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Instinct Records

Instinct Records

Founded as a dance label in a Greenwich Village living room, Instinct Records first gained prominence in 1990 with the success of the label's first signing, Moby, one of the most durable stars of the early 90's rave scene. Instinct built on that early success quickly by releasing seminal recordings from such labels as Rising High, Pod, Kickin’ and Antler Subway.

Over the years Instinct's reputation grew on an international scale, having put out groundbreaking releases in the US via such innovative overseas labels as Compost (from whom the Future Sound of Jazz series was introduced in the US), Fax (Pete Namlook), Groove Attack Prod. (Plug In, Turn On), Time Recordings (EMIT), and Infracom.

Through the middle 90's, Instinct's electronic focus brought it closer towards the alternative circuit. Early work with bands such as Messiah, Cabaret Voltaire and The Drum Club inevitably lead to recent work with The Creatures, Jimmy Somerville, Marc Almond and Sarah Cracknell.

In addition to pioneering the introduction of techno and rave music in America, Instinct became known for its parallel emphasis on the acid jazz scene. This Is Acid Jazz series was the ultimate U.S. source of reference for the genre and was one of the most popular acid jazz series in the U.S. Instinct introduced many of the key bands in the scene during these years, including K-Collective (Brand New Heavies), James Taylor Quartet and Exodus (Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation).

While immersed in acid jazz, underground, and alternative music, Instinct also moved in a distinctly commercial direction as it expanded to become one of the key players in the smooth jazz genre. With a roster of contemporary jazz artists including Gota, Count Basic, Soundscape UK, Shakatak, Chris Standring, and Brian Tarquin, Instinct has earned its reputation, garnering many nominations and awards as the best Independent Smooth Jazz label.

In 1995 Shadow Records was launched to focus on the more organic side of the underground scene pioneering the trip-hop and electronica genres in the US. Notable artists from the Shadow roster include DJ Krush, DJ Cam, Kruder & Dorfmeister, and Jack Dangers, as well as America's introduction to Ninja Tune Records.

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