Written on: 09/08/2004 by WSD (71 reviews written)
The fantastic back catalogue!
Seems to have gone all-quiet on the 4AD front these days.
4AD was (is) one of the seminal independent record labels of the 1980's and 1990's and was (and is) home to some magnificent bands, including The Birthday Party, Belly, The Pixies, Throwing Muses, Lush, Mojave 3, Dead Can Dance, The Cocteau Twins, This Mortal Coil, The Red House Painters and many many many more!
There was a time when devotees of the label would purchase nearly any release, knowing that it was likely to be a quality recording from a creative and unusual act. Much of their output consisted of ethereal and atmospheric sounds, although they were prone to a bit of goth and screechy indie noise as well. On the whole, they have managed, through the years, to provide consistent quality by signing some of the key indie artists of the last two decades while still managing to stay independent, allowing their bands to maintain their creative integrity.
If the last few years have seen fewer and fewer high-profile bands emerging from the 4AD camp, this may be because the types of acts that they tend to favour are far less popular and influential in these heady days of garage rock and new-wave revivalism. That is not to say that we won't see a big 4AD rebirth in the near future (and here's hoping it comes soon!).
In the meantime, I'd encourage indie, goth and world music fans to explore the depths of the 4AD back catalogue because there are some true classics and some fairly unknown gems as well.
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