For many of our writers, joining the EDMTunes family has been a life-changing experience. Even though we all love our job, that doesn’t mean there aren’t aspects of it that sometimes get under our skin. One of the biggest issues is that we don’t often get the chance to voice our true opinions, which is why we have come up with a new series called ‘EDMTunes Icebreakers’.

When writing about song releases or news stories, we often remain objective in order to leave our biases out of the articles. That being said, we wanted to give our writers a chance to speak their minds as well as give our readers a chance to get to know us better. Every other week, our editors will ask our writers a question and they will answer with a few sentences. A handful of these responses will then be compiled into an article for you to read and react to. We hope the ‘EDMTunes Icebreakers’ series gives you a glimpse into our personal music preferences and helps bridge the gap between reader and writer.

This edition’s question is: What is your favorite label/collective?

Ryan Harcourt – Monstercat

We are all fans of the big-name producers and DJs in dance music. But is there any better feeling when you play a song for your friends from somebody they haven’t heard of and they love it? That’s Monstercat. Just 5 years into existence, Monstercat has a knack for putting out releases from some of the fastest-rising producers today including Marshmello, Unlike Pluto, Slushii and San Holo. On top of that, they diversify by hosting weekly podcasts and event partnerships. You’ve definitely heard the music they’ve released, but you might be unfamiliar with the label, because they’re reshaping the industry to ensure the focus is around the artist, as it should be! Everybody already loves an underdog and Monstercat is giving us a very good reason why we should.

Scott Lombardo – Anjunabeats

Anjunabeats, led by Above & Beyond, inspires one of the most passionate fanbases in dance music for very good reason. The label is focused on positive human interaction and emotion in the unforgettable moments of life. While some argue the label has shifted away from pure trance, the label has stayed true to its emotion-centered music as it has grown. The releases on Anjunabeats and Anjunadeep are always quality and the brand itself is of the highest order. It is one of the most recognizable brands in dance music, from the simple yet captivating artwork to the simple messages A&B put on the screen during their performances. Anjunabeats is all about that special “little something” and it has captured it to a T.

Nick Benner – Dirtybird

There are countless dance music labels pumping out excellent tracks these days, but I don’t think anyone is having more fun doing it than the Dirtybird team. Since being formed by Barclay Crenshaw (aka Claude VonStroke) back in 2005, the San Francisco based label has helped launch the careers of Justin Martin, Eats Everything, Shiba San, Catz ‘n Dogz, Kill Frenzy and more. Dirtybird is known for pumping out some of the weirdest, awesomest house and techno in the game as well as throwing some super creative events. If you find yourself digging the compilation below, be sure to pig out at one of the Dirtybird BBQs or dance under the stars at the Dirtybird Campout.

Michelle Chu – Film Noir Sound

Record label Film Noir Sound was founded by upcoming producers Krs., Oshi, and BNJMN and is a treasure trove of darker, moodier tracks that rides the line between electronic and other musical genres. Challenging the sonic stigma of aggressive and hard electronic music, the three talents take a more ‘low and slow’ approach to production and curation, leading to many avant-gard sounds that adorn my headphones everyday. A nascent, yet highly focused label, Film Noir Sound is part of a rapidly growing ecosystem of smaller labels and collectives developing and experimenting with the next wave of electronic sound.

Torie Richardson – Desert Hearts

Desert Hearts. Love the feel-good tech house and family vibes their crew always brings. Mikey Lion, Marbs, Porkchop, Lee Reynolds and the whole group always bring out the best sets and throw the most amazing events. My personal favorite set from DH is Mikey Lion’s “How to Love”.

Damon Stone – OWSLA

Skrillex’s OWSLA is not just a label, it’s a culture. There’s really no other kind of label out there that can announce an event that morning and have a line of loyal fans in OWSLA get-up spanning 3 to 4 blocks that night. Their constant interaction with fans, aside from consistently releasing music and playing festivals, is what gives the label its staying power (be it a pop-up shop, film premiere, personal sets with various producers). They also having bragging rights over jump-starting and building major careers including Skrillex himself, Porter Robinson, Zedd, Kill The Noise, Getter, Valentino Khan, What So Not and so much more!

Will Vance – Suara

If you keep your ear to the pulse of more experimental house music, it is hard to deny that Suara is a leading player. Every release is packed with unique sounds, subtle textures and floor-filling grooves. All this, coupled with their unending affection for all four-legged felines, makes Suara one of my most-watched labels.

What do you think about our answers? Let us know what your favorite label or collective is in the comments!