Warp Records

Warp Records

infobox record label

founded = 1989
founder = Steve Beckett Rob Mitchell/Robert Gordon
country = England
location = Sheffield (1989-2000), London (2000-)
genre = Electronic IDM Indie rock Drum'n'bass Hip hop
url = http://www.warprecords.com/

Warp Records is a pioneering independent English record label, founded in Sheffield in 1989, notable for discovering some of the most enduring artists in electronic music.

Founded by Steve Beckett and the late Rob Mitchell from their experiences working at the FON record store, alongside producer Robert Gordon,Southern, Richard (2003) "Label of Love: WARP", X-RAY, April 2003, Swinstead Publishing] the label (whose name was chosen because the original name, 'Warped Records' was difficult to distinguish over the telephone [Young, R: "Warp", Labels Unlimited, 2005, ISBN 978-1904772323] ) soon became home to artists who would be highly influential in shaping the future of music.

The first release (WAP1) was by Forgemasters (produced by Robert Gordon), whose limited 500 copy pressing of "Track With No Name" was financed by an Enterprise Allowance grant and distributed in a borrowed car. It set a trend for the early releases both in terms of sound and the use of purple sleeves (designed by The Designers Republic). The follow up was Nightmares on Wax's "Dextrous", which charted, selling 30,000 copies despite a lack of promotion. This lead to greater commercial success; by its fifth release the label had its first top-twenty chart entry with LFO and their eponymous single, "LFO", which sold 130,000 copies.

The first album released was Sweet Exorcist's "C.C.E.P." in 1991. In the same year Robert Gordon left Warp acrimoniously.

Warp went on to release a series of singles and albums from 1992 under the "Artificial Intelligence" heading, a series of experimental electronic music releases by artists such as Aphex Twin (as Diceman and later Polygon Window), Autechre, B12, the Black Dog, Richie Hawtin and Alex Paterson (of the Orb). Initially all the album releases were gatefold sleeves and coloured vinyl, often with striking covers by The Designers Republic or Phil Wolstenholme. A VHS compilation of digitally animated music videos called "Motion" was released in conjunction with the second "Artificial Intelligence" compilation, and featured an early work by director David Slade.

Since then the label has evolved, and later artists were a similarly eclectic group, and included the influential DJ Andrew Weatherall (as Sabres of Paradise and later as Two Lone Swordsmen), the live sensation Red Snapper and experimental hip-hop group Antipop Consortium.

In 1999 the label released "", a compilation spanning six discs, featuring early acid house and techno music that influenced the label and its artists, as well as classic tracks from Warp's back catalog, and new remixes of Warp material. The collection celebrated the label's tenth anniversary.

In 2000 the label moved its operation to London along with its physical music and merchandise store Warpmart.

Co-founder Rob Mitchell passed away in 2001.

In January 2004 Warp Records launched an online digital music store, Bleep, notable for being among the few stores to completely avoid all digital rights management features in the downloadable tracks, unlike other music stores such as iTunes and Rhapsody.

On September 27, 2004 Warp Records released its second music video compilation, named WarpVision, featuring most of the videos produced from 1989 to 2004.

2005 saw the release of "Warp", the first book in the Labels Unlimited series. Written by Rob Young, the book gives an illustrated history of the label, as well as offering a complete discography. The Warp Records website said the book was “A very beautiful thing and like our very own This Is Your Life".

Notable artists from past and present

* !!!
* Alexander's Annexe
* Anti-Pop Consortium
* Aphex Twin
* Autechre
* B12
* Battles
* Beans
* Black Dog Productions
* Boards of Canada
* Born Ruffians
* Tyondai Braxton
* Broadcast
* Brothomstates
* Chris Clark
* Richard Devine
* Jimmy Edgar
* F.U.S.E.
* Flying Lotus
* Vincent Gallo
* Gang Gang Dance
* General
* Gravenhurst
* Grizzly Bear
* Russell Haswell
* Home Video
* Hudson Mohawke
* Jackson and his Computer Band
* John Callaghan
* Richard H. Kirk
* Leila
* Jamie Lidell
* Maxïmo Park
* Mira Calix
* Nightmares on Wax
* Pivot
* Plaid
* Plone
* Prefuse 73
* Red Snapper
* Req
* Sabres of Paradise
* Jake Slazenger
* Seefeel
* Speedy J
* Squarepusher
* Jimi Tenor
* Two Lone Swordsmen
* Luke Vibert


A number of sublabels have also been set up by Warp.
* Gift Records
* Lex Records
* Arcola

In addition, Warp has set up a film company, Warp Films, as well as digital download store Bleep.

Selected Discography

= Artificial Intelligence Series =

* "Artificial Intelligence" (WARP 6, 1992)
* Polygon Window - "Surfing On Sine Waves" (WARP 7, 1992)
* Black Dog Productions - "Bytes" (WARP 8, 1993)
* B12 - "Electro-Soma" (WARP 9, 1993)
* FUSE - "Dimension Intrusion" (WARP 12, 1993)
* Speedy J - "Ginger" (WARP 14, 1993)
* Autechre - "Incunabula" (WARP 17, 1993)
* "Artificial Intelligence II" (WARP 23, 1994)
* "Motion" (WARP 23 V, 1994) VHS [http://www.vinylnet.co.uk/record-label-discographies.asp link]


* "Pioneers of the Hypnotic Groove"
* "Evolution of the Groove"
* "Tequila Slammers and the Jump Jump Groove Generation"
* "The Theory of Evolution"
* "Blech"
* "Blech II: Blechsdottir"
* "Eurowarp"
* "Warp: Routine"
* "Morvern Callar - Official Soundtrack"
* "We Are Reasonable People"
* "Warp Records Sampler 2008" [http://www.vinylnet.co.uk/record-label-discographies.asp link]


See also

* Planet mu records
* List of record labels
* List of electronic music record labels
* List of independent UK record labels
* Electronic music
* Intelligent dance music
* Drum and bass
* Techno

External links

* [http://www.warprecords.com/ WarpRecords.com] – Official site
** [http://www.warpfilms.com/ WarpFilms.com] – Warp Films, a film production company from Warp
* [http://www.lexrecords.com/ Lex Records.com] – Lex Records, a now independent abstract hip-hop label that branched off Warp Records.
* [http://www.youtube.com/warprecords Warp Records channel] at YouTube
* [http://www.discogs.com/label/Warp+Records Warp Records] at Discogs.com


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