Year Established: 1989 Genre Focus: Various Website: www.warp.net
As one of electronic music's pioneering labels, Warp has been instrumental in the rise of some of the most important and iconic names across all forms of the ever-shifting genre for almost a quarter century now. Founded by the late Rob Mitchell and Steve Beckett, friends inspired by their experiences working at Sheffield's FON record shop, Warp's name came from the amusing mispronunciation of "Warped Records" over the phone. During its lifespan, Warp has played host to a number of boundary-pushing knob twiddlers, beat makers, and DJs, including Aphex Twin, Briano Eno, Flying Lotus, Boards of Canada, Autechre, Nightmares on Wax, Babe Rainbow, Mount Kimbie, Prefuse 73, and Hudson Mohawke.
Not satisfied to own real estate on electronic music's bleeding edge alone, Warp has jumped into indie rock in recent years, signing acts such as Grizzly Bear, !!!, Battles, and Maxïmo Park. To push the creative envelope even further, Mitchell and Beckett conceived of Warp Films in 2001. The subsidiary opened its doors in 2002 after Mitchell's untimely death and continues to sit alongside its big brother record label as one of the most vital British creative arms in existence.