Updated: Apr 1
Launched in 2002, XOX Records has been delivering a slow-paced, but quality driven catalog of music from various Finnish and other European artists; some of who have gone on to become staple names in Electro Bass music, like Blastromen and Sero.
Based in Finland, the label is also parent to the Dub/Minimal/Ambient sub-label "Escape From Synthesis", as well as Acid House sub-label "ProForm Series". Throughout its discography, the label has always focused on releasing 12” vinyl records primarily, but released its digital catalog to the public in 2013.
The label’s first record was by “Laite”, with an EP called “Pain”. This 3 tracker was quite an astounding first release for the label, and showed that just because Finland is a relatively quiet and un-talked about nation, doesn't mean it can't offer a high degree of quality producers and composers, amongst many other things of course. Pounding beats, sinister basslines, mischievous vocals, and brooding melodic arrangements were in abundance all over the productions of this record, setting the stage for what would go on to become one of the great imprints of the later part of the last decade.
For their second release, XOX would publish Blastromen’s historic debut hit “Robot Agression E.P.”, which was actually released out of order, as it is catalog “XOX003”. Unfortunately the label’s second release was supposed to have been the self-entitled “Sektoid E.P.” by Sektoid, but unfortunately as of yet, there is still no word as to why the release was never published or if it ever will be.
2006 would mark the year when XOX would bring us one of their most spectacular releases in their catalog to date, the almighty “Sero” and the “Megamaid E.P.”. This old school Miami Bass influenced release was a ferocious attack of bass drops, frantic basslines, and playful synthetic tones that seemed to richochet off of one another. The record also featured a remix by the legendary Bass master himself, Bass Junkie, who reworked the original into an extravaganza of booming beats, bringing in an even wider array of old school Miami Bass sample cuts, as well as a style of funk bassline not heard in quite some time. This remix took you back to the late ‘80s/Early ‘90s, as it paid homage to the roots of both of these artists with a perfect rendition of what Old School Miami Bass would have sounded like in 2006.
In 2008, Blastromen’s second EP would come to fruition, as the label released “Blasteroids”; a mesmerizing 4 tracker on vinyl, full of majestic synth work, deranged cybernetic sound manipulations, and intelligent vocal work. The main song “Blasteroids”, would go on to be released on the very first Streetsounds “Nu Electro” compilation, which featured some of the most legendary artists in our music since the inception of Electro Funk back in the early ‘80s.
Fast-forward to 2010, when the label would bring us the return of Sero with “Interception System”, which was essentially a remixes EP that included works by DJ Overdose (2 remixes), and Morphology, as well as a bonus beats version by Sero himself. This spectacular release was a relentless attack of punishing rhythms, mystifying synth lines, and dark overtones; all represented in their own unique way, as each artist brought their strengths to the table. Leaving us with one last, but powerful release for some time in what would become a brief hiatus for XOX.
Thankfully in 2014, XOX Records returned once again with the punishing "Game Over E.P.", by Biodread, followed by the remixes EP in 2016, which included works by Sero, Morphology, CRC, KAN3DA, and Luke Eargoggle. Two vinyl masterpieces in their own right which you must absolutely own, and a welcomed return to this fantastic imprint who had left us disappointed that we would never experience releases with such caliber as these two vinyl pieces.
Even better news, the label continues to publish music to this day, and has actually just released a brand new record by Krypton 81, the duo from Denmark who brought us some fascinating releases on labels such as Subsonic Device, and Lunar Orbiter Program, with the "AlphaZero EP". Stay tuned for much more as the label shows no signs of slowing down!