Label profiles: Four independents under the spotlight

Martin Goldschmidt

INTRODUCTION: While a slew of new guitar acts keeps the label fresh, the last few years has seen it evolve into a home for big name acts whose major label days are behind them.

HISTORY: Martin Goldschmidt (above left) launched Cooking Vinyl in 1986 with business partner Pete Lawrence. The label enjoyed early success - their first release, Michelle Shocked's The Campfire Tapes sold a very respectable 150,000 copies worldwide. But in 1989, their distributors, Rough Trade, went bust leaving Cooking Vinyl on the edge of bankruptcy. Lawrence cut his losses and sold his stake to Goldschmidt who, after years of hard work, has established Cooking Vinyl as a thriving indie.

WHAT THEY SAY: "Signing Billy Bragg in 1993 was a huge break. It gave us a lot of credibility and really enabled us to rebuild the label. " Cooking Vinyl founder Martin Goldschmidt.

NOTABLE ACTS: Michelle Shocked, Cowboy Junkies, Billy Bragg, Blondie, Echo And The Bunnymen, The Orb, Ryan Adams.

2006'S TOP TIPS: A boxset Billy Bragg collection and albums by from label new-comers Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel.

PUB FACT: Cooking Vinyl's best selling artist for 2005 was Hayseed Dixie - a band who found success playing bluegrass covers of AC/DC songs. Also, says Goldschmidt, "We can't cook and we don't do vinyl." So now you know.

DOMINO

Laurence Bell

INTRODUCTION: Initially a UK home for seminal American lo-fi acts, the artist-led label is renowned for its personal touch. In 2003, label boss Laurence Bell signed the hotly-tipped and much sought-after Franz Ferdinand. The signing proved to be a turning point for the label and after securing the Arctic Monkeys last May, they are the envy of all labels - large and small.

HISTORY: While working for Fire Records in 1993, Laurence Bell came across quintessential US alt rockers Sebadoh. He loved the band so much, he set up Domino in his desk-less Putney basement to release their records in the UK. A string of similar acts followed, before Bell turned his discerning ear on more homegrown talent.

WHAT THEY SAY: "What do I look for in a band? I look for something unique and innovative, twisted and original. Alternatively, if I can't have that, something unbelievably exciting that makes me feel like the teenage rock'n'roll fan I once was," Laurence Bell, Domino Records founder and boss.

NOTABLE ACTS: Franz Ferdinand, Sebadoh, Elliott Smith, Sons & Daughters, Bonnie Prince Billy, Orange Juice, Pavement, Smog, Adem, Arctic Monkeys, The Magnetic Fields, Royal Trux.

2006'S TOP TIPS: Arctic Monkeys.

PUB FACT: The Domino logo was based on the logo designs of Triumph motorbikes and Tamla Motown records.

MVINE

Frank Joshi & Calum MacColl

INTRODUCTION: It's still early days for this web-based label who use users' feedback to pick and develop their acts. And if enough people like a band, Mvine sign them.

HISTORY: Founded by Frank Joshi and Calum MacColl in January 2005, MVine was set up to provide a focal point for DIY unsigned bands already mobilising a fanbase through their own websites. Artists are invited to submit three original tracks to MVine which visitors to the site are invited to comment on. The bands with the best feedback are eventually signed to the label.

WHAT THEY SAY: "We hand the A&R process over to our audience of music lovers and it is their opinions of the material, not ours, that inform our signings. We only want original material; artists that want to be artists rather than those who want to use their music as a route to having their own chat show." MVine Marketing Director, Kerry Harvey-Piper.

NOTABLE ACTS: Christie Hennessy and Boo Hewerdine.

2006'S TOP TIPS: The Slides and Broadcaster.

PUB FACT: MVine boss Calum MacColl is the son of legendary folk musicians and songwriters Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, and was Kirsty MacColl's half-brother.

MEMPHIS INDUSTRIES

Matt & Ollie Jacob

INTRODUCTION: From the sonic carnival of Mercury Prize nominees The Go! Team to Swedish psychedelic folk-rockers Dungen and the Phil Spector-esque bubble-gum rock of The Pipettes, this burgeoning young label is quietly establishing itself as a home for sparky and eclectic accessible acts.

HISTORY: Affectionately describing themselves as a "shabby but charming family business," Memphis Industries was established eight years ago by brothers, Matt and Ollie Jacob. The label was partly set-up as a vehicle to release their own music. However, after the critical success of their first signing, Blue States, the brothers' own musical ambitions fell by the wayside.

