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4AD: Misc



Up to date as of February 02, 2010

From Your Subculture Soundtrack, the music encyclopedia

Founded 1979
Founder(s) Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent
Status Active
Genre(s) Indie-Rock, New Wave, Electronica
Country of origin United Kingdom
Location London
Official website(s)



Originally named Axis Records, which was changed due to another existing company already named Axis, 4AD was started by Ivo Watts-Russell and Peter Kent as a subsidiary of Beggars Banquet. In the first year, the label released a number of 7 inches from bands that would grow to become very influential groups of the 80s including Bauhaus, The Birthday Party, The The, Modern English and The Wolfgang Press which featured members of Wire. I'd call that a promising start. Through the rest of the 80s, 4AD would continue to grow to international recognition releasing praised records from the bands I just listed along with Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, their first U.S. band signee, Throwing Muses and a very young Pixies. The 90s saw 4AD sign a huge distribution with Warner Brothers to release their albums stateside along with a lot of bandmate swapping, which of course breeds new and sometimes even more exciting bands. The Breeders and Belly are among these releasing popular albums released in the early 90s, along with the debut releases from His Name is Alive, Red House Painters and Frank Black's first solo material. The late 90s saw debut albums from Thievery Corporation and Cuba, though the state-side offices were closed down when co-founder Watts-Russell sold his shares to Beggars Banquet founder Martin Mills. It is also very notable that most of the artwork you'll find on 4AD's records is the creation of 23 Envelope, a collaboration between graphic designer Vaughan Oliver and photographer Nigel Grierson. Their work helped set 4AD's releases apart from the piles and piles of mundane albums that fill record store shelves. More recently, 4AD has fallen into different, though very able hands. Over the last few years, the label has released a number of albums from bands that are high on artistic quality as well as popularity, which is a rare accomplishment. TV on the Radio, Blonde Redhead, Mojave 3 and The Mountain Goats are just a few of the names that have graced 4AD's extremely deep discography. It is always a good idea to keep an eye on this label; they have consistently released solid albums for the last 25 years and have shown absolutely no sign of age or slowing down.

Active Roster

Past Artists

  • 23 Envelope
  • A R Kane
  • Air Miami
  • B. C. Gilbert & G. Lewis
  • Bauhaus
  • Bearz
  • Belly
  • Bettie Serveert
  • Brendan Perry
  • Bulgarian Voices also (Voix Bulgares)
  • Celebration
  • Clan of Xymox
  • Cocteau Twins
  • Colin Newman
  • Colourbox
  • Cuba
  • Cupol
  • Dance Chapter
  • Daniel Ash & Glenn Campling
  • Dead Can Dance
  • Dif Juz
  • Emma Pollock
  • Fifty Foot Wave
  • Frank Black
  • Frazier Chorus
  • Gus Gus
  • Harold Budd/Elizabeth Fraser/Robin Guthrie/Simon Raymonde
  • Heidi Berry
  • His Name Is Alive
  • In Camera
  • Insides
  • Kendra Smith
  • Kristin Hersh
  • Lakuna
  • Last Dance
  • Liquorice
  • Lisa Germano
  • Lisa Gerrard & Pieter Bourke
  • [[Lush ]]
  • Lydia Lunch
  • M/A/R/R/S
  • Magnetophone
  • Mass
  • [[Matt Johnson ]]
  • Michael Brook
  • Modern English
  • Mojave 3
  • My Captains
  • Neil Halstead
  • Pale Saints
  • Piano Magic
  • Pieter Nooten/Michael Brook
  • Pixies
  • Psychotik Tanks
  • Rachel Goswell
  • Red Atkins
  • Red House Painters
  • Rema-Rema
  • Rene Halkett & David Jay
  • Richenel
  • Rowland S. Howard & Lydia Lunch
  • Scheer
  • [[Shox ]]
  • Sort Sol
  • Spasmodic Caress
  • Spirea X
  • Spoonfed Hybrid
  • Starry Smooth Hound
  • Swallow
  • Sybarite
  • Tanya Donelly
  • Tarnation
  • that dog.
  • The Amps
  • The Birthday Party
  • The Fast Set
  • The Glee Club
  • The Hope Blister
  • The Paladins
  • The Past 7 Days
  • The The
  • The Wolfgang Press
  • Thievery Corporation
  • This Mortal Coil
  • Throwing Muses
  • Tom Baril
  • Tones on Tail
  • Ultra Vivid Scene
  • Underground Lovers
  • Unrest
  • Vaughan Oliver and v23 (and 23 Envelope)
  • Vinny Miller
  • Wolf & Cub
  • Xmal Deutschland

Key Releases

(3 or 4 albums that put the label on the map/define the sound of the label, should be links)

External Links

This article uses material from the "4AD" article on the Music wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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