Twelve of the Best Colorado Underground Record Labels
Graven Earth Recordings
6. Graven Earth
Focusing on underground heavy music, local and otherwise, Graven Earth releases albums and special editions from Khemmis, Palehorse/Palerider and Pyres.
7. GroupHug Records
GroupHug started like many small labels, with friends pooling resources to put out their own music and that of other bands they like. The imprint's current roster is Denver-centric, with Panther Martin, Jobless and Civil Engineer, but also includes the Violent Lashes, from Alaska, and Wazonek, from Vancouver.
Guilty Pleasure Records
8. Guilty Pleasure Records
Founded by members of Denver bands South of France and Inner Oceans, Guilty Pleasure Records brings together the know-how of both of those acts, which have established themselves in Denver and beyond. The imprint recently signed Modern Leisure, the new band fronted by Casey Banker, best known for his stints in the Don'ts and Be Carefuls, and Shady Elders.
Shadowtrash Tape Group
9. Shadowtrash Tape Group
As the name suggests, this Boulder-based label's focus is tapes. Almost all of the artists on the label play experimental music and have tape-collage projects, ambient outfits and noise bands. Mercury Severinsen, King Poppy and Perfume Trash are not likely names that even local aficionados of unusual music know. Shadowtrash offers a tape-of-the-month subscription, which is a good way to keep up with Colorado-based weird music.
10. Symbolic Insight
Wesley Davis may be best known for his ambient series Textures, which rolls out the final Sunday of each month. But before that, he founded Symbolic Insight, a label for his own projects and other ambient and experimental-music artists.
11. Tender Moments
David Castillo had already been making tapes, CD-Rs and other merch for his own bands, including Pizza Time, when he started Tender Moments. Under the the label's umbrella, Castillo has also programmed the online festival Bummeroo, for which participating bands and other creative people create music videos of live performances. Artists on the label include Panaderia, Nancy Strong and Ben E. Gringo & His Popkorn of Feer.
12. Vacant Decade
Together less than a month, Vacant Decade comprises Nick Salmon and Adam Rojo of the industrial band Voight. So far the label has issued Voight's small catalogue, as well as that of Denver-based synth band TetraKroma. It has also reissued a 2016 self-titled EP from Portland-based dark-post-punk band Sex Park. The label aims to not be a Denver-centric affair, and has releases from other out-of-state bands.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Denver, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.