Record labels are the bricks and mortar of the independent music industry, the foundations upon which artists and scenes flourish and grow. During 2012 there seemed to be a glut of new labels popping up across the board, and though some made strong statements with their initial releases, our list largely acknowledges the imprints who continue to lead the way for others to follow. The people behind our top labels are individuals we – and many others – willingly place our trust in; their curatorial abilities are integral to ensuring they stand tall amidst a sea of samey musical dross.
In many cases, passion for the music these labels have released is the over-riding factor, any notion of profiting from the releases secondary to the rush of seeing it out there, pressed on wax and housed in a nicely presented sleeve. For regular readers of Juno Plus, these ten names should make perfect sense; a selection of labels whose output has made it easy for us to show our support for over the course of the last 12 months.