Lex Records

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Lex Records
Lex Records Logo.png
Founded 2001
Founder Tom Brown
Distributor(s) ADA UK, USA, Canada, Japan
Genre Alternative hip hop, electronica, alternative rock
Country of origin United Kingdom
Location Camden, London
Official website www.lexrecords.com

Lex Records is an independent record label based in Camden, London.

Style[edit]

Lex has a varied musical output.[1] The label is not focused on one particular genre (although most releases are alternative hip hop, alternative rock or electronica) and instead focusses on working with a small group of individual artists, supporting their work.[2][3] As a result of the small roster, Lex has a low volume of releases, rarely releasing more than three albums annually.[4]

Dazed described Lex as a label "...whose wildly creative output spans over a decade of landmark releases that have changed the music industry no end."[5]

Lex albums are often collaborations between members of the label roster and musicians from elsewhere. These collaborative groups include Danger Mouse with MF Doom as Danger Doom, Boom Bip with Gruff Rhys as Neon Neon, Jneiro Jarel with Khujo Goodie as Willie Isz, and Jneiro Jarel with MF Doom as JJ DOOM. Forthcoming releases include a new album from Neon Neon[6] and the debut album from Nevermen.[7]

Lex packaging is striking and often elaborate.[8] Much of the Lex sleeve artwork is created by Ehquestionmark.[9] Other sleeve artwork has been created by ESPO, David Lynch, Kid Acne, James Jarvis and Yu Sato.[10]

History[edit]

Lex Records was founded by Tom Brown in 2001.[11] It was originally an imprint of Warp Records and run from its North London offices. The label was initially intended only to release 12-inch singles. However, as Lex approached artists to contribute material for EPs, most artists offered a full album of material. By the end of 2003, Lex had released several albums including debuts by Boom Bip, Non-Prophets and Danger Mouse. The early success of these albums allowed Lex to expand.[12]

In 2004, Lex managed The Grey Album campaign, co-ordinating the promo on what would become the music story of the year and propel Danger Mouse into the spotlight of mainstream media, establishing him as a critically successful artist.[13] Tom Brown got a copy of The Grey Album to Damon Albarn.[5] Damon's enthusiasm for The Grey Album led directly to Danger Mouse being brought on board to produce Gorillaz's second album Demon Days.[14] Demon Days was released in May 2005 and went on to sell millions of copies worldwide[15][16] and established Danger Mouse as a commercially successful producer by the summer of 2005.[17]

In September 2005, Tom Brown bought Warp's share of the label and set up in new offices.[18] Lex kept its existing roster including Boom Bip, Danger Mouse and Doseone. The first release after the separation was Danger Doom's first album The Mouse and the Mask. It was Lex's biggest selling release to date.[19] Gnarls Barkley's multi platinum first album St. Elsewhere followed in 2006, released on Warner Music Group with Lex branding.

The growth of the label allowed Lex to sign new artists to the roster. In 2005, Lex signed Doomstarks for the world excluding North America. In 2006, Lex signed multi album deals with MF Doom and Jneiro Jarel.

In March 2008, Gnarls Barkley's second album The Odd Couple was released on Warner Music Group with Lex branding. In the same month, Neon Neon's first album Stainless Style was released, going on to be nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2008. In 2009, MF Doom released Born Like This, the first solo album as DOOM for Lex. Willie Isz's first album Georgiavania was released in the same year.

Lex Records also began developing broader multimedia projects. In July 2010, Lex released a two hour long audiobook and score of Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins' Unearthing as a deluxe boxset. Unearthing was narrated in its entirety by Alan Moore and scored live by Crook&Flail at the Old Vic Tunnels.[20] In the same month, Danger Mouse, Sparklehorse & David Lynch's Dark Night of the Soul was released on EMI with Lex branding.

