Label Spotlights

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Label Spotlights

Label Spotlight: Hyperdub Turns 10

For the past decade, London’s Hyperdub has brought the emerging sounds of the electronic underground to light. The label takes listeners on a tour of the soulful edge of genres big and small, from footwork and garage to techno and R&B. An unspoken soulful quality brings together what is on the surface a wildly varied catalog.

Steve Goodman, who is better known to music lovers as Kode9, started the label as we know it in 2004, making this the 10-year anniversary. But Hyperdub’s roots go even further back into the electronic music world as a webzine that launched in 2001; Goodman’s keen ear for talent was starting to develop even before the label officially began. Not only has Kode9 become a worldwide force in the past decade, he has helped to nurture and grow international names like the mysterious Burial and Cooly G.

With a North American tour in progress and a series of four anniversary compilations featuring soundtracks to invisible films and never-before-heard material from key acts like Kode9 & The Spaceape, Quarta 330 and the late DJ Rashad, Hyperdub is doing it up large for this milestone birthday. Listen to this exclusive playlist commemorating a decade of releases and be sure to check out 10.1, 10.2, and their latest 10.3 for an epic overview of the many moods and grooves from this deep label.

ExclusivesLabel Spotlights

Exclusive: Journey Inside Stones Throw’s Headphones

St logo (1)

Stones Throw has created an incredible and diverse body of work over the past 18 years, a legacy that has been neatly summarized in a documentary called Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton. The film offers an insider’s look at the Los Angeles label through never-before-seen archival footage, home videos and interviews with founder Peanut Butter Wolf, Kanye West, Common, Mayer Hawthorne and many more.

To celebrate the release of the soundtrack and the documentary on Blu-Ray, DVD and digital, the label has kindly created an exclusive playlist for Rdio listeners called In Stones Throw’s Headphones. The 50-minute set reveals some of the label office’s most frequently played tunes from the catalog, including songs from Hawthorne, Madlib, and the late producer J Dilla.

Follow Stones Throw on Rdio for this playlist and check out the soundtrack to Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton for new beats from Madlib, unreleased rarities, brand new tunes, and other songs from the documentary.

∞  May 14, 2014 — 9:02AM

Label Spotlights

Label Spotlight: Hopeless Records 20th Anniversary


Formed in 1993 by Louis Posen, Southern California-based independent label Hopeless Records has been guiding and supporting artists for two decades. Known best for fostering the careers of rocker stalwarts All Time Low, The Used, and Yellowcard, and breaking acts like Air Dubai and The Wonder Years, the next 20 years only seem like they can get bigger and brighter for this hard-working and accomplished label. The essential Hopeless Records releases detailed below are a great starting point in order to delve deeply into the label’s musical history and explore the sonic connections these albums share. You can also follow Hopeless Records on Rdio for the label’s hand-picked playlists that share new songs, Yellowcard’s favorite pre-concert jams, and more.

Essential Releases on Hopeless Records

The second album from this Irvine crew provides a melodic hardcore welcome to the O.C. and was conceived as a benefit record for a South Central-based youth center.

The hardest band ever to emerge from Huntington Beach delves into metalcore territory in this early release.

The Warped Tour faves’ sophomore album is buoyed by the gold-selling single “Dear Maria, Count Me In.”

The Jacksonville-based group that proved how much violins can rock got back together after a two-year break to release this seventh album.

After a career spent under major label guidance, the Utah powerhouse moved to the independent world with Hopeless to find the freedom to record an emotionally complex and beat-driven fifth album.

EventsLabel Spotlights

Barsuk Records Turns 15


Happy Birthday, Barsuk Records! From the days of split 7-inch vinyl singles through to today’s digital offerings, the vital Seattle label was first to champion acts such as Death Cab for Cutie (Barsuk released the 10th Anniversary Edition of the band’s album Transatlanticism just this week), Menomena, Phantogram, Nada Surf, and Rilo Kiley. These and other Barsuk-nurtured groups have all weathered a fickle music industry to garner international acclaim. The label’s roots actually go back close to 20 years, but officially, it’s turning a sophisticated 15 this year.

Listen to the Barsuk Records: Celebrating 15 Years playlist to quickly acquire a deep understanding of the company’s musical triumphs. While these artists are definitely diverse on the surface, you’ll soon discover an indefinable thread of originality that ties them all together.

EventsLabel Spotlights

Captured Tracks Turns Five

Captured Tracks

Captured Tracks, the Brooklyn-based record label that brings you artists such as Beach Fossils, Mac DeMarco, The Soft Moon, and DIIV, is marking five years in business this year. To celebrate that momentous landmark, Captured Tracks is celebrating with a two-day outdoor music festival featuring these and more artists at The Well in their home turf Brooklyn from August 31-September 1. The event provides a time capsule into how far this label has come in just a few years, capturing the imagination of the world with a solid roster of indie rock, darkwave, shoegaze, and more boundary-pushing explorations of music.

Tune in to the Captured Tracks anniversary playlist, which we’ve made with care in order to introduce you to some of the most enduring highlights of this cool catalog, and follow Captured Tracks on Rdio for more sonic goodness from a label with no signs of slowing down.

EventsLabel SpotlightsMusic

Sub Pop Turns 25: The Five Essential Albums From the Label

Sub Pop

It’s almost unbelievable to fathom how relevant Sub Pop Records has managed to stay over the course of a quarter century of loving music and supporting original artists. In fact, if you count the company’s roots as a fanzine called Subterranean Pop that co-founder Bruce Pavitt first published back in 1979, it’s been a lot longer than that. But the label, which recently began its official 25th anniversary celebrations with a free Silver Jubilee concert in its birthplace of Seattle, continues to be a focal point for unique and assertive music. Sub Pop’s early history is synonymous with names like Nirvana, Mudhoney, and Soundgarden, which have grown into legacy artists, and the label’s current marquee names like Washed Out, No Age, and The Head and the Heart all have new albums coming soon and are also working toward similar longevity.

