Critical Music

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Critical Music
Founded 2002
Founder Kasra Mowlavi
Genre Drum and Bass
Electronic music
Country of origin UK
Location London
Official website criticalmusic.com

Introduction[edit]

Critical Music is an independent record label based in north London. The label is the owned and run by DJ and producer Kasra Mowlavi and releases mostly Drum and bass records. Since it was started back in 2002, Critical Music has grown significantly and become a well recognized name on the underground music scene. The label has released tracks by a number of artists including Enei, Rockwell, Spectrasoul, Calibre and Break and has a reputation for finding and developing new artists.

Resident Advisor has described the label as "A wealth of innovation, growth and experimentation abounds at 170 beats per minute right now, and you can't get a much better—or more comprehensive—approximation of it all than through the discography of London's Critical Recordings."[1]

History[edit]

Kasra Mowlavi started Critical Music in 2002. The label’s first release was a single by Dphie - Five Faces / Evolve.2 (CRIT001) and from there Critical began slowly but surely gathering fans looking for quality, fresh drum n bass releases. Critical’s early years were more about a deeper, underground sound, but with the release of Spectrasoul - Alibi (Break remix) / Organiser in 2009, the label began to take a more dancefloor friendly turn and its profile became much more heightened. Despite this, Critical has never given in to the temptation to mass release cheap, high speed adrenaline rush tracks that other labels have in order to bring recognition and cash. Instead, it has gone for a more sophisticated version of the dancefloor smash with releases like Enei’s Cracker in 2011.

In 2010 the label began running Critical Sound nights at venues around the UK and Europe. Critical now has a residency at Fabric London [2], and there are Critical Sound nights at clubs in other cities in the UK like Life in Brighton and Basement 45 in Bristol.

The label has gained considerable profile for its releases, a number of which have won recognition within the industry. Mob Justice by Foreign Concept was included in KMag’s Best Singles of 2011 and the magazine said Critical ‘could do no wrong this year.’ [3] FACT Magazine listed the Rockwell Aria EP as one of the 50 Best: Tracks of 2011 [4]

In 2011 the label signed the first of its exclusive artists, Russian DJ and producer Enei (Aleksei Egorchenkov). Enei won the Best Newcomer Producer award at the Drum n Bass Arena awards 2011, where Critical was also nominated for Best Label. [5] The label has also been integral in the careers of Rockwell and Sabre [6]

Releases[edit]

Singles[edit]

2002

  • CRIT001 Dphie - Five Faces / Evolve.2
  • CRIT002 Vector Burn - Not Promised Tomorrow / Flame Surfacing
  • CRIT003 Mathematics - Blackjack / Sunday Morning
  • CRIT004 Vector Burn & Dphie - Not Promised Tomorrow (DJ Friction Remix) / Five Faces (Vector Burn Remix)
  • CRIT005 Delta & Format - Sparks / Wishing

2003

  • CRIT006 Bulletproof - The Bends / Sanctuary
  • CRIT007 SYS-X - L-Razor / Angeldancer
  • CRIT008 Ill.Skillz - Forgive Myself (D.Kay VIP) / Forgive Myself
  • CRIT009 Calibre - Rockafella / Barca

2004

  • CRIT010 Phobia - Future Soul / Mandalay
  • CRIT011 Chris.SU - Satisfy / Try Again
  • CRIT012 Alias - Plum Fairy / Admit to Love
  • CRIT013 Silent Witness & Break - Dialling Out / Godpad

2005

  • CRIT014 Breakage - Staggered Dub / 4Me
  • CRIT015 Alias - Can I? / Van Cleef
  • CRIT016 Calibre - Domeron / Maximus
  • CRIT017 Young Ax - Listen Up! / Something Wonderful
  • CRIT018 Stress Level & TC1 - Satisfy (Stress Level & TC1 Remix) / Sonar Heat
  • CRIT019 Funky Technicians - Bandits / Welcome Aboard

2006

  • CRIT020 SKC & Bratwa - Pain / Forget
  • CRIT021 Breakage - Blue Mountain / Astro
  • CRIT022 Bungle - Too Late / Human Poison
  • CRIT023 Silent Witness - California / Atlanta
  • CRIT024 SKC & Bratwa / Futurebound - Pain (Brookes Bros Remix) / Frightnight
  • CRIT025 Break - Cold Sweat / The Vacuum

