Celebrating Independence with… Daptone Records

In honor of Independence Day, KEXP is saluting some of our favorite indie record labels whose DIY-spirit helped revolutionize the music industry. As an independent radio station ourselves, KEXP is thrilled to give a 13-gun salute to these pioneers with a series of label spotlights through the Fourth of July.

Run and owned by soul musicians, Daptone Records takes the best qualities of all of the great classic R&B labels and places them in a modern context. Based in Brooklyn, Gabriel Roth and Neal Sugarman founded Daptone Records in 2002 with a focus on releasing soul and funk records with a high level of in-house production. Each Daptone release is recorded to analog tape – never digital – and mixed by Roth, and most feature the Dap Kings, the Daptone House band. The Dap-Kings’ profile was raised significantly in 2007 when Mark Ronson enlisted them to perform on Amy Winehouse‘s Back To Black and the ensuing tour, and since then, artists like Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones have taken the reins as Daptone’s most prominent bearers of the vintage soul revival. Celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, it’s clear that Daptone Records is all about soul, and to quote Roth and Sugarman, it’s a haven for funk enthusiasts and soul searchers everywhere. Watch video of Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings playing NPR’s SXSW showcase in 2010 below, as well as video from other Daptone artists.

Key releases:

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings – Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (2002)
The Budos Band – The Budos Band (2005)
Various artists – Como Now: The voices of Panola Co., Mississippi (2008)
Charles Bradley – No Time For Dreaming (2011)

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