Warp is the first in a series of illustrated volumes under the title Labels Unlimited, surveying record labels whose innovative practices have stamped their identity on musical styles and shaken up the recording industry.
Since its foundation in 1989, Warp Records has become a synonym for futuristic adventures in sound and vision, from ‘intelligent’ techno to progressive hip-hop and adventurous rock. Warp tells the story of how a small Sheffield dance label grew to foster an international range of artists. including Aphex Twin, Autechre, Boards Of Canada, Broadcast, Vincent Gallo, LFO, Nightmares On Wax, Plaid, Prefuse 73, Squarepusher, Jimi Tenor and Tortoise, eventually adding film production to its list of credits with Chris Cunningham, Chris Morris, and Shane Meadows.
Coinciding with the rise of the internet as well as radical new music and multimedia technologies during the 1990s, which placed artistic control directly in the hands of musicians, Warp’s worldwide success had much to do with its unique relationship to its artists and a determination to remain independent and in control of its own destiny. Warp features interviews, unseen photos, documents, press releases and artefacts from the label’s lifespan as well as an essay on Warp’s artwork by Adrian Shaughnessy and a complete discography 1989-2005.