Welcome to our first exclusive series for this year, “Lost Labels Of Yesterday”. In this trilogy, we will remind ourselves of music imprints that decided to hit the brake; whether long-forgotten or recently abandoned. While this would not be an in-depth analysis, we will attempt to find the reason on why these once thriving labels had to forfeit their potential and cease operation.
Disclaimer: due to popular demands, we decided to prepare an additional installment to this compilation which will be followed up by the final one.
Many labels are founded not for the ambitious reasons of garnering royalties, but becoming an establishment for up and coming musicians. There are numerous cases which kickstarted and reached their apex, only to be shut down and become a reminder of its erstwhile legacy. Today’s nominees are none other than the reputed Fly Eye Records and Freeway Recordings.
With the booming advent of computer-generated music, the Electro genre saw a massive explosion in the 2010s unlike ever before. Swarms of untapped talents and veterans tried their hands on this new exciting trend, and none captured this movement as fine as Fly Eye Records. Brought into existence by the Scottish heavyweight Calvin Harris, this brand is a testament to quality festival music. Having a humble motif for signing underrated names without the usual contractual mumbo-jumbo, Fly Eye saw influx of luminaries such as Bassjackers, GTA, Dillion Francis, Michael Woods and other uprising aliases of time like Firebeatz, Jewelz & Sparks, Mightyfools and more.
It was only a few years until 2016 that this imprint would be concluded; reasons being the label-head’s decision to dabble outside of EDM. Another rationale I can deduct is that Sony/ATV, who was the sole publisher, lost interest towards Electro House (which had become highly saturated with Big Room and was losing its popularity). And thus ended the reign of the beloved Fly Eye, although leaving an unforgettable mark among many of its listeners.
Ending this article is another imprint, albeit lesser known, had set-up an impressive record for maintaining consistency. This also happened to be mentioned and suggested a lot by our readers, and hence earned a spot in this bonus piece. John Christian’s Freeway Recordings became preferred by many, going by the sole principle of “giving artists the possibility to express themselves in their own free way”. Despite its rather short stint (2016-2018), Freeway built its splendid roster featuring TripL, Nari & Milani, DJs from Mars and one exceptional Arin Tone, a Dutch prodigy who gathered sizeable proportions of appreciation and oversaw the label’s peak around midst of 2016 with records like “Happy Touch” and “Korabo”.
By early of 2018, the mentioned insignia lost its momentum and eventually stopped releasing any further music, perhaps due to lesser promotion and an unexplained one year hiatus in-between.
What do you think about these record labels and what are your favourite tracks released by them? Also, comment your guesses about the last label for this series (hint: notorious).