The Content (L)abel is a tastemaking instrumental hip-hop and electronic music imprint dedicated to furthering the sample-based music dialogue. Curated by critically acclaimed recording artist Dday One, the LA-based boutique label’s exclusive catalog is exquisite and experiential.“We believe that ‘content’ which emanates from profoundness adds value to the lives of those that create it and support it and as a label we function as a bridge to facilitate the exchange,” Dday One said in a HHV interview.
The Content (L)abel maintains a “quality over quantity” ethic through keeping a lean roster, and releasing only six to eight project-based releases a year. The niche imprint’s bold project-based platform liberates it from the old-fashioned label standard of issuing all, or a defined body of work, from an artist. This allows the Content (L)abel to be more selective and issue only those artistic statements it deems fully in line with the creative continuum it supports.
The label began as a natural extension of Dday One’s emergence as an artist. “Early on, I was making demos and sending them out to get feedback and also releasing material on other labels. From these experiences, and the fact that from collecting records, I had come to admire label owners like Francis Wolfe, Creed Taylor, Manfred Eicher, James Lavelle, Gene Russell and Coldcut. I decided in an effort to have greater creative freedom I would start my own label as an outlet to release the solo and collaborative music I was producing,” he told HHV. The Content (L)abel’s inaugural release was his debut LP, Loop Extensions. The album’s success both commercially, and as a recognized artistic masterwork, was a beacon to proceed forward with the label journey, and it cemented Dday One’s status as something of sample-based music tastemaker.
Dday One is a photographer himself and believes the music should be presented with a visual context. This offers the listener an intimate connection with the artist, and an opportunity to transcend his or her environs while experiencing any given Content (L)abel artist’s music.
“The majority of our back covers or liners display elements of the artist environment in the form of tools or location frequently the studio workspace and gear,” Dday One shared in an HHV interview. “We feel that environments have a direct influence on creative output and we try to show this to help the listener further understand the music by showcasing the environment they were produced in.”
Since its inception, the Content (L)abel has issued over 20 records from a cross section of international talent, including 2econd Class Citizen, Glen Porter, Olde Soul, Gone Beyond, Mumbles, Dextah, and legacy works from Om Unit as 2tall and Double K (People Under The Stairs). The Content (L)abel has garnered accolades from NPR, Wax Poetics Japan, U Call That Love, KCRW, The Find Magazine, BMR Japan, XLR8R, FACT magazine, OBEY, KALX Berkeley, L.A Record, Textura and Radio Chantier, among others. The imprint’s catalog is also sought after by music supervisors and other third party licensers looking for unique narrative-like music to sync in a variety of formats. Its global profile has been bolstered through partnerships with such industry dynamos as P-Vine Japan, HHV.DE, HMV, iTunes, Bandcamp, Tower Records and Fat Beats.
The label specializes in digital and limited edition vinyl releases often capped at quantities of 300-500. Each vinyl entry translates the album’s sonic concept to art, resulting in stunning collectible albums adorned with unique visuals that draw from photography and graphic design inspired by various art movements, including minimalism and surrealism. Often this cover art is made available commercially as limited art prints. “This is an alternative to mass production, we want to add to the buyer’s life through giving them something they can look at and see their self in,” Dday One explains.
The Content (L)abel has indeed furthered the sample-based music lineage. Up next, the boutique imprint plans to stay dedicated to its core artistic ideals and continue its quest to promote and showcase vibrant artistry. Dday One revealed to HHV:
“The current goals of the label are to remain consistent in our output, expand our network to reach more supporters and to give them alternatives the status quo by creating projects with depth.
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