Los Angeles, CA
SOUND: Like a syrupy, house-informed pop musician who is dating the drummer from a middle school jazz band.
FAVORITE PARTIES: Rhonda, Face2Face and The Do-Over, in Los Angeles.
PREDICTIONS FOR 2013: “Things are going to become poppier, but not in a cheesy way. I predict more bedroom producers playing with typical pop formats, which will create a hybrid of the underground and mainstream. It has started to happen, but I think it will become more prevalent. Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing things slow down a bit.
Newark, NJ / Philadelphia, PA
SOUND: Jersey club music, an offshoot of Baltimore club music fused with hip-hop and trap influences.
FAVORITE PARTIES: Venus X’s GHE20 G0TH1K in New York City, Dirty South Joe’s Mad Decent Mondays in Philadelphia and Thread in Newark, New Jersey.
PREDICTIONS FOR 2013: “You will see a lot more electronic producers working together, with rappers getting on [their productions]. Recently, I’ve been listening to JWLS, out of Miami. He has great production that goes from slow to hype. For 2013, I have EPs in the works with Flosstradamus, Brenmar and MikeQ.”
SOUND: A pleasantly tasteful sampling of up-tempo electronic music, juke, footwork, jersey club and everything in between.
FAVORITE PARTIES: The Sonar Festival in Barcelona and MoMA PS1’s Warm Up in New York City.
PREDICTIONS FOR 2013: “The extinction of genres and classifications in music, an even tighter bond between the fashion and music industries (which I’m personally really excited about) and a Lil B world-takeover.”
SOUND: A cartoon in music form, featuring familiar bits of bass music with exotic sounds from the deepest dredges of the internet.
FAVORITE PARTY: “A room that is too crowded, with speakers that are too loud. No clothes, or lots of clothes. Either way.”
PREDICTIONS FOR 2013: “Music gets even weirder. Katy Perry sells some records.”
Los Angeles, CA
WHO: Young Adults was founded in 2012 by Leeor Brown (who also runs the label Friends of Friends) and David Fisher, LA natives who linked up in high school and subsequently stumbled their way through underground hip-hop, downtempo, indie and experimental music, before eventually arriving at the four-on-the-floor sound. The duo regularly DJ house, techno, disco and other hybrids of dance music around LA.
PREVIOUS RELEASES: Sampler EP featuring tracks from Suzanne Kraft, The Dead Rose Music Company, Urulu and a collaboration between LOL Boys and Grown Folk; Suzanne Kraft’s Horoscope LP, featuring remixes from Max D of Beautiful Swimmers/Future Times and LA synth magician Secret Circuit.
UPCOMING RELEASES: A compilation called House Slippers that will focus on deep and sultry, late-night sounds, including work from Max D, Grown Folk, Mark E, Permanent Vacation, Suzanne Kraft, Satin Jackets, NYCPartyInfo and Ben La Desh, among others; a 12-inch from Ben La Desh.
WHO: Flau was started in 2006 by Yasuhiko Fukuzono, and over the years, the label has amassed a fine roster of modest, micro-sized experimental musicians from all over the world. Ranging from solo vibraphone to acoustic folk and complex tape collages, Flau’s releases are sonically diverse—and physically, too, with recent albums pressed as a trio of 3-inch CDs with download codes embedded in fabric—but they’re unified by meticulous production and an introspective spirit.
PREVIOUS RELEASES: Cuushe’s dainty Girl you know that I am here but the dream EP; folk singer/songwriter MayMay’s And So I Place You In The Setting Sun LP, field-recording ambient duo Twigs & Yarn’s The Language of Flowers LP and a reissue of Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s rare Love Loops EP.
UPCOMING RELEASES: Cuushe’s debut LP, a new album from Fukozuno’s project aus and new music from the singer and early Flau staple Cokiyu, with remixes by Baths and Madegg.
New York, NY
WHO: In 2012, former XL Recordings coworkers Julia Willinger and Hannah Overton (who is now GM of Secretly Canadian UK) started Blue Rider, a label devoted to artists they loved but were unable to work with at their day jobs. With their experience nurturing the careers of young musicians, they intend for Blue Rider to release limited-run first efforts from new artists.
PREVIOUS RELEASES: Jagwar Ma’s “Come Save Me” 7-inch and Kilo Kish’s debut single “Navy,” featuring a MeLo-X remix.
UPCOMING RELEASES: A 7-inch from the UK group Paradise.
Bordeaux, France / Montreal, Quebec
WHO: After 15 years of daydreaming, 10 years in the music business and five years of planning, Rémi Laffite started Atelier Ciseaux in 2008, and was joined shortly thereafter by Phillippe Rey. The label places a high value on quality, producing records and cassettes with beautiful packaging and choosing to work with bands they love, not just with new artists they can break. Though it’s spanned many genres, Atelier Ciseaux lives mostly in the rock realm. Their care and attention has earned the small label exclusive releases with many international artists.
PREVIOUS RELEASES: Records with Lucky Dragons, Best Coast, U.S. Girls, Dominant Legs, Coasting, Mount Eerie and many more.
UPCOMING RELEASES: A U.S. Girls 7-inch that will include a fanzine, a cassette with Police Des Moeurs and an EP from Idiot Glee.
BIG BREAK: A psychedelic, animated collage for Texas duo BestFwends’ “Dream Off,” and a psychological thriller starring creepy domestic pets for Metronomy’s “Hypnose.”
WHAT TO WATCH: His video for Kindness’ “House,” which features lead singer Adam Bainbridge going off script to explain pop music to an adorable kid named Ramon.
WHAT’S NEXT: A freewheeling clip for Birmingham four-piece Swim Deep, inspired by Stéphane Sednaoui’s infamous video for Smashing Pumpkins’ “Today” and Beastie Boys’ penchant for fish-eye lenses; a redesign of Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle
album cover for T-shirt makers African Apparel.
BIG BREAK: Crashing a dirt bike rally locker room and shirtless bro party for Grimes’ “Oblivion,” and road tripping with a lonely Elvis
impersonator for Kool Music’s “Running Back to Everyone.”
WHAT TO WATCH: Her documentary-style video for Grizzly Bear’s “Yet Again,” starring a wayward, 13-year-old figure skater, and her visuals for Doldrums’ “She Is the Wave,” which was shot on a salt flat in Nevada.
WHAT’S NEXT: Two documentary features: One on New York City’s underground rap scene made in partnership with Nokia, Somesuch and Sundance, and another about an Orlando, Florida family of experimental musicians.
BIG BREAK: Riding alongside cyclists in a documentary short titled London to Paris.
WHAT TO WATCH: Her video for Twigs’ “Ache,” in which a guy wearing a mask fashioned from Air Jordan sneakers performs in the fluorescent-lit car park below Ladoja’s studio, and Melé and Kano’s “Beamer.”
WHAT’S NEXT: More Twigs videos, and a narrative short about teenage girls that she says is somewhere between Kids and Clueless.
BIG BREAK: Fusing live footage, animation and original music for shorts “Waking from a Coma” and “Dutch Wife,” plus a video installation for Comme des Garçons’ Dover Street Market boutique in Tokyo.
WHAT TO WATCH: A video for Arca’s “Ass Swung Low,” which features a parade of babies terrifyingly animated to sing the lyrics.
WHAT’S NEXT: A video for Arca’s “Manners.”