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Gone but not forgotten: 10 short-lived influential labels

Digging deep for your next favourite track

  • Louis Anderson-Rich
  • 24 February 2017

We live in an age where it seems every producer is running a label. Thanks to Bandcamp, SoundCloud and numerous other self-promotion tools, it’s never been easier to release music and DIY spirit is booming.

However, not so long ago this wasn't the case. The idea of starting a label was fraught with risks, mostly financial. Some have made it work and gone on to form vast musical empires. Many flamed out too early.

But that doesn’t mean they didn’t leave behind good music. We went deep and seeked out the labels that, despite a short life span, made their mark on dance music with influential gems for collectors and DJs alike.

Sumo Records (1993-1995)

New York in the early '90s was a hotbed for the sounds of garage house. Labels like Nervous Records and Strictly Rhythm were at the beginning of their ascent and Todd Terry, Mood II Swing and Masters At Work were thriving. With so much music being produced it was inevitable some was overlooked. Sumo Records was one of those labels that was only around two years but still produced quality deep house. Big tunes with big vocals was the party line and artists like Blaze and Black Rascals came up with the goods. The label also served as an outlet for early Lenny Fontana side project Loco Motion.

 
 
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