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Label Story - Memphis Industries

By Jessica Porter-Langson |

Take a deep dive into the story of just a handful of the talented artists at Memphis Industries, featuring the OG’s Blue State, the group that launched them - The Go! Team, and even a past Qobuzissime winning artist - Baba Ali.

Based in the UK, Memphis Industries began as a record label in 1998 thanks to brothers Ollie and Matt Jacob. In the same vein as how many indie labels begin, it was originally created to help release their own and their friend's music, however, their first album release (Blue States - Nothing Changes Under the Sun) ended up being a surprise success. From there the label went from strength to strength, they ended up signing The Go! Team, and the rest is history!

Blue States:
The project that started it all… Blue State’sForever’ EP (released on 12” vinyl) is the release that launched Memphis Industries. Supported by two mates who had virtually no background in this field, Andy Dragazis AKA Blue States found some success with this first EP and to the founder’s surprise, the EP ended up selling out. Two years later, Dragazis released the album Nothing Changes Under the Sun which is when things for the brothers at Memphis Industries really changed. The work shifted