In May 2011, Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi's album Rome featuring Jack White and Norah Jones was released on EMI with Lex branding. On 5 November 2011, Lex marked its tenth anniversary with a special show at The Roundhouse in Camden featuring performances by Ghostface Killah, DOOM and Jneiro Jarel.[21] Lex also released Complex Volume 1, a compilation album to mark the occasion.[22][23]

Throughout 2012 Lex developed its first films, using the credit "A Lex Film" and releasing under the Lex Projects imprint.[24] The two short films, part of an ongoing episodic series, written by Alan Moore and directed by Mitch Jenkins were previewed online in November 2012.[25]

In August 2012 Lex released JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs, MF Doom's third successive studio album for the label.[26] Later in 2012 Lex launched Charlie White and Boom Bip's art project Music For Sleeping Children which includes photographic, electronic music and spoken word recordings.[27]

Roster[edit]

Current Artist Roster[edit]

Artist(s) Groups Projects with Lex
Alan Moore & Mitch Jenkins Unearthing (audiobook), The Show (film project)
Andrew Broder Crook&Flail, Fog, Hymie's Basement
Bryan Hollon Neon Neon, Boom Bip & Charlie White, Boom Bip
Danger Mouse Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse, DANGERDOOM, Danger Mouse & Jemini Rome, Dark Night Of The Soul, The Grey Album
Doseone Nevermen, Crook&Flail, Subtle
Kid Acne South Yorks (art prints and mixtape project)
MF DOOM JJ DOOM, DOOM, DANGERDOOM

Former[edit]

Artists and groups signed for an individual release or groups that have disbanded.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Griffiths, Rhys (July 10, 2010). "Ten Records I Wish I'd Released by Lex Records' Tom Brown, Introduction". Culture Critic. 
  2. ^ Nicola Slade, "Life Blood: Lex Records," (Record Of The Day, 11 June 2009)
  3. ^ Mirza, Imran (July 10, 2010). "Lex Records: Hip-hop that won't stop!". Liberation Frequency. 
  4. ^ "Top 50 Labels: Lex Records". betterpropaganda.com. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  5. ^ a b Teh, Terence (May 18, 2012). "Lex Records: Through the Years in Video". Dazed Digital. 
  6. ^ "Neon Neon confirm new album details". NME. January 24, 2013. 
  7. ^ Breihanon, Tom (August 7, 2009). "Doseone Talks Collabs With Tunde and Mike Patton, Alan Moore, More". Pitchfork Media. 
  8. ^ Yates, Steve (August 7, 2009). "The record Label Turned Publisher". The Daily Note. 
  9. ^ "EHQUESTIONMARK? – BONAFIDE EXCLUSIVE". Bonafide Magazine. 
  10. ^ Lucas, Gavin (April 19, 2012). "Lex Complex Vol. 1 vinyl". Creative Review. 
  11. ^ Clarke, Paul (April 30, 2004). "lex records label profile". BBC. 
  12. ^ Young, Rob, Labels Unlimited: Warp, (Black Dog Publishing, 2005) (ISBN 1-904772-32-3), pp. 134–135
  13. ^ "Lex Records London, UK". Redbull Music Academy Radio. November 2, 2011. 
  14. ^ "Danger Mouse". Good Bad Queen. 
  15. ^ Murray, Noel (March 9, 2010). "Gorillaz: Plastic Beach". The A.V. Club. 
  16. ^ "Gorillaz RIAA certifications". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2008. 
  17. ^ "Steve Lamacq "Dangermouse and the strange tale of Gnarls Barkley"". BBC Radio One. April 3, 2006. 
  18. ^ "Lex Records". Remix Magazine. 01/12/2007.  [dead link]
  19. ^ "Declarations of independents". Music Week. September 15, 2007. 
  20. ^ Muggs, Joe (July 30, 2010). "Alan Moore's Unearthing, Old Vic Tunnels". The Arts Desk. 
  21. ^ Battanon, Carrie (November 7, 2011). "Video: DOOM and Ghostface Killah Perform Together in London". Pitchfork Media. 
  22. ^ Murray, Robin (October 27, 2011). "DOOM Collaborates With Thom Yorke". Clash Magazine. 
  23. ^ Pelly, Jenn (November 2, 2011). "Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and DOOM: "Retarded Fren"". Pitchfork Media. 
  24. ^ Tuffrey, Laurie (November 27, 2012). "WATCH: More Alan Moore Film". The Quietus. 
  25. ^ Lamont, Tom (December 15, 2012). "Alan Moore: why I turned my back on Hollywood". The Observer. 
  26. ^ "BBC Website Key to the Kuffs Review". 
  27. ^ Roberts, Randall (November 17, 2012). "'Music for Sleeping Children' turns teen angst into song". The Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]