Top Labels Of 2010
So here's the second part of my end of year roundups, and my pick of the record labels that have impressed me over the past 12 months. Again a tough 5 to pick considering the number of labels, new and old who have been performing so well this year.

05. Ten Thousand Yen

There is something very special about Doc Daneeka's Ten Thousand Yen, their series of records this year have been a collector's dream, a simple standout design, each record with its own coloured vinyl, and included downloads to boot. But its not only the admirable aesthetics and sound quality that has impressed me this year, Daneeka has taken care to promote his local acts, and coming from South Wales myself its so good to see the talent that is here given the stage thanks to this series of records. Tracks from Venom & Damage, C.R.S.T, Didz & Chico and Julio Bashmore have all gone down well this year, quickly spreading this local sound throughout the rest of country, and into the charts and set lists of plenty of big names. Buy Ten Thousand Yen music from Juno or Boomkat.

04. Car Crash Set

Car Crash Set already had a few debut releases under their belt by the end of 2009, but 2010 is where things really took off for Ill Cosby's digi-label and with copious amounts of releases. The focus has mainly been on uncovering  new talent, and they have hit the jackpot a number of times this year with some excellent records from the likes of C.R.S.T, Cedaa, Distal, Mista Men, Gremino, and many more.  If that wasn't enough, Cosby has looked in all the right places in terms of remixes too with some excellent takes from Girl Unit and Jam City further complementing great releases. Its so hard to ignore the sheer amount of records this Seattle based, bass imprint has put out this year, I count 40 in total (one a week at times!), such a  strong output that I must acknowledge. Buy Car Crash Set music from Juno or Boomkat.

03. PTN

Earlier this year Ramp Recordings unleashed its brand new sub label PTN, their own focus on the stripped down basement sounds that have developed from UK Funky and House over the past year or so. Who better to fit this bill than Doc Daneeka, who released his debut with them back in May, and this pure no-gimmicks style House (not funky, not future-garage - HOUSE!) has quickly established a strong following, good enough that a second helping of Daneeka was served up later in the year with his next EP. Further records from Hypno, Hackman, T.Williams and a big favourite from Ben Westbeech's Breach have kept Ramp's offshoot bright in the spotlight and developed it into quite the recognisable sound. Buy PTN music from Juno and Boomkat.

02. R&S

The legendary veterans that are R&S have given themselves a bit of a re-boot this year with a remarkable change of direction from previous years. A whole new family of fledgling artists were signed up to the R&S clan, boosting the excitement for the labels output from the very start of the year with the promise of records from high profile newcomers James Blake, Space Dimension Controller and Pariah. James Blake's first R&S outing with 'CMYK' immediately caught the worlds attention, even putting Blake into Radio 1's periphery, securing some day time airplay and setting up future developments for the young prodigy including the more experimental 'Klavierwerke' later in the year, and now a debut LP next year. Elsewhere, Space Dimension Controller has twisted melons with his unique nu-disco 'Temporary Thrillz', Pariah impressed with his blend of euphoric moody garage, and known innovator Untold brought a fresh palette of sounds to the table with 'Stereo Freeze'. R&S's techno roots where also held firmly in place with records from Model 500 and Shlomi Aber and they even pushed things further afield ending the year with a record from experimental indie band Vondelpark, all in all a thoroughly varied and refreshed output from the already highly respected Belgian label. Buy R&S music from Juno or Boomkat.

01. Night Slugs

My assumptions and excitement for Bok Bok & L-Vis 1990's endeavors into record label management were already very high at the end of 2009. The trail of hype-igniting EPs, dubs and remixes along with their renowned abilities hosting the Night Slugs parties certainly raised all expectations well before their first release. Then January saw the release of Mosca's 'Square One' a record which immediately raised the bar for 2010, and brought the Night Slugs brand to the masses. Following records from  the likes of Egyptrixx, Girl Unit, Kingdom, Velour, and Jam City continued to blow minds, firmly placing Night Slugs as the one label to watch all year long, so its no big surprise at all really that they are getting this number 1 spot. With the power of their new label behind them Night Slugs have managed to tear down the geographical walls that separated their sounds from that of their Transatlantic brethren quickly making the label a global standout, and with the hybrid combos of styles and influences heard on all Night Slugs records, they really are tearing apart those picky genre classifications, something that has long been a part of the Night Slugs philosophy. Next year will see the Sluggers continue to up their game with full albums from Egyptrixx, L-Vis 1990 and Jam City on the way as well as an expected debut EP from label boss Bok Bok. Buy Night Slugs music from Juno and Boomkat.

Also want to give big shouts to Numbers, Aus Music, LuckyMe, Youngunz, Hessle, Hotflush, Fortified Audio, Well Rounded and Grizzly who have all been doing good things this year, narrowly missing this top 5.

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