WHAT THEY SAY: "When it comes to signing new acts, we're not restricted by genre. We try to keep things fun and interesting by signing artists that are stylistically unlike the one signed before it," label co-founder, Ollie Jacob.

NOTABLE ACTS: The Go! Team, The Pipettes, J Xaverre, Dungen, Blue States.

2006'S TOP TIPS: The Pipettes.

PUB FACT: Ollie Jacob accidentally threw away the master recordings of his label's first album release, Blue States' critically acclaimed debut, Blue States Forever. Memphis Industry artist, J Xaverre is DJ and TV presenter, Lauren Laverne's brother.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Novelist Martin Amis at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

books
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'

After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violence

film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Williams will be given a 'meaningful remembrance' at the Emmy Awards

film
Arts and Entertainment

tv
Arts and Entertainment
Arctic Monkeys headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, but there's a whole host of other bands to check out too
music
Arts and Entertainment
Blue singer Simon Webbe will be confirmed for Strictly Come Dancing

tv
Arts and Entertainment
'The Great British Bake Off' showcases food at its most sumptuous
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Cliff Richard performs at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on 17 May 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Educating the East End returns to Channel 4 this autumn

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch will voice Shere Khan in Andy Serkis' movie take on The Jungle Book

film
Arts and Entertainment
DJ Calvin Harris performs at the iHeartRadio Music Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush

music
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Mark Crown, DJ Locksmith and Amir Amor of Rudimental performing on stage during day one of the Wireless Festival at Perry Park, Birmingham

music
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Capaldi and Chris Addison star in political comedy The Thick of IT

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Judy Murray said she

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014

edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.

Edinburgh
Arts and Entertainment
Seoul singer G-Dragon could lead the invasion as South Korea has its sights set on Western markets
music
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Robert Fisk: All this talk of an ‘apocalyptic’ threat is simply childish

    Chuck Hagel and Martin Dempsey were pure Hollywood. They only needed Tom Cruise
    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    Mafia Dons: is the Camorra in control of the Granite City?

    So claims an EU report which points to the Italian Mob’s alleged grip on everything from public works to property
    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Emmys look set to overhaul the Oscars as Hollywood’s prize draw

    Once the poor relation, the awards show now has the top stars and boasts the best drama
    What happens to African migrants once they land in Italy during the summer?

    What happens to migrants once they land in Italy?

    Memphis Barker follows their trail through southern Europe
    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    French connection: After 1,300 years, there’s a bridge to Mont Saint-Michel

    The ugly causeway is being dismantled, an elegant connection erected in its place. So everyone’s happy, right?
    Frank Mugisha: Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked

    Frank Mugisha: 'Coming out was a gradual process '

    Uganda's most outspoken gay rights activist on changing people's attitudes, coming out, and the threat of being attacked
    Radio 1 to hire 'YouTube-famous' vloggers to broadcast online

    Radio 1’s new top ten

    The ‘vloggers’ signed up to find twentysomething audience
    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    David Abraham: Big ideas for the small screen

    A blistering attack on US influence on British television has lifted the savvy head of Channel 4 out of the shadows
    Florence Knight's perfect picnic: Make the most of summer's last Bank Holiday weekend

    Florence Knight's perfect picnic

    Polpetto's head chef shares her favourite recipes from Iced Earl Grey tea to baked peaches, mascarpone & brown sugar meringues...
    Horst P Horst: The fashion photography genius who inspired Madonna comes to the V&A

    Horst P Horst comes to the V&A

    The London's museum has delved into its archives to stage a far-reaching retrospective celebrating the photographer's six decades of creativity
    Mark Hix recipes: Try our chef's summery soups for a real seasonal refresher

    Mark Hix's summery soups

    Soup isn’t just about comforting broths and steaming hot bowls...
    Tim Sherwood column: 'It started as a three-horse race but turned into the Grand National'

    Tim Sherwood column

    I would have taken the Crystal Palace job if I’d been offered it soon after my interview... but the whole process dragged on so I had to pull out
    Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

    Eden Hazard: Young, gifted... not yet perfect

    Eden Hazard admits he is still below the level of Ronaldo and Messi but, after a breakthrough season, is ready to thrill Chelsea’s fans
    Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

    Tim Howard: I’m an old dog. I don’t get too excited

    The Everton and US goalkeeper was such a star at the World Cup that the President phoned to congratulate him... not that he knows what the fuss is all about
    Match of the Day at 50: Show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition

    Tom Peck on Match of the Day at 50

    The show reminds us that even the most revered BBC institution may have a finite lifespan – thanks to the opposition