Year founded: 1989
Notable artists/releases: Radiohead, Adele, M.I.A., Kaytranada
Originally an offshoot of Beggars Banquet Records, XL Recordings was first launched to focus on rave and dance music in 1989. By the early 2000s, the label would expand its horizons and release music from a wider range of genres, including the White Stripes’ White Blood Cells, Dizzee Rascal’s monumental Boy in da Corner, and later, Radiohead’s In Rainbows.
Despite working with such big players—Adele, for example—XL has maintained a keen interest in discovering new artists, signing some of the best new artists of the past five years, including Ibeyi, Kaytranada, Arca, Låpsley, and Jungle. Bringing decades of experience but also retaining an affinity for the underground, XL Recordings has become one of the most influential indie labels in the game.