Skam Records

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FounderAndy Maddocks
Drum and bass
Country of originEngland
LocationManchester, England

Skam Records is an independent electronic music record label based in Manchester, England, founded by Andy Maddocks around 1990.[1][2] Skam also runs a smaller sub-label called 33.


Skam's first 12-inch single is rumored to have never been officially released,[3] only distributed as a promo. This was a self-titled debut from Lego Feet (Sean Booth and Rob Brown, now known to be the duo Autechre);[3] approximately 100 to 150 copies are believed to exist. The label followed with two 12" records from a project known as Gescom, whose members vary between each release. It is "an open secret that they're somehow associated with" Autechre.[4]

Other early Skam releases came from Freeform, Bola, Jega,[5][6] Team Doyobi,[2] E.Stonji, and Boards of Canada.[7] Boards of Canada's Hi Scores EP,[8][9] and Gescom's Keynell and Lego Feet[3] have been repressed or reissued.

Skam entered the full-length market in 1998 with the releases of Soup by Bola[7][10] and Music Has the Right to Children by Boards of Canada,[7] the latter being jointly released with Warp Records.

A recurring feature on the packaging of Skam releases is the name of the label printed in braille.

Series releases[edit]

Skam makes multiple series of record releases within the label, all of which are an anagram of "SKAM". The first three records were produced in conjunction with Musik Aus Strom,[11] and the latter two by Skam alone.

Up until the 2004 release of Mr 76ix's Hits of 76ix, the label has produced a 7" single along with each full-length album; the 7" catalogue numbers begin with the letters "KMAS". Skam has since stated on its website that future KMAS releases will feature purely exclusive tracks to complement full-length recordings of the same number.

In 2001, Skam began the "SMAK" series. Each SMAK 12" showcased two artists, one per record side. Some SMAK artists, like Quinoline Yellow, have gone on to become full Skam musicians. NMB Allstars ("North Manchester Bedroom Allstars") went on to become part of the sublabel 33, which Skam has referred to as "a part of the family." Others, like Ola Bergman and Posthuman went on to set up their own record labels: New Speak and Seed Records, respectively. Made, are known for their live acts. In October 2004, Skam began the "AMKS" series with Supermechamaximegamegablast by Mortal and Chemist, which is, as the catalogue number may suggest, a mix.


Tim Haslett wrote of Skam in the October 1997 issue of CMJ New Music Monthly:

"It looked for a while as though the minimalist electronic movement had simply disappeared into the valley of the self-indulgent and repetitive. The monotonous sound of a 909 kick drum and high-hat was really beginning to wear on the nerves of even the most committed techheads. Enter the Manchester-based Skam label, which has single-handedly invigorated a minimal techno sound that's not indebted to breakbeats or drum-and-bass. Having released early tracks by cult favorites Gescom and the Boards Of Canada, the Skam imprint has continued to thrive at the periphery of the crepuscular world of underground techno."[12]

In the same magazine in March 1999, Haslett wrote that Skam:

"is notorious for its elusiveness, its tendency to make available only tiny quantities of each release. This might seem an elitist marketing move, an attempt to restrict the audience, but the Skam folks spend so much attention to detail in artwork and sound quality that it's easy to forgive them."[13]

Artists past and present[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Young, Rob (October 1998). "Harder! Faster! Louder!". The Wire. pp. 20–25.
  2. ^ a b c "Manchester's best record labels". Red Bull. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d "Autechre's "lost" debut reissued". 29 November 2011. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  4. ^ O'Dair, Marcus (28 March 2008). "From Burial to South Central, pop's gone anonymous - we play detective". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 August 2019 – via
  5. ^ Freeman, Parker (28 January 2016). "Cult IDM artist Jega to release archival collection on Skam". Fact (UK magazine). Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  6. ^ a b Sherburne, Philip. "Emotional Intelligence: A Guide to Melodic IDM". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e Peschek, David (26 November 2004). "CD: Bola, Gnayse". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 14 August 2019 – via
  8. ^ "Boards of Canada: Hi Scores EP". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Boards of Canada ready deluxe, remastered reissue of Hi-Scores". 27 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  10. ^ "Bola: Soup". Pitchfork. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  11. ^ Guides (Firm), Rough. The Rough Guide to Rock. Rough Guides. ISBN 9781858284576 – via Google Books.
  12. ^ Haslett, Tim (October 1997). Various Artists: Skampler: Silent. CMJ New Music Monthly – via Google Books.
  13. ^ Haslett, Tim (March 1999). Bola: Soup. CMJ New Music Monthly – via Google Books.
  14. ^ "Kasm02 - EP - Meat Beat Manifesto - Music". Billboard Review - Pure Music. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  15. ^ "Meat Beat Manifesto: The Man Behind the Curtain". Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Push Button Objects". All Tomorrow's Parties. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  17. ^ Snapes, Laura (3 December 2010). "Most Underrated Albums Of 2010 - What's Yours?". NME. Retrieved 14 August 2019.
  18. ^ Capstick, Zoe (8 September 2014). "21 Punny Band Names: From The Hilarious To The Downright Terrible". NME. Retrieved 14 August 2019.

External links[edit]