In 2018 the question is often asked, do we still need record labels? The answer is yes.
Labels encourage, question and help guide an artist in everything they do. A label’s reputation can also carry a huge amount of weight with artists and fans alike. One of those labels is Brainfeeder: an imprint that has been at the forefront of forward-thinking music for the past decade.
To celebrate 10 years of Brainfeeder, Flying Lotus and his motley crew have decided to remind us just how good they are with a compilation of tracks from the past, present and future of their scene. The first half of the compilation looks backwards, focusing on the tracks and artists that have built the foundations for them to tower above the crowd. Just by looking at the tracklist you can see their eclectic tastes staring straight back at you in black and white. Big hitters such as Flying Lotus, Thundercat and BADBADNOTGOOD, sit comfortably alongside exciting newcomers IGLOOGHOST, Ross From Friends, Brandon Coleman and many more.
This retrospective gives the perfect platform for some of Brainfeeder’s forgotten gems to be rediscovered, too. The vivid textures of Teebs, Lapalux’s dystopian soul and Taylor McFerrin’s retro glow are a beautiful reminder of the unsung heroes that have helped keep the label’s sound moving forward.
Not ones to dwell on the past, the second half looks to the future, giving fans a brief glimpse of things to come. It’s a friends and family affair once again as all the familiar faces throw their beats into the bowl. The welcomed additions of Georgia Anne Muldrow and George Clinton to the line up is a testament to how respected, not only within the electronic world, Brainfeeder is as an imprint. Both artists bring their own brand of off balance funk to the party, and we’re still only at the pre-drinks. Lesser known names PBDY, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and Strangeloop keep the listener on their toes as we’re guided through gothic trap, jazz and orchestral electronica, without even batting an eye. The curtain drops as the ambient strings of Locust Toybox take us to the edge of the horizon, as we fall into the abyss.
The Brainfeeder sound is hard to pin down, and we would put money on that Flying Lotus and his posse want to keep it that way. It is a record label that has gone from a small L.A. based underdog to a global cult phenomenon without ever compromising their vision – an encouraging sign that great music will always find its way into the world. We just hope that Brainfeeder will keep on giving the music that little nudge it needs to find its way to us – for many decades to come.