Defunct Record Labels

Absolute Analogue
This label was run by British Hi-Fi distributor Absolute Analogue for a few years and specialised in re-releasing of late 60's/early 70's rock music on 180g vinyl. They had by 2007 stopped issuing records and by 2008 there were only 3 or 4 titles left in stock and now they are all gone.


British reissue label based in London that concentrated on compilations featuring rock oriented musical styles and the 80's, also issued under the Mapps Cafe, Anathema, Mudslide, VinylShminyl and Victory Works stensils, in addition to mid-price products using the YEAAH! label that were mostly live recordings many of which had previously been issued as bootlegs. Distributed and allegedly funded by Universal, the label disappears around 2005 altogether but even by then we had not heard from them for a couple of years at the least, there appears to be no stock of their records left in the channel. AFAIK Almafame only released CD’s.

Amarilli Classical

Tiny British label that specialised in viol music, did in the end only put out 2 disks, a pressed CD that came out around 2000 called “A pill to Purge Melancholie” that featured music for 2 Lyra Viols from Jacobean era in England and was played by The Alchemy Ensemble, Brian Capleton and Angela Cranmore and in early 2003 a Compact Disk Recordable by the same group of musicians that featured “relaxing music” by Sainte Colombe and Capleton and was called “Exotic Spheres”. The company is still around as a book publisher but no longer sells CD’s.

Anathema See --> Almafame

AMP Records
A British label founded in 1985 by Ashok Prema, Mark Jenkins and Peter Beasley with their first release being a compilation LP called simply “The Amp Records Compilation Album” that featured tracks by the 3 founders. At the time the founders stated that they were trying to gather some momentum for the UK Electronica scene but apart from Zomba British labels were not releasing electronica at all despite relatively healthy record sales by established labels of such acts as Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. They started by buying the E-Mix fanzine in 1995, apparently simply to get hold of their mailing list, by 1986 the label had picked up some momentum and had taken on artists such as Michel Huygen (Neuronium), White Noise and Steven Joliffe.

However AMP was being run at a loss which led Peter Beasley to leave the company in 1987, for promotional purposes the label started issuing compilation albums on the cheaper cassette format but in addition to their own material they sometimes included unsigned artist on them such as Steve Hillman. Ashok Prema (Ash Prema at the time) had left the label by the early 90’s and was by that time run solely by Mark Jenkins and did during that period release interesting electronic music of varying styles but as the 90’s wore on became more connected with "progressive" and New Age music.

In 1994/5 the label had releases a Christmas album by Keith Emerson (??) and announced that they had signed Tangerine Dream but apart from one licensed release nothing became of that. By 2000 much of AMP records output is by the proprietor himself and the label had more or less suspended operation by 2002 but Mr. Jenkins continued to issue the odd CD under the AMP Music label until 2007, and possibly later, but has since started issuing mostly under the Mark Jenkins Music name but still has stocks of some 20 odd AMP releases for sale on his site. Peter Beasley, one of the original founders of the label has a few copy of early AMP releases for sale on his webpage as of summer 2012.

Andante (Historical clasical recordings) See --> Andante

Apple On The Moon

Tiny Dutch label that put out modern jazz, other improvised music and contemporary classical works, with much of the labels output featuring Dutch pianist Marc van Roon. The label was quite active in 2000 but appears to have only released 2 CD’s since then and nothing since 2004 even though its website stayed up until 2011.

Athene Records

Classical record label founded in 1991 by the husband and wife team of pianist Joanna Leach and recording engineer David Turner to release recordings of music from the classical era (1750 ~ 1830) performed my Mrs Leach on period instruments, English square pianos in this case. In 1994 the label also started issuing CD's by other performers such as Peter Katin, although the repertoire and instruments remained the same.

In 1994 Leach & Turner were joined by Michael John (Mike) Beville, but he is a recording engineer that had been active since the 1950's and had taken early retirement from his company Audio Design Recording earlier in the year. In 1997 the company started to issue music of more recent repertoires, and performed on modern instruments under the Athene-MINERVE sub-label, note that the Minerve part of the name is always spelled in all caps for some reason. Most of that sub-labels output was also piano music, although a few orchestral and vocal works were released as well, and the bulk of the CD's typically featured either lesser known composers or relatively unknown works from bigger composers. Around the turn of the century the label even commissioned composer John Pickard to write a piano piece for them.

Athene Records is sometimes listed as an audiophile label this is something of a misunderstanding, Mr. Turner did indeed used a minimalistic recording technique involving a pair of Neuman TLM170 microphones in a MS configuration that is often associated with such labels, however this was recorded onto a bog standard DAT recorder running at 44.1 kHz with all the associated dropout problems that we came to expect from the DAT format and even at the time all the classical music labels had moved to digital recording formats with higher bit and frequency rates. When Mr. Beville took over the recording duties in 94 he started using multichannel Soundfield mics, but it appears that he recorded a mixdown onto a 2 channel machine so despite the presence of the Soundfields it is unlikely that we will see re-releases of Athene material in any sort of surround sound formats.

