Alfred Darlington, a.k.a. Daedelus, could at this point be considered a veteran to the electronic music scene. The Los Angeles producer came up through the Los Angeles beat scene, associated with Low End Theory and its affiliates. Having dropped over two dozen albums and EPs over the last 12 years on record labels like Brainfeeder and Ninjatune, as well as forming his own imprint, Magical Properties, Darlington now adds experimental hip-hop label Anticon to the list with his forthcoming Drown Out, due for release September 17.
Daedelus's Drown Out release isn't the only news coming up for Anticon; the label is also celebrating their 15-year anniversary this year, a major milestone for any record label. Over the years, the label has evolved, adding experimental and electronic releases from artists like Baths and Tobacco to their repertoire alongside the indie rap of the '90s.
In celebration of his forthcoming release on the 15-years-strong Anticon, we asked Daedelus to list his favorite albums from the label:
"Honored to be here among the 15 years strong Anticon. I cannot stress how few get to those kind of years, with this strong a discography, and still pushing boundaries. I'm so proud my Drown Out will be thick as thieves with LPs like:
Baths – Cerulean
What happens when you become attached to something, but deep down you know that in order for it to become fully realized you must let it go? To Anticon, in fact. I met Baths a while back when he was a thrilling young producer, without a singular band. Every show I'd catch was a different formation, usually completely different music. We spoke of my imprint Magical Properties releasing his music, this even before a record properly completed. All going well, but as that LP, which became this Cerulean, clearly incredible and needing larger platform. Anticon has a history of incredible records by very distinct voices that make a vibrational sense in their care, distinct, yet part of the label's DNA once released. Shaun, who runs the label, currently continues that tradition, and this record's success is evidence enough of promises kept by all. [Purchase Cerulean]
Themselves – Crownsdown
The most Anticon? What would that mean, especially considering where been and where to. I'd say this is, maybe an early Why? equally, but I've chosen this as referencing a wider hip-hop world it swam in, and a manifesto on how that same world could be different and deeply engaging for it. Jel and Doseone (and whoever they worked with) make for an artful riposte. [Purchase Crownsdown]
Jel – Soft Money
"I knew Jel more for his dazzling performance technique then releases for a long while. At a time where scratch DJs were the best answer most could muster to "live electronics", there were a few taking that raw feel onto the stage, showing the best moments most producers felt banging away on pads or buttons in their home studios. So a rare trick to capture that energy from stage to album, Soft Money is full for those and inviting an equal cast of musicians doesn't hurt either." [Purchase Soft Money]
Odd Nosdam – Burner
Underground rap this is not, yet how else to speak of the threads it weaves together? I have come from a similar place of discomforting others, and I'm not sure if Odd would agree, but I'd like to imagine yes, indeed, he made this because he had to. If there is a theme to these last few records chosen, these middle '00s years, it's because I was able to really hear them properly after getting over some silly LA vs. the Bay-ness. I had before filled my ears with all things Freestyle Fellowship, Global Flowtations, and Goodlife, underground rap in perfect example, hermetically seal unto itself. Wonderful verses and beats to inspire, but there was much outside to discover. In Burner, I heard the familiar and needed, and that lead me to more. [Purchase Burner]
Tobacco – Fucked Up Friends
Ugh what a fucked record, as with these others listed, a sound completely committed to, even if that means flirting with a whole host of possibilities. Vision that breaks through smoggy skies, without a voice to speak directly, yet I'd serve this as a grand example of pop to come, or my fondest hope on what might be. [Purchase Fucked Up Friends]