The 10 Best Record Labels in Dallas
Mike Brooks At the Dallas Observer Music Showcase: Slideshow.
Trying to find legitimate record labels in the Dallas/Fort Worth area turned into a quest that crossed the thin barrier of insanity on more than one occasion, as more and more record labels fell off our list. Fifty-four or so for the Dallas area alone were the number of record labels listed on the state of Texas' governor's music directory. Out of those listed only seven are still legitimate record labels. The rest of them have either shut their doors due to the onslaught of technology, or else they're vanity sites promoting one or two artists who are also the record labels' owners and producers. And let's not even discuss the plethora of MySpace sites littering the governor's list.
Basing our Best Of list on three simple criteria -- more than two artists, a legitimate website and a passion for promoting the arts -- we've found 10 record labels in the Dallas area who are representing their respective genres while lifting Texas artists into the musical limelight.
Do For It Records
Notable Releases: Pressurize/Posion The Well by The House Harkonnen/The Spectacle, The Dangits/Perdition 7 inch split, Intelligent Design by Shaolin Death Squad and Said A to B by Trebuchet.
Do For It Records is an independent record label that strives to be a creative force for its artists, who range from The Phuss (a three-piece garage rock band from Fort Worth), to Austin's Invincible Czars, whose music sounds like mini-symphonies with humor (think Monte Python meets Beethoven). Located in Denton, this independent record label promotes unique metal and rock music that doesn't quite fit 97.1 the Eagle's format.
Azteca Music Group
Notable Releases: Vives en Mi by La Maquinaria Nortena, Que Ganabas by Mafia Nortena, Efectos Secundarios by Zeri and Voy A Conquistarte by Los Pescadores Del Rio Conchos
Azteca Music Group is striving to promote artists in the "Latin Regional Mexican" genre of the music industry, from the traditional sounds of Vives En Mi to the soothing tunes of Sin Restricciones. Located just off Gaston Avenue in Dallas, Azteca offers a voice to a culture whose as much part of Texas as Lone Star Beer and cowboy boots.
Hand Drawn Records
Notable Releases: Builds.With.Age by W.A. Fite, Psychosomatic Immortality by Secret Ghost Champion, Life Is Still Good by Brandon Callies Band and Townies by Exit 380
Hand Drawn Records is located in Dallas and Oklahoma City and takes an "artist first" approach. The independent record label believes that "the heart of a healthy musical community beats to the drum of hard work." Each album is a separate work of hand drawn art and just another example of the independent label's mission of helping artists