The Domino Recording Company has been doing things their way for over 15 years now – and it just so happens their way sets the bar pretty darn high.
Founder Laurence Bell started the label from very scant beginings, and from the get-go established his own set of principles on how to run things. Champions of outsiders like Will Oldham, Bill Callahan, Steve Malkmus, and Elliot Smith, they've never compromised their vision, and have been awarded commercial and critical acclaim because of it. Now synonymous with the zeitgeist, the Domino roster is one of the most varied whilst maintaining its own signature output of exciting, searching music. Red Bull Music Academy Radio and Domino have been shaking up the radio waves for time now, and have racked up plenty of shows in the process.
Two of our most-listened shows have been from Baltimore's psych-folk-drone wanderers Animal Collective, whose Headphone Highlights thread together a mix we could never have expected, while a Fireside Chat with the guys gives us a rare glimpse of what it's like to be in one of the most sought-after groups anywhere at the moment. Another group repping the East Coast are Dirty Projectors, the brain child of David Longstreth. With a sound cherry-picked from a wide array of different sources, they bring to mind several open-minded experimentalists, such as Elvis Costello, Edwyn Collins, and Bob Dylan, as well as recent collaborator David Byrne.
Domino has also been home to Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet, whose consistent explorations into electronic sound and collaborations with the likes of Steve Reid and Burial have produced startling results. Similarly Max Tundra blends ideas together like breakfast smoothies, pulling together his eclectic taste in music to make a different flavour for every song.
Sometimes Domino acts as an umbrella to protect an artist from showering accolades, such as multi-talented producer, composer, and songwriter Jon Hopkins. Jon not only has a keen ear for a melody, but also fro how it should sound, and has been called-upon by the likes of Herbie Hancock, Coldplay, and David Holmes to help bring the magic to their studio sessions. His musical mind also complimented fellow label mates King Creosote, whose trip through Scottish folk and thunderous ‘80s pop dramas has thrown up some bitter-sweet beauties... and the journey's not over yet.
But we couldn't talk about Domino and not mention Franz Ferdinand. These Scots not only racked up rave reviews from critics, and top slots in singles and album charts, but they also ushered in a new era for the label. Forerunning a new wave of art rock party-starters, the Franz found their penchant for crafty lyrics and no-nonsense riffs taking them all round the world. On a similar party vibe, if sounding quite different, Sinden and Hervé’s mix of electronic beats with rave attitude has thrust just as many hands in the air.
There's plenty of other shows from the Domino roster, so take a moment to scan the selection. Seems all the dominoes are falling up!