Year Established: 1989 Genre Focus: Indie, Electronic, Dance Website: www.xlrecordings.com
Despite releasing an average of merely six albums per year, XL Recordings has become a widely recognized and respected force in the indiedendent label space. XL has even superceded the concept of indie in some ways as they work with some of today's largest acts. Founded by Richard Russel, Tim Palmer, and Nick Halkes, the Beggars Banquet offshoot was originally launched to release rave and dance music. In the early '90s the label focused mostly on dance-oriented releases ranging from Belgian Techno and Breakbeat to Hardcore and Drum & Bass. Their willingness to work with more eccentric, experimental artists is evidenced by their longstanding relationship with The Prodigy.
XL's collection of talent has continued to evolve over the years. While the label still represents artists in its original lane, it has clearly branched out through partnerships with acts like Badly Drawn Boy, Jack White, Tyler, The Creator, and Willis Earl Beal. It's this openness that has garnered XL numerous awards and made it an almost household name thanks to one of its biggest stars, Adele, whose album 21 helped increase the label's bank balance from £3 million to £32 million over the span of just 12 months. Other acts on the current XL roster include Atoms for Peace, Dizzee Rascal, Jai Paul, SBTRKT, The xx, and Vampire Weekend.