In a year that was tough for all labels, whether they be brick and mortar, netlabel or imaginary, a common worry amongst all involved was how to gain recognition for their artists. Many of the active labels in our community are under-supported with zero budget and mostly volunteer staff (if the admin isn’t doing everything themselves). So with most of the scene operating largely on word of mouth and blog virility, it is up to the strength of curation to keep these labels in the limelight and the following have done an excellent job at picking great artists to host on their sites.
Pause – The winner of this category last year did not rest on its laurels, putting out 13 great releases and solidifying the “Pause sound”. Proggy, and proud of it, it seems poised to remain a perennial contender in this category year after year.
8bitpeoples – The most public facing of all current netlabels put out some grand releases, especially ones from glomag, minusbaby and Mr. Spastic. What is their next step? How big can they grow?
Ubiktune – Perhaps the quiet sensitive brother of Pause, this label put out the great “Season”tune comps and excellent releases from artists like Stu that really pushed the chip music concept forward in terms of style, songs and production quality. Focusing on artists from the demoscene, they shed light on portions of the scene overshadowed by fist pumping ravery.
Da! Heard It – With it’s eclectic roster of chip and non chip acts alike, this netlabel strives to bridge the gulf between chip music and other genres and stick its crew where it belongs, in hot clubs, in dj mixes, wherever.
mp3death – The temporary label has been around for a good time now and has a great mix of acts in this years releases. Quiet and underground, but always interesting, so when it makes a sound, you’ll be inclined to listen.