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This Is Where Your Dubstep Comes From

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Originally beginning as a YouTube channel to share their friends songs, Monstercat has transformed into one of dance music’s most fun labels to follow. Founded in July of 2011 by Mike Darlington and Ari Paunonen, Monstercat is who we can thank for the rise of Krewella, Pegboard Nerds, DotEXE, Aero Chord, Lets Be Friends, Au5, and many more. The first release for the Vancouver-based label was Krewella’s 2011 debut track Killin’ It and they’ve quickly become a major player for young, unknown artists. They love releasing music and do so on a regular basis, with new tunes available each week both in single and podcast form via their impressive Soundcloud page. Not necessarily a dubstep label, but undoubtedly important to the growth of the genre, Monstercat has been ‘Killin’ It’ since day one, and we’re excited to see where their artist-friendly and music-centric focus takes them in the future.

[divider]NEVER SAY DIE[/divider]

Another London-based label doing huge things for bass music, Never Say Die Records is growing, and that’s a scary thought. Founded in 2009 by SKisM and Demus, Never Say Die has held a focus on the heavier side of bass music, spreading their style of dubstep, drumstep, trap, and drum & bass. In 2013 the label established a sister label, No Tomorrow Recordings to focus on electro house tunes, and they’ve since announced more expansion plans. The Never Say Die: Black Label will be focusing on the grimey dubstep side of things, with their debut release, Black Label XL, coming last week. Never Say Die already has a stable of top acts like SKisM, Bar9, Eptic, LAXX, Zomboy, MUST DIE!, and more, and we’re excited to see what they can do with an entire label dedicated to dubstep. They’ll have a tough act to follow this year, with great releases like Zomboy’s The Outbreak and LAXX’s trio of EPs setting the standard in 2014.

[divider]ROTTUN RECORDS[/divider]

Canadians love their bass music, and Excision’s Rottun Records is proof of that. Founded by Excision, also known as Jeff Abel, Rottun Records has been around since 2005 and has been a spearhead for bass music for years. Working with the likes of Datsik, Downlink, Liquid Stranger, Space Laces, Figure, and more, Rottun Records roster speaks for itself. While its roster of artists is awesome, the real impact from the label comes from the other labels created, in large part, because of the success of Excision and Rottun Records.

Datsik went on to create Firepower Records in 2012, which has since become one of the major players in dubstep releases. Firepower Records have released tunes from Antiserum, Mayhem, Fox Stevenson, Getter, Terravita, Trolley Snatcha, Protohype, and more in their relatively short time in the industry. Oh, and there’s that whole Destroid Music label thing, which is responsible for the mind-altering music created by trio Excision, Downlink, and KJ Sawka, also known as Destroid. All of which possible thanks to the ground work put in by labels like Rottun Records and the hard working artists behind them like Excision.

Let us know what you think of these major labels impact on dubstep and dance music, and which ones are at the top of your list! Comment below, on Facebook, or reply on Twitter!


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Born and raised in the Northwest, professionalized in Pullman. Enjoying the ride that dance music provides in our lovely corner of the country.

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