CRASH Picks: Independent Labels (Part 1)

CRASH Picks: Independent Labels (Part 1)

Independent labels work tirelessly, achieving great strides with very limited budgets. Here are some of labels that Crash think deserve recognition for their contributions to music.



Flightless was founded by Eric Moore in 2012 originally to release material from his band, King Gizzard and the Wizard Lizard, of which he is the drummer. Every release under the Flightless label have since seamlessly sold out. Flightless now represents a handful of artists from the city of Melbourne including: Pipe-Eye, The Murlocs, Orb, Leah Senior and the Babe Rainbow. Flightless are possibly Australia’s most active and creative label, advancing from shipping records in pizza boxes to hosting the regular festival Gizzfest in just 5 years. It’s hard not to be a passionate fan to any of the acts under the Flightless label.


                                      Fat Possum

Initially created over 25 years ago in Mississippi, releasing predominately blues records, Fat Possum have now re-branded to sign younger indie and punk artists. Although being on the verge of bankruptcy throughout their reign, Fat Possum has managed to tick along with a continuously impressive lineup.15 years ago they released some of legendary Akron rockers, The Black Keys’ best work, Thickfreakness and Rubber Factory. They have since moved on to represent the best of the British scene in the US, signing the likes of Fat White Family and Temples. More recently, Fat Possum have   signed the super group Insecure Men (featuring Saul Adamczewski, Ben Robans-Hopcraft and Sean Lennon) proving that they are still at the height of their game.


                   Third Man

Back in 2001, White Stripes’ frontman (Jack White) purchased a building to store his music gear and thus Third Man Records was born. The Label was initially designed to reissue old White Stripes 45s, and today Third Man still primarily releases on vinyl. As well as representing many well loved artists from Seasick Steve to Neil Young, Third Man are set on re-releasing important tracks in music history. In 2013 Jack White purchased over 25,000 American pre-war blues tracks, and is planning on releasing it for ‘no profit’ on the label Third Man Records.

Third Man Records homebase, is the only live venue in the world with direct-to-acetate capabilities (so they can record an analogue master directly). Third man are probably the number one label when it comes to preserving music history.



Another label which revels in preserving music traditions is Burger Records. Founded in 2007, Sean Bohrman and Lee Rickard started by self releasing 7-inch records. After getting hold of a cassette, they soon decided to start pushing the format with their own bands. Over the last 10 years they have become one of the key labels to frequent the format; releasing works from the likes of the Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ty Segall and Fidlar. Recently, they have gone on to host critically acclaimed festivals such as Burgerama and Burger Boogaloo.



Let us know in the comments below if there are any other labels we should consider amongst the best independent labels.

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