronic) Colony Productions; (hip-hop, Afrobeat, electronic, jazz, etc.) First Word
Individual favorites from cold places and Down Under: Deadly Avenger, Adam Stafford, Jon Olafsson & Futuregrapher, Julian Haugland, Andi Otto, Spongebob Squarewave, Andy Fosberry, Metamatics, Global Goon, Aphir,
I guarantee I’ve got some of the countries wrong and welcome corrections. Almost none of the labels for the Nordic countries would qualify as “significant” in the number of available releases, but they generally make up for it in quality.
Just had to remove a couple of beloved Finnish jazz labels (We Jazz, Sähkö) before posting today and haven’t double-checked all of these since starting to compile weeks ago. Anything of quality on this list should be considered critically endangered, so check them out while you can! Winter is coming. I’m pretty shocked they let Merge go so unceremoniously, but all these do soften the blow for me…whittling my wishlist below 400 has been an ongoing and unmet goal for months now.
Thus concludes the eMusic geographic label list tour. Notably left unexplored are India/Nepal/Pakistan/Bangladesh and SE Asia, as most all I’ve found there have been film soundtracks, sketchy world stuff, and a few interesting Indonesian rock and pop labels. If anybody wants to try a thorough search of those regions, consider the torch passed. Still hoping these will be springboards for sustained dialog and recommendations. I’m going to switch over to genre lists, starting with rock…maybe next week.