2007

  • CRIT026 CLS - With No Light To Guide My Way / Late Night
  • CRIT027 Chris.SU & Concord Dawn - Sacrifice / To Heal
  • CRIT028 Icicle & Nymfo - Shadows of Tomorrow / Unbreakable
  • CRIT029 Lomax - Innocent X / Trago Trash

2008

  • CRIT030 Breakage Cooper / Rebel Creations
  • CRIT031 Icicle Lost Hours / Late Nights
  • CRIT032 Sabre & Vicious Circle - Endless / Columbo
  • CRIT033 Spectrasoul - Alibi / Dark Hour
  • CRIT034 Survival - Portal / The Beginning
  • CRIT036 Bungle - Be Like This / The Source

2009

  • CRITDIGI1001 Cyantific & Kasra - Outer Limits (Inside Info Remix)
  • CRIT038 Spectrasoul - Alibi (Break remix) / Organiser
  • CRIT038L Spectrasoul - Taken / Organiser Ramadanman Remix
  • CRIT039 Sabre - Original Sin / The Crest
  • CRIT040 Serum And Vapour - Live & Direct / True Calling
  • CRIT041LTD Various Artists - Kasra - Perception / Stray – Timbre

2010

  • CRIT042 Break - Crunchy / Late Drop
  • CRITLP04S Sabre - Marvel / Barefoot (w/ Ulterior Motive)
  • CRIT044 FD, Hydro & Keza - Canopy / Remorse
  • CRIT045 Total Science - Redlines / Skinz
  • CRIT046 Stray - Locked Up / Erase
  • CRIT047 Bladerunner - Back To The Jungle / Who Jah Bless (w/ Serum)
  • CRIT048 Total Science - Redlines feat. Riya (Break Remix) / Scaremonger
  • CRIT049 S.P.Y - Fields of Joy / Stormtrooper

2011

  • CRIT050 Cyantific - 305 / Opium
  • CRIT051 Rockwell - Aria EP
  • CRIT052 Enei - Cracker (w/ Eastcolors and Noel) / Danger Dance
  • CRIT053 Seba & Paradox - The Light (feat. Kirsty Hawkshaw) / As If
  • CRIT054 S.P.Y & Kasra - Surface / Control
  • CRIT055 Code 3 - What You Sayin? / Double Dipped
  • CRIT056LTD Enei - One Chance / Labyrinth (with Eastcolors)
  • CRIT058 Foreign Concept - Mob Justice / Show You (with Kasra)

Babyfaced Battleaxe (feat. Dekka) Digital Exclusive

  • CRIT059 Calibre - Piano Bizness / Smooth Baby

EPs[edit]

  • CRIT035 Critical Sound Volume 1

Various Artists Break - Timeline VIP Loxy & Naibu - Hajime Inside Info - Bog Lomax & Kasra – Warrior

  • CRIT037 Poster Girl EP

Silent Witness Poster Girl Transworld Blackhole Hinterland

  • CRIT043EP The Noir EP

Rockwell Stay Calm Bone Structure Feat. Zero Tolerance

  • CRIT051EP Aria EP

Rockwell Aria Live For The Moment Rekohu Sunrise (w/ Untold) Noir (Ulterior Motive Remix)

  • CRIT057EP Stonehead EP

Enei Stonehead No Fear featuring Riya Movin' Fast Cracker - Jubei Remix

Albums[edit]

  • CRITLP/CD01 - All Sounds Electric, Various Artists
  • CRITLP/CD2 - All Sounds Electric Two, Various Artists
  • CRITLP/CD3 - Critical Sound, Various Artists
  • CRITLP/CD4 - A Wandering Journal, Sabre

Exclusive Artists[edit]

  • Enei
  • Foreign Concept
  • Emperor
  • Mefjus

Sister labels[edit]

In 2010 Modulations was set up as a sister label to Critical Music. Label owner Kasra described Modulations as "the DnB version of a singles club" and has emphasized the collectability of the 10" vinyl only releases which all have high quality packaging [7]. Artists releasing on the label include Lenzman, Dub Phizix, Vicious Circle & Jubei and June Miller.

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