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Warp Records
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Warp Records

Warp Records is a pioneering independent UK record label, founded in Sheffield in 1989, notable for discovering some of the most enduring artists in electronic music. Most of the releases seem to fall into the Intelligent Dance Music genre. The label has since moved its operation to London. In January 2004 Warp Records launched an online music store, Bleep, notable for being among the few record labels to avoid completely all digital rights management (DRM) features in the downloadable tracks, unlike other music stores such as iTunes Music Store and Rhapsody.

Founded by Steve Beckett and Rob Mitchell from their experiences working at the FON record store. The label and store soon became home to artists who would be highly influential in shaping the future of music. The first release (WAP1) was by Forgemasters, a limited 500 copy pressing of "Track With No Name" financed by an Enterprise Allowance grant. It set a trend for the early releases both in terms of sound and the use of purple sleeves. This was followed up by Nightmares on Wax's "Dextrous" and with WAP5 the label had its first top twenty chart success with LFO and their eponymous single selling 120,000 copies. The first album released was Sweet Exorcist's Clonk's Coming in 1991.

Warp went on to release a series of singles and albums from 1992 under the Artificial Intelligence heading, a series of experimental electronic music releases by artists such as Aphex Twin (as Diceman and later Polygon Window), Squarepusher, Autechre, the Black Dog, Richie Hawtin and Alex Paterson (later of the Orb). Initially all the album releases were gatefold sleeves and coloured vinyl, often with striking covers by the Designers Republic or Phil Wolstenholme.

Later artists were a similarly eclectic group, and included the influential DJ Andy Weatherall as Sabres of Paradise and later as Two Lone Swordsmen, Plaid, Boards of Canada, and the live sensation Red Snapper. A very recent addition to the Warp lineup is (pronounced chik chik chik). Other recent additions include Chris Clark, Prefuse 73 and Jimmy Edgar.

See also

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