Tru Thoughts

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Tru Thoughts
Founded1999 (1999)
FounderRobert Luis & Paul Jonas
GenreElectronic, Dance, Funk
Country of originUnited Kingdom

Tru Thoughts is a British independent record label founded in Brighton in 1999 by Robert Luis and Paul Jonas.[1] Since the acclaimed first album release of Bonobo's debut Animal Magic, the label has put out over 200 LPs,[2] across genres from electronic, funk, soul and hip hop to jazz, tropical, grime and more. It has developed a reputation for releasing a wide variety of high-quality music.[3][4]

Will Holland, widely known as Quantic, has released under a number of monikers on the label; including projects such as Quantic, The Quantic Soul Orchestra, Flowering Inferno, The Limp Twins, Quantic and his Combo Barbaro and his collaborations with Alice Russell and Nidia Gongora.[5]


In September 1999, after the success of their club nights "Phonic: hoop" and "Shake Yer Wig", Paul Jonas & Robert Luis, two music-obsessed friends, decided to launch their own label.[4] From the improvised 'office', under Robert Luis' stairs, the new Tru Thoughts records started its history with their first 12" EP Alarming Frequency. There followed many releases which organically built on the success of the label, including Bonobo's Animal Magic (July 2000), Quantic's The 5th Exotic (June 2001), TM Juke's Maps from the Wilderness (October 2003), Alice Russell's Under The Munka Moon (July 2004) and Nostalgia 77's The Garden (March 2005).[4][6]

In 2005 Tru Thoughts were awarded Label Of The Year at the annual Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards.[7]

Other long-term signings followed from further afield, including London trio Belleruche; Lance Ferguson from Melbourne, Australia (with his various guises including The Bamboos (funk band), Lanu, Menagerie and the production of Kylie Auldist); New Orleans’ Hot 8 Brass Band; and Edinburgh's Hidden Orchestra.[8] 2009 saw Tru Thoughts marked their 10th anniversary with a 3-disc compilation and the label being described as one of the UK's best independents.[9]

As time has gone on, the label has released music from an increasingly global roster, including the music of Moonchild, Space Captain, Youngblood Brass Band, The Seshen and Lost Midas from the US; Kinny, of Native Canadian and Jamaican heritage and based in Norway; Brazilians Drumagick and Saravah Soul; Japan's Anchorsong; and more from the UK, including Maddslinky aka Zed Bias, Flowdan, Hint, Zero dB, Omar, Wrongtom, Riz MC, Harleighblu, Ty and Rodney P/London Posse.[8]

In 2017, Tru Thoughts celebrated their 18th birthday with an all-day event at London's famous Roundhouse venue, which featured appearances from Quantic, Alice Russell, the Hot 8 Brass Band, Anchorsong and Rodney P.[10]

Recent successes include the release of Quantic's critically acclaimed ‘Atlantic Oscillations’;[11][12] Moonchild being named Jazz FM's Soul Act Of The Year 2018[13] and their subsequent Tiny Desk session featuring tracks from their latest release, Little Ghost;[14] Hot 8 Brass Band's twice sold-out shows at London's Roundhouse and Brit Awards 2019 performance alongside George Ezra;[15] and Anchorsong's Ceremonial placing at #5 in BBC 6Music's Album Of The Year 2016 list[16] and Cohesion being named Album Of The Day in 2018.[17]

The label has worked with an impressive list of collaborators and remixers over the years, including Skream, Stevie Wonder, Daedelus, Cut Chemist, Aloe Blacc, MJ Cole, Beth Rowley, Toddla T, Prins Thomas, Clark, Sam Sparro, Falty dL, Flux Pavilion, Rizzle Kicks, Megan Washington, Tim Rogers, Roy Ayers, True Tiger, Tawiah, Common, Angie Stone, Maxi Jazz, Adrian Utley and many more.[18] Tru Thoughts has also discovered various notable artists who subsequently signed to other record labels; Bonobo signed to Ninja Tune, Chris Clark signed to Warp Records, Jon Kennedy to Grand Central Records, Chroma to LTJ Bukem's Good Looking Records and The Capoeira Twins signed to Timo Maas' Hope Recordings.[6]

