Published Mar 10, 2009Few labels have remained as influential and consistently interesting as Warp Records. Over the years, this Sheffield-founded, London-based imprint has served as home for such pioneering artists as Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Autechre, Grizzly Bear, Battles and Broadcast, among countless others, always keeping a surprisingly high standard and staying one step ahead of a rapidly changing and unpredictable musical landscape. So, for an institution like Warp to reach the ripe, old age of 20, it's an anniversary worth celebrating, which is exactly what the label plans to do in 2009.
With this year marking Warp's 20th anniversary, the label has announced what it calls "Warp 20," an upcoming celebration that will include a series of special new releases and several one-off live events around the world.
On the release side of things, Warp is gearing up to deliver a deluxe box set, which will come loaded with previously unreleased material from the label's vast back catalogue. It's also planning a Warp best-of comp and asking fans to help choose the tracklisting by voting on their favourite Warp tracks from the last 20 years. The plan is to take the top ten fan-voted songs and combine them with some selections from Warp co-founder Steve Beckett to make a 20-track album, with fans' personal memories and messages about their song selections to be printed in the album's liner notes. And while there are no more details to report yet on these two releases, voting has already got under way over here for the best-of collection.
As for the live shows, the label will host Warp 20 events in Paris in May, New York in July, Sheffield in August, London in September and Tokyo in November. The details are at this point scarce but along with live music by a selection of Warp artists, the shows will incorporate art installations and film, which will highlight Warp's more visual side. Also, the Paris show has a confirmed date and due to take place at the De La Musique museum on May 8 and 9, with the line-up featuring performances from Aphex Twin, Andrew Weatherall, Flying Lotus and Pivot.
"We did similar things for our ten-year anniversary and it was so amazing having all our acts together under one roof," Beckett recently told Music Week [via Fact]. "We decided that we wanted to do something bigger this year. We have got so many acts on the label we felt that we could turn it into a mini-festival."
Beckett also went on to say that despite the doom and gloom now looming over the music industry, he's confident about the label's coming years. "I am definitely looking to the future and hoping that the company can continue to bring new artists through and new people through," he said.
For more information on Warp 20, you can visit the event's recently erected mini-site here .