Lex Records

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Lex Records
Lex Logo 2019.png
FounderTom Brown
GenreAlternative hip hop, electronica, alternative rock
Country of originEngland
LocationCamden, London
Official websitewww.lexrecords.com

Lex Records is a British independent record label based in Camden, London, England.


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 focuses 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. Recent releases include the debut album from Nevermen,[6] The Prefuse 73 & Michael Christmas joint album Lady Parts as Fudge and the release of Let Them Eat Chaos by Kate Tempest in the USA.

Lex packaging is striking and often elaborate.[7] Much of the Lex sleeve artwork is created by Ehquestionmark.[8] Other sleeve artwork has been created by ESPO, David Lynch, Kid Acne, James Jarvis and Yu Sato.[9]


Lex Records was founded by Tom Brown in 2001.[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] Demon Days was released in May 2005 and went on to sell millions of copies worldwide[14][15] and established Danger Mouse as a commercially successful producer by the summer of 2005.[16]

In September 2005, Tom Brown bought Warp's share of the label and set up in new offices.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] Lex also released Complex Volume 1, a compilation album to mark the occasion.[21][22]

Throughout 2012 Lex developed its first films, using the credit "A Lex Film" and releasing under the Lex Projects imprint.[23] 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.[24]

In August 2012 Lex released JJ DOOM Key to the Kuffs, MF Doom's third successive studio album for the label.[25] 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.[26]

In 2013, Lex and All Tomorrow's Parties brought DOOM, BADBADNOTGOOD and Bishop Nehru to the Kentish Town Forum.[27] The year also saw the release of Neon Neon's sophomore album 'Praxis Makes Perfect'. Pitchfork said of the album 'Sometimes the audacious lengths to which Neon Neon carry their outlandish conceit lifts up songs that might otherwise fall flat'.[28]


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, Wertheimer Wertheimer EP, Brandished EP, 10th Avenue Freakout, Ditherer, Unearthing
BADBADNOTGOOD BADBADNOTGOOD & Ghostface Killah Sour Soul, Sour Soul Instrumentals
Bryan Hollon Neon Neon, Boom Bip & Charlie White, Boom Bip Sun Choke, Stainless Style, Praxis Makes Perfect, Music For Sleeping Children, Zig Zaj, Blue Eyed in the Red Room, Sacchrilege, Seed to Sun
Danger Mouse Gnarls Barkley, Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, Danger Mouse & Sparklehorse, DANGERDOOM, Danger Mouse & Jemini Ghetto Pop Life, The Grey Album, St. Elsewhere (with Warner), The Mouse and the Mask, The Odd Couple (with Warner), Dark Night of the Soul, Rome
Doseone Nevermen, Crook&Flail, Subtle
Eyedress Manila Ice, Sensitive G, Let's Skip To The Wedding
GILA Trench Tones, 3 Riders EP, Energy Demonstration
I Speak Machine The Silence, Zombies 1985
Kaleida Think EP, Detune EP, Tear the Roots, Odyssey
Kate Tempest (US only) Let Them Eat Chaos
MF DOOM JJ DOOM, DOOM, DANGERDOOM, NehruvianDOOM, DOOMSTARKS The Mouse and the Mask, Born Like This, Key to the Kuffs, NehruvianDoom, Victory Laps EP
Paul White & Eric Biddines Golden Rules Golden Ticket
Prefuse 73 Sacrifices, Fudge Beats


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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Griffiths, Rhys (10 July 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 (10 July 2010). "Lex Records: Hip-hop that won't stop!". Liberation Frequency.
  4. ^ "Top 50 Labels: Lex Records". betterpropaganda.com. Archived from the original on 31 December 2009. Retrieved 1 January 2009.
  5. ^ a b Teh, Terence (18 May 2012). "Lex Records: Through the Years in Video". Dazed Digital.
  6. ^ Breihanon, Tom (7 August 2009). "Doseone Talks Collabs With Tunde and Mike Patton, Alan Moore, More". Pitchfork Media.
  7. ^ Yates, Steve (7 August 2009). "The record Label Turned Publisher". The Daily Note.
  9. ^ Lucas, Gavin (19 April 2012). "Lex Complex Vol. 1 vinyl". Creative Review.
  10. ^ Clarke, Paul (30 April 2004). "lex records label profile". BBC.
  11. ^ Young, Rob, Labels Unlimited: Warp, (Black Dog Publishing, 2005) (ISBN 1-904772-32-3), pp. 134–135
  12. ^ "Lex Records London, UK". Redbull Music Academy Radio. 2 November 2011. Archived from the original on 4 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Danger Mouse". Good Bad Queen. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013.
  14. ^ Murray, Noel (9 March 2010). "Gorillaz: Plastic Beach". The A.V. Club.
  15. ^ "Gorillaz RIAA certifications". Recording Industry Association of America. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2008.
  16. ^ "Steve Lamacq "Dangermouse and the strange tale of Gnarls Barkley"". BBC Radio One. 3 April 2006.
  17. ^ "Lex Records". Remix Magazine. 1 December 2007. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013.
  18. ^ "Declarations of independents". Music Week. 15 September 2007.
  19. ^ Muggs, Joe (30 July 2010). "Alan Moore's Unearthing, Old Vic Tunnels". The Arts Desk.
  20. ^ Battanon, Carrie (7 November 2011). "Video: DOOM and Ghostface Killah Perform Together in London". Pitchfork Media.
  21. ^ Murray, Robin (27 October 2011). "DOOM Collaborates With Thom Yorke". Clash Magazine.
  22. ^ Pelly, Jenn (2 November 2011). "Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and DOOM: "Retarded Fren"". Pitchfork Media.
  23. ^ Tuffrey, Laurie (27 November 2012). "WATCH: More Alan Moore Film". The Quietus.
  24. ^ Lamont, Tom (15 December 2012). "Alan Moore: why I turned my back on Hollywood". The Observer.
  25. ^ "BBC Website Key to the Kuffs Review". Bbc.co.uk.
  26. ^ Roberts, Randall (17 November 2012). "'Music for Sleeping Children' turns teen angst into song". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 22 September 2015.
  27. ^ "DOOM + BadBadNotGood + Bishop Nehru + Jon 1st - All Tomorrow's Parties". All Tomorrow's Parties. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  28. ^ "Neon Neon: Praxis Makes Perfect Album Review | Pitchfork". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved 3 March 2017.

External links[edit]