Tru Thoughts has a publishing company called Full Thought Publishing. The music from the label has been used on adverts for iTunes, Ford, MLB, Mercedes Benz, and Unilever and appeared on numerous films and TV programs including Mad Men, Big Little Lies and Netflix's Sex Education.[19][20]

From 2018, the company's releases are distributed in the United States by Redeye Distribution.[21]

Tru Thoughts organizes many club nights between Brighton and London, and broadcasts on several radio stations.[22]

Subsidiary labels[edit]

  • "Unfold records", compilation releases
  • "Zebra Traffic", UK hip hop



Compilation albums[edit]

  • When Shapes Join Together (25 October 1999, cat. no: TRU002)
  • When Shapes Join Together 2 (28 January 2002, cat. no: TRU026)
  • Heavyweight Rib Ticklers (compiled by Mr. Scruff, 11 February 2002, cat. no: UNFOLDCD001)
  • Phonic Hoop (compiled by Robert Luis, 18 July 2002, cat. no: UNFOLDCD002)
  • When Shapes Join Together 3 (21 October 2002, cat. no: TRUCD035)
  • Vocalise (compiled by Robert Luis, 11 November 2002, cat. no: UNFOLDCD003)
  • Mono – When Shapes Join Together Mix (compiled by Quantic, 5 April 2003, cat. no: TRUCD044)
  • Shapes One Horizontal & Vertical CD (1 September 2003, cat. no: TRUCD045)
  • Shapes Yellow (2 November 2004, cat. no: TRU/ZEB002)
  • Shapes Red (6 June 2005, cat. no: TRUCD091)
  • Shapes Compilation (26 March 2006, cat. no: TRUCD101)
  • Shapes Compilation (11 September 2006, cat. no: TRUCD111)
  • Shapes 07:01 All New Amazing Sounds (6 March 2007, cat. no: TRUCD122)
  • Shapes 07:02 All New Amazing Sounds (5 Novembre 2007, cat. no: TRUCD122)
  • Shapes 08:01 (2 June 2008, cat. no: TRUCD164)
  • Shapes 08:02 (20 October 2008, cat. no: TRUCD181)

Tru Thoughts 10th Anniversary (19 October 2009, cat. no: TRUCD200)[edit]

