Founded in 1993 in New York City, Astralwerks Records began as an independent boutique label releasing visionary records that helped ignite two explosive waves of musical creativity: first with Electronica in the ’90s, and more recently with EDM in the new millennium. Over the past two decades, the New York City based label has become one of America’s pre-eminent homes for unique and forward-thinking artists, nurturing a roster of genre-bending musicians and bands.
On July 30, 1993 Astralwerks released its first album – Tales Of Ephidrina by Amorphous Androgynous – a pseudonym of the legendary Future Sound of London, and catalyst for the sub-genre known at the time as ‘ambient techno’. A landmark series of compilations called Excursions in Ambience followed, as did Big Beat, Breaks and the early progenitors of tech-house, subsequently spawning classics by some of the most groundbreaking electronic artists of the era – Future Sound Of London, Photek, Spacetime Continuum, and µ-Ziq, to name just a few.
As the new millennium dawned, the label added luminaries such as The Beta Band, Beth Orton, doves, Hot Chip, Kingsof Convenience, Phoenix and Placebo to its roster, as well as releasing Tour De France, the first new album in 12 years from legendary electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, as well as re-issuing their fabled catalogue.
Additional label milestones include Fatboy Slim’s You’ve Come A Long Way Baby, the first DJ album to go platinum in the USA and The Chemical Brothers‘ “Block Rockin’ Beats,” the first track by an electronic artist to win a Grammy ® and crack the Alternative Top 40 Chart. Astralwerks established David Guetta as a major mainstream artist in America selling over 11 million singles from the smash album Nothing But The Beat and saw Swedish House Mafia become the first-ever DJ artists to sell out Madison Square Garden (in an incredible 10 minutes).
Today Astralwerks remains focused on the future. The label continues to usher in a new generation of talent including Gold Fields, Claire, Empire of the Sun, NERVO, Eric Prydz, and Mat Zo, among many others.
To celebrate the birthday Astralwerks dug deep into the archives, all the way back to that first release, Amorphous Androgynous’ (a.k.a. Future Sound of London’s) “Tales Of Ephidrina,” finding two never-before-heard alternative mixes from the album: “Liquid Insects” / “Mountain Goat” (now available for streaming).