XL Recordings is an independent record label that was started back in the heady Acid days of 1989. Acid house is a sub-genre of house music that emphasizes a repetitive, hypnotic, and trance-like style, often with samples or spoken lines rather than sung lyrics. XL Recordings was founded by Tim Palmer, Richard Russell, and Nick Halkes in the United Kingdom. XL was launched with Beggars Banquet Records to release its rave and dance music. The label has grown and is still growing into one of the most commercially successful and influential independent record labels in the world. XL Recordings specialized in the D.I.Y hardcore rave sounds that were coming from London’s suburbs. Alongside other independents like “Shut Up and Dance” and “Suburban Bass”, XL helped shaped a sound that was equally influenced by American urban music, Jamaican dub, and reggae, and European Electric sounds.
In 1993 Halkes left XL to for the EMI-owned commercial dance label Positiva and subsequently his own independent commercial dance label Incentive. In 1994 Palmer left XL and retired from the music business, leaving Russell in sole charge of XL. Russel broadened the musical horizons of the record while maintaining a credo of working with artist he saw as original and inventive
In 2003 the label won the Music Week A&R award. In 2009 the label won the “Music Week” Best Independent Label Award. Russell has been consistently named one of the most influential figures in the UK music business and was recently named by the evening Standard as one of London’s most influential people.
XL Records have always had an impressive and large roster. Just to name a few of the current Roster: Basement Jaxx, Golden Silvers, The White Strips, Magistrates, Radiohead, Devendra, Banhart, The Horrows, SigurRos, Vampire Weekend, Jack Penate, Blue Roses, M.I.A, Peaches, Friendly Fires, Adele, The Cool Kids.
The Cool Kids is a hip hop group from Chicago Illinois and Detroit Michigan. The Duo consist of Antoine “Mickey Rocks” Reed who is originally from Illinois and Evan “Chuck Inglish” who is orginalyly from Michigan. The cool Kids music has been released primarily via their Myspace page, but have been signed to the independent Chocolate Industries via their own label C. A. K. E. Recrodings as well as XL. The Cool Kids released a solo album this year (2009) called “When Fish Ride Bicycles, through C.A.K.E, Chocolate Ind. and XL Recordings.
RadioHead are an English alternative rock band from Abingdon Oxfordshire. The band is composed of Thom Yorke (Lead vocals, Rhythm guitar, piano, beats), Johnny Greenwood(lead guitar, keyboard, other intruments), Ed O’Brien (guitar, backing vocals), Colin Greenwood (bass guitar, synthesizers) and Phil Selway (drums and percussion). Radioheads seveth album, “In Rainbows” was released through the band’s own websight on October 10th 2007 as a didital download for which customers could make payment whatever payment they wanted, including nothing; the site only advised, “Its up to you.” 1.2 million downloads were reportedly sold by the day of release but the bands management did not release official sales figures, claiming that the Internet-only distribution was intended to boost later retail sales. “In Rainbows” was physically released in the UK in late December on XL Recordings and in North America in January 2008 on TBD Records, Charting at number one both in the UK and in the United States. Radiohead’s unusual strategy received much notice within the music industry and beyond.
M.I.A (Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam is a British songwriter, record producer, singer, fashion designer, and artist of Sri Lankan Tamil origin. Her second album, “Kayla” was released in 2007 and gained her mainstream chart success.
Her lyrics like “I put people on the map/ That never seen a map” really showcase the length she went to mold this record out of the soil of a dozen different countries. She has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and an Academy Award.
Written by: Tiffany Awtry