One of the largest labels for electronic music in the Los Angeles scene is Brainfeeder founded by one of the innovative electronic producers on the scene Steven Ellis better known by his DJ name Flying Lotus, famous for his unique creative approach to his albums like Cosmogramma where he utilizs samples such as the medical equipment from the hospital room his mother passed away in, his aunt Alice Coltrane Playing harp he would try such unique ideas such as hiring live musicians like his cousin Ravi Coltrane to accompany his electronic music. It only makes sense that he would make a record label as innovative as the music that he produces.
Brainfeeder was recognized as the label of the year by Gilles Peterson Awards which is an award show hosted by BBC1’s (one of the top sources for electronic music) host Gilles Peterson(famous DJ and radio host). What makes Brainfeeder such a notable innovative label in the electronic scene where it would be able to garnish so much well deserved attention so rapidly?
Brainfeeder operates as a vanity label under the leadership of Flying Lotus and has a strong connection with the famed British electronic label Warp Records responsible for brining famed electronic producers like Aphex Twin, Squarepusher and many others to the public eye. As a label Brainfeeder does not distribute its own records in the physical form it operates through other channels in the US they operate through the multi-media company Alphapup to distribute their records and for everywhere else in the world the records are distributed through Ninja Tunes.
That what this label appears to be mainly about with the music distribution being outsourced to other companies, this label has shifted it’s focus soley on music creation and playing live which is a unique approach for a label that is heavily focused on a genre that exist primarily in the digital realm.
Brainfeeder although primarily an electronic label ventures out into other forms of music having such notable artist like the late jazz pianist Austin Peralta, electric bass virtuoso Thundercat, violinist Miguel Atwood-Ferguson and sax player Kamasi Washington to name a few. What’s truly unique about how this label is run is how they blend the acoustic musicians with the electronic, a handful of the time on an electronic from the label you’ll get Thundercat playing bass or Atwood-Ferguson playing the string parts for the track. It goes back to the collective mentality of the early days of electronic music and creating mixtapes on the internet where it was more a group mentality.
Although Brainfeeder operates as a vanity label it is a bit different than most other vanity compared to other labels, which are established as a tool for the artist in this case Flying lotus to release projects where they have more control over it. Although Flying lotus does use his label to release his music he also uses it as a way to help fellow artist in similar music circles as himself release their music with more of a sense of control over the artistry than other major labels would grant them.