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Co-founder Steve Beckett introduces the dance label that turned left.listen to warp audio features
14 years of warp records
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Warp artists: Nightmares On Wax and Beans
So the pair began to put out records. The first was Forgemasters' Track With No Name. "We manufactured 500 white labels and drove around the country selling them to shops," Steve grins. "It was a direct thing. We’d get a record, take it to the club and you could just physically see the dancefloors going insane... Then the fifth release went into the Top 20." That release was LFO's El Ef Oh which went on to sell 130,000 copies, almost unheard of for a DIY release at the time.
Since then, the label has consistently grown in stature, taking on electronic boundary pushers like Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada and the aptly named Squarepusher. Sadly, Rob Mitchell died last year of cancer. However, the label has continued to expand, launching a hip-hop imprint, Lex Records in 1999 and Warp Films in February 2003. Their first film, My Wrongs #8245-8249 & 117, won a BAFTA for its director Chris Morris. "It feels just like the record label, where we did the second or third release and we were in the Top 20," says Steve. In the words of Warp artist Mira Calix, "They're blessed".
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An alternative approach
Warp artists: Broadcast
Steve's picks for 03
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