Disc 1 (downtempo)
  1. Bonobo – Terrapin
  2. Nostalgia 77 – Quiet Dawn feat. Beth Rowley
  3. Alice Russell – Hurry On Now feat. TM Juke
  4. Natural Self – The Rising feat. Andreya Triana
  5. Milez Benjiman – Chop That Wood
  6. Hint – One Woman Army feat. Laura Vane
  7. Quantic & Nickodemus feat. Tempo & The Candela Allstars – Mi Swing Es Tropical
  8. Bonobo – Kota
  9. Lizzy Parks – Raise The Roof
  10. The Limp Twins – Sunday Driver
  11. Hot 8 Brass Band – What's My Name? (Rock With The Hot 8)
  12. Flevans – The Notion feat. Sweet Laredo
  13. The Nostalgia 77 Octet – Musical Silt
  14. Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno – Ciudad Del Swing
  15. Kinny – Desire feat. Nostalgia 77
  16. Freddie Cruger a.k.a. Red Astaire – Pushing On feat. Linn
Disc 2 (club)
  1. Saravah Soul – Nao Possa Te Levar A Serio
  2. The Quantic Soul Orchestra – Super 8
  3. The Bamboos – Step It Up feat. Alice Russell
  4. Quantic – Transatlantic
  5. TM Juke – Come Away feat. Sophie Faricy
  6. Lanu – Dis-Information
  7. Natural Self – Shake Down
  8. Belleruche – Northern Girls
  9. Alice Russell – All Over Now
  10. Quantic – Mishaps Happening (Prins Thomas edit)
  11. Nirobi & Barakas – Bungee Jump Against Racism
  12. TM Juke & The Jack Baker Trio – Party Favours feat. Gecko Turner
  13. Kylie Auldist – Community Service Announcement
  14. Quantic – Don't Joke With A Hungry Man feat. Spanky Wilson
  15. Me&You – The Hoop Loop
  16. The Broken Keys – The Witch
Disc 3 (exclusives)
  1. Quantic Presenta Flowering Inferno – Time Is The Enemy
  2. Domu – We Can
  3. Flevans – The Second Bite
  4. Azaxx – Disco Bimbo
  5. Hint – Tape Packs
  6. Quantic – Only a Little While Here
  7. Saravah Soul – Alforria
  8. The Bamboos – Turn It Up feat. Lyrics Born
  9. Freddie Cruger a.k.a. Red Astaire – Boogie Down Hagsätra
  10. Barakas – Spitfire
  11. Stonephace – Singularity
  12. Kylie Auldist – No Use (Acoustic Version)
  • Shapes 09:01 (8 June 2009, cat. no: TRUCD194)
  • Unfold Presents Tru Thoughts Covers (7 September 2009, cat. no: UNFOLDCD007)
  • Shapes 10:01 (12 April 2010, cat. no: TRUCD212)
  • Tru Thoughts Compilation (6 September 2010, cat. no: TRUCD216)
  • Shapes 10:02 (6 December 2010, cat. no: TRUCD226)
  • Shapes 11:01 (6 October 2011, cat. no: TRUCD 239)
  • When Shapes Mix Together (21 November 2011, cat. no: TRUCD244)
  • Tru Thoughts Disco/Boogie (22 October 2012)
  • Shapes 12:01 (3 December 2012, cat. no: TRUCD264)
  • Shapes Circles (27 August 2013, cat. no: TRUCD280)
  • Shapes Rectangles (30 June 2014, cat. no: TRUCD293)
  • Tru Thoughts Anniversary (16 October 2014, cat. no: TRU300)
  • Shapes Wires (30 March 2015, cat. no: TRUCD303)
  • Tru Thoughts Covers 2 (8 August 2015, cat. no: TRUCD308)
  • Shapes: In Space (5 August 2016, cat. no: TRUCD329)
  • Shapes Kaleidoscope (11 August 2017)
  • Tru Thoughts 18 (21 October 2017, cat. no: TRU351)
  • Shapes: Mountains (12 October 2018 cat. no: TRU360)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Discogs". Tru Thoughts. Retrieved 24 April 2008.
  2. ^ "Discogs". Tru Thoughts. Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  3. ^ "BBC "Brighton's Thu Thoughts is easily one of the UK's best independent labels..."". Tru Thoughts.
  4. ^ a b c "ParisDJ "'Tru Thoughts has gone from strength to strength in its ten years, establishing itself as one of the leading independent labels in UK right now. Here's to another ten.' – Simon Green a.k.a. Bonobo (Ninja Tune)"". Tru Thoughts. 12 October 2009.
  5. ^ "Artists Archive". Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Fonkadelica". Tru Thoughts.
  7. ^ Gilles Peterson Worldwide Awards 2005 Looking Back - "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 January 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ a b "Tru Thoughts About".
  9. ^ Longley, Martin. "Various Artists - Tru Thoughts 10th Anniversary Review". BBC. Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  10. ^ Cocklin, Jane (7 November 2017). "Event Review: Tru Thoughts Records 18th Birthday Party @ Roundhouse (London, 21st October 2017)". Retrieved 12 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Producer Quantic Puts His Musical Wanderlust Center Stage on New Solo Release 'Atlantic Oscillations'". 27 June 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  12. ^ "Album Review: Quantic – Atlantic Oscillations". Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  13. ^ "2018 Awards". Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Moonchild: Tiny Desk Concert". Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Hot 8 Brass Band's Concert History". Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  16. ^ "6 Music Recommends: our Albums Of The Year Longlist 2016". Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  17. ^ "Earworms please before 8am". Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  18. ^ "About - Tru-Thoughts". Retrieved 29 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Full Thought Publishing Showreel". YouTube. 27 September 2011. Archived from the original on 21 December 2021. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Full Thought Publishing". Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  21. ^ "Redeye Welcomes Tru Thoughts". Redeye Worldwide. 26 January 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2020.
  22. ^ "Funandfloor Robert Luis" (PDF). Tru Thoughts. Archived from the original (PDF) on 6 July 2011.
  23. ^ "Kinny & Horne". Tru Thoughts.

External links[edit]