Focus on the Label – Sub Pop Records
Sub Pop Records was THE label that defined the sound of the early 90′s. Their early releases from Soundgarden, Nirvana and Mudhoney introduced the world to the chunky fuzz of grunge, thereby saving rock & roll from a certain death by Aqua-Net. Despite the resulting influx of green, an assortment of questionable financial moves nearly bankrupted the label in the late 90′s. More recently, Sub Pop has seen an amazing resurgence in popularity and sales. In fact, five of their six best selling CDs have been released in the last ten years, scoring the label multiple platinum records, Grammy Award nominations and artist appearances on Saturday Night Live.
Today’s Sub Pop paddock is filled with an increasingly diverse group of top-selling artists that couldn’t sound much different than the early days including The Shins, Fleet Foxes, Beach House, Flight of the Conchords, Iron and Wine and Wolf Parade. The future of Sub Pop appears to be centered around diversifying even further with the late 2009 launch of sister “world music” label Next Ambience, continuing success of their northwest-focused label Hardly Art, and the recent signing of trippy Hip-Hop (TrHip-Hop?) buzzmagnets Shabazz Palaces.
Take a little trip on an aural time-warp with us… the past, present and future of Sub Pop records:
The Past: Sub Pop Staff’s Top Tracks of the 1990s
The Present: Sub Pop 2010 Samplers
The Present: Sub Pop 2011 Sampler (updated)
The Future: Shabazz Palaces
Shabazz Palaces “an echo from the hosts that profess infinitum” from the June release Black Up
The Future: Fleet Foxes
Fleet Foxes “Helplessness Blues” from the May release Helplessness Blues