Saturday, 6 December 2014

Legendary Label In The Limelight: Transgressive Records

Doing it for the love since 2004, Transgressive we salute you.

Hey good looking,

Over the next three weeks I'm going to be rambling on at you about three independent record labels that I absolutely love, all of which are celebrating milestone anniversaries in 2014, culminating in quite possibly my favourite label of all time. But before we arrive at that pinnacle it's time to look back over ten years of fantastic music from one of the UK's finest - Transgressive Records.

Toby L and Tim Dellow started the label back in 2004 so that bands they loved had the opportunity to release records, a decade on they're running one of the highest regarded indies out there. Just look at the back catalogue. Foals, Bloc Party, Mystery Jets, Two Door Cinema Club, The Shins, The Subways, Young Knives, Johnny Flynn, Pulled Apart By Horses - the list of killer bands they've helped to break is staggering.

Never being ones to stagnate, Transgressive have recently expanded to a publishing and management company as well as launching two imprints - paradYse Records and Jen Long's cassette-based Kissability. Additionally they've snuck out a few established artists too: At The Drive-In, Regina Spektor and (thanks to Toby's quick wit and cheek) music legend Graham Coxon.

My personal favourite act on the roster however is the ever intriguing Africa Express project. In 2012 Islamist and Tuareg rebels seized much of Northern Mali and effectively banned music. The following year, after foreign intervention, a whole host of immensely talented western artists including Damon Albarn, Brian Eno and Yeah Yeah Yeahs guitarist Nick Zinner visited the Malian capital Bamako to record a compilation of vibrant, culture-fusing collaborations with some of the best budding musicians that the country has to offer.

Since day one Tim and Toby have had a passion for supporting promising new bands. So who's next? Their latest stock features, amongst others, Gengahr, Alvvays and the beguiling Marika Hackman. Inevitably some of those will bugger off to be ruined by the money-pinching majors but more fool them; Transgressive is the label that nurtures their musicians whilst still allowing them to work on their own terms so that one day, potentially, they might develop into something truly incredible. Only time will tell.

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