XL Recordings was founded in 1989 to release rave and dance music, and from those humble beginning it’s grown to be one of the most important indie labels that exists, releasing music across the genres, from Adele to Tyler The Creator to Jai Paul. Today, we’re happy to help XL announce the Pay Close Attention compilation, which surveys the label’s history over two albums and 33 tracks.

The label history-spanning compilation album is available to pre-order now in physical and digital formats, via the dedicated Pay Close Attention website. It’s a huge, interactive website with a bunch of awesome stuff, including new interviews and performance footage from Vampire Weekend, The White Stripes, The Prodigy, Bobby Womack, and a spotlight on each of the artists. If you’re a fan of any of the artists on the label, make sure you explore the website here.

Part of the unreleased footage is a five minute Odd Future video tour diary from the first time they toured in Europe, featuring Tyler The Creator and his gang’s wild shows and some quieter, more intimate moments. Check that footage out exclusively above.

Richard Russell, XL founder and owner also spoke on the compilation and label:


XL Recordings is a collaborative endeavour, and many people have contributed to its evolution. In the song ‘Out Of Space’, Liam Howlett of The Prodigy provided a blueprint when he sampled Kool Keith of Ultramagnetic MC’s rapping these words: “Pay Close Attention”. And whilst XL has never had any outside ownership, Gil Scott-Heron advised me not to even consider XL an “independent”, because everything is connected.

Part 1 of this compilation are the roots of XL; underground music, made for DJs. These roots are still growing. Part 2 features some of the singular talents who have taken the label further than we ever envisioned. There is no unifying genre; hopefully the thread of originality is evident though.

The rave music XL first became known for was known as “hardcore”; that spirit continues.
To show our appreciation for your support, thank you DJs.
And thank you also to the retailers, writers, and, of course, ravers.—Richard Russell, London, 2014


Pay Close Attention tracklist:

Disc 1
1. SL2 – DJs Take Control
2. The Prodigy – Out Of Space
3. Awesome 3 – Don’t Go (Kicks Like A Mule Mix)
4. Liquid – Sweet Harmony
5. Jonny L – Piper
6. Roy Davis Jr. featuring Peven Everett – Gabriel (Live Garage Version)
7. Dem 2 – Destiny
8. Nu-Birth – Anytime
9. Basement Jaxx – Jump N’Shout
10. Dizzee Rascal – I Luv U
11. Wiley – Igloo
12. Various Production – Hater
13. Giggs – Talkin The Hardest
14. SBTRKT – Wildfire (featuring Little Dragon)
15. Jamie xx – All Under One Roof Raving

Disc 2
1. The Prodigy – Firestarter
2. Peaches – Fuck The Pain Away
3. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
4. Devendra Banhart – I Feel Just Like A Child
5. Ratatat – Seventeen Years
6. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
7. Thom Yorke – The Eraser
8. Gil Scott-Heron – New York Is Killing Me
9. Radiohead – Weird Fishes / Arpeggi
10. Tyler, The Creator – Yonkers
11. The Horrors – Sea Within A Sea
12. Jai Paul – BTSTU (demo)
13. Bobby Womack – Please Forgive My Heart
14. The xx – Angels
15. Sampha – Too Much
16. Vampire Weekend – Step
17. King Krule – Easy Easy
18. Adele – Rolling In The Deep

Pre-order the compilation here.