Year Founded: 1989
Recent Favorites: Shamir, Novelist x Mumdance, Ratatat
XL Recordings was originally founded to cover dance music, but they now boast a diverse range of artists. With Ratking and Adele featured on their roster alongside The Prodigy, one of their first signings, XL have clearly expanded on their original scope.
Despite some massive signings—Radiohead being one example—XL have managed to retain their experimental underground roots by supporting up-and-coming artists (this year they've welcomed Novelist, Shamir, Ibeyi, and Lapsley to the fold) as well as being long-term supporters of Ratatat (the Brooklyn duo have been with XL for more than ten years).
In 2008, XL added their own studio to the mix, aiming to create "a place where artists would be able to realize their ideas to the highest standard possible, and experiment away from the pressures of running up bills at a commercial facility," creating a sustainable support system for smaller artists—which really sums up what XL and indie labels in general are all about.