The last release by Athene was in 2001 and by 2004 the label and the back catalogue had been sold to Divine Art Recordings, although Mr. Breville ran the Athene company for a few years afterwards as a classical music recording service.

Balkan Records Company
Founded in Berwyn (Chicago), USA, in 1945 by Ivan John Krilcich and Louie Hlad, the label specialised in releasing music by musicians of Slavic and specifically Balkan origin although more oriented towards musical styles popular in those regions rather than folk music per se, i.e. more polka than throat singing. Many of their records featured an in-house orchestra known as Dave Zupkovich Balkan Records Orchestra (that also toured under this name) and the label was incredibly prolific in and around 1950 when literally hundreds of 78's were cut, but seems to have disappeared in the mid fifties, but apparently Mr. Krilcich continued in the record business with his Balkan Record Distribution Company. A label called Balkan Records appropriately enough specialises in re-releasing cassettes and CD's with material taken from old recordings by this label.

BASF Records

A label run by giant German chemical company BASF, but they had started financing recordings of classical music in the 1930's primarily as a showcase for their open reel tape and started making stereo recordings in the early 1940's. Functioned as a small to mid sized record label from the 50's mostly putting out classical and jazz records but some popular music as well, these were noted at the time for their recording quality. The label was discontinued around 1976 or so more it appears out of lack of interest within the mother company than due to financial matters but appears to have made a brief comeback in the 1980's to release material from their pre-50's archives on CD's. Sadly missed.

Boulevard Records
British "exploitation" label that was active from the late 60's into the mid 70's, most of the performances are so bad that it makes Pickwick and Europa at their worst seem wholesome by comparison, and the covers are so bad that they can be used as conclusive proof that 70's really was the decade of evil..

Carlton Record Corporation

USA based label that on one hand issued mostly easy listening and spoken word etc. on LP records under the Carlton label, while on the other concentrating on pop and early rock releases on 45 Rpm. singles. Originally founded by Joe R. Carlton in 1957 and based in New York the company started issuing records the year after, it saw some success for its pop 45 rpm releases but album sales were initially very good due to the burgeoning stereo market that had an almost insatiable appetite for easy listening music in the late 50's, but LP sales slowed down considerably in the early 60's although a few minor 45 hits kept the company afloat.

Carlton RC had a reputation as a hi-fi LP label in it's day and indeed the sound quality on the LP's is above average (this is not true of the 45's which were bog standard), but then again the term "hi-fi label" had different connotations back then than it does now. The company stopped issuing records in 1964, but it had shed a lot of artists in the preceding years due to royalty disagreements. Sub labels included Guaranteed which specialised in rock'n'roll releases and you can find more info on the label and a discography here.

CD Memphis
Launched in 2000 with much fanfare and press coverage, the CD Memphis label along with a studio complex and related activities collectively known as Cadre Entertainment was started by veteran musician and producer Norbert Putnam in association with local businessman Tommy Peters, and appropriately enough located in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. It had the rather odd business plan of selling locally produced R&B music directly to Europeans via the Internet, their website went down in 2001, a bad sign for an Internet based label, and all contact was lost that same year.

The recording studio was by 2002 a different company by the name of "Memphis Records" but they changed their name to Young Avenue Sound in 2003/4, Memphis Records claimed to be a record label as well but we never managed to find a release by them. It should be noted though that in the R&B and rap music worlds in the USA the term "record label" is newspeak for we traditionally call a management company.

Champion See --> Gennett Records

Cisco Music

USA based company that started life in Chatsworth in California in 1981 when they licensed portions of the Decca classical catalogue and re-released them on 180 gram audiophile quality vinyl, soon thereafter started licensing music from the Japanese jazz label Three Blind Mice and other Jazz music. Incorporated in 1985 and later released gold CD’s of mostly light jazz and classic pop recordings but re-started issuing audiophile recordings in the 2000’s with the rise of the analogue fetish and started issuing SACD disks as well in a limited fashion, the SACD’s were mostly the labels staple of light jazz and pop re-releases but the LP’s featured some excellent classical re-releases as well. Co-founder David Fonn left the company in 2006 and Cisco Music disappears in 2008 but Fonn founded Box Star Records and that label has carried on with some releases originally announced by Cisco Music while other Cisco team memders went on to found Impex Records.

Claritiy Recordings
Small audiophile label based in San Francisco in California, USA. Specialised in minimalist 2 microphone recordings of acoustic jazz and classical music, contact lost in 2001, we would appreciate if anyone out there has more info.

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The site was last compiled on Sun Nov 10 2013 at 9:15:00am