4AD 2009 Sampler
One of our favorite record labels of the decade, 4AD, has just posted a neat little year-end gift on its website. To celebrate another year of quality 4AD recordings, you can now download a zip containing a track from each of the records they released in 2009, featuring Atlas Sound, The Big Pink, Camera Obscura, The National, Deerhunter, Tune-Yards, M.Ward, St. Vincent and more.
That you can split 4AD's existence into two distinct eras - classic and modern 4AD - says something about the longevity and iconic importance of this label. From Bauhaus to the Cocteau Twins to several Pixies releases, "classic" 4AD is responsible for influencing pretty much every damn rock band in America since the 1980s - be it directly, or several tiers of influence removed (think of the scores of Nirvana imitators, for instance, who'd never heard a Pixies release). After a transitional period, 4AD surged back into a second prime - they're now responsible for Blonde Redhead, Beirut, TV on the Radio, Bon Iver, Stereolab, and a whole host of other acts that will be shaping young musicians decades down the line. No question that 4AD stays true to the meaning of the phrase "alternative music" - they'll be the anchor of the genre for years to come.