The Sub Pop catalog is bursting at the seams with wonderful music, so it can be intimidating to know exactly where to begin. Rdio’s got your back — we point out some of the key highlights below if you are searching for a place to start your own listening party.


  • Nirvana - Bleach
    Before Kurt Cobain and his band became forever music icons, their debut hinted at epic ambitions.

  • The Shins - Oh, Inverted World
    This important rock debut brought enduring cuts like “Caring is Creepy” and “New Slang” to the forefront.

  • Postal Service - Give Up
    The boundaries between indie rock and electronic dance music were crystallized and shattered with this release long before the term EDM was invented.

  • Beach House - Bloom
    A dream pop duo from Baltimore, Beach House has captured the world’s imagination with this acclaimed album.

  • Washed Out - Paracosm
    It doesn’t take long to experience a state of being blissed out while listening to the chillwave sounds of Sub Pop’s latest acclaimed artist, also known as Ernest Greene of Georgia. According to the single, “It All Feels Right”.

    You should find something here to stir your soul whether you’re new to the label or have been down since day one. Follow Sub Pop on Rdio to take in the Sub Pop Label Quiz Cliff’s Notes and many more hand-picked playlists.

Label SpotlightsNews

Take a Bite of Burger Records

Burger Records

Burger Records is an Orange County institution that encompasses a Fullerton-based record shop and an amazingly diverse label of artists blurring genre boundary lines. For nearly five years, Burger has crafted a fine reputation for nurturing and discovering new artists as well as supporting established acts like The Pharcyde and Ty Segall. Many of these releases originally came out on cassette, but now you can enjoy the sound of Burger digitally.

To celebrate this tasty arrival to Rdio, Burger Records has made a retrospective playlist of label highlights to share with you. Press play to discover artists such as Gestapo Khazi, Burnt Ones, and The Memories.

∞  May 17, 2013 — 11:00AM

Label SpotlightsNews

Tap Your Toes To AUM Fidelity’s Jazz Catalog


New York’s 16-year-old independent label AUM Fidelity was inspired by the do-it-yourself spirit of punk record labels that nurtured and developed original acts through music released without major label assistance. That work ethic as well as the passion to encourage true individuality has been channeled into a different side of the music spectrum to highlight the jazz and avant-garde soul worlds.

Rdio is now home to AUM’s catalog online, and we encourage you to begin exploring it through the work of such label notables as improvisational rock band Shrimp Boat, alto saxophonist Darius Jones, pianist Matthew Shipp, the late saxophonist David S. Ware, and free jazz double bassist William Parker. The term “aum” represents the soundless sound of the harmonious universe, but we think you’ll find that AUM Fidelity represents a wide range of musical ideas.

Start your sonic journey with, Wisdom of Uncertainty, a six-song collaboration between David S. Ware, Matthew Shipp, William Parker, and Susie Ibarra below.

∞  May 1, 2013 — 10:00AM

Label SpotlightsNews

Yeasayer, Minus the Bear, and More Secretly Canadian Artists Arrive to Rdio

Secretly Canadian

During your audio explorations of Rdio you may have noticed new and recent offerings from the likes of Diplo’s party project Major Lazer, Brooklyn’s psychedelic pop stars Yeasayer, or stately Detroit singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens. These and many more albums new to Rdio hail from Secretly Canadian, a record label and distributor not-so-obviously based in Bloomington, Indiana. The label has been home to such diverse acts as experimentalists The Books, rock group Explosions In The Sky, indie darlings Dirty Projectors, Swedish pop act Jens Lekman, and the late Jason Molina’s alt-country project Songs: Ohia.

The Secretly Canadian catalog has grown to almost 800 titles since its inception in 1996. The company has even branched out to include sister labels Jagjaguwar, best known for the success of indie folk band Bon Iver, and Dead Oceans, the latter a recent addition boasting luminaries like John Vanderslice. Secretly Canadian includes its own distribution arm, SC Distribution, which was founded in 1997 and now distributes labels like Cloud Recordings, FatCat Records, K Records, The Social Registry, and Western Vinyl, to name just a few.

We suggest beginning what could be an epic journey of discovery with a couple cult classic albums from otherworldly singer slash modern goth princess Zola Jesus and Seattle’s hyper-catchy prog pop indie rock band Minus The Bear, two releases which instantly captivate open ears and also wonderfully hint at the wide spectrum of Secretly Canadian.

Label Spotlights

Label Profile: Touch & Go Records


It started as a simple fanzine, but Touch & Go gradually became one of America’s most reputable indie labels. Formed in 1979 to document the rise of hardcore music, Touch & Go became a record label in 1981, when it began releasing records by bands such as The Meatmen. By the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, the label was a major part of the DIY alternative scene, releasing game-changing records by Slint, The Jesus Lizard, and Polvo.

By 2000, the label welcomed bands from all genres, including the jittery dance music of !!!, the psychedelic dream rock of Blonde Redhead, and the forward-thinking music of folk outfit Cocorosie and soul-infused indie rock troupe TV on the Radio. The label was also instrumental in the launching of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

For more as the label develops in the next decade, Follow Touch & Go on Rdio. If you ask us, they’re still pretty hardcore — play the Touch & Go Rdio station, and you’ll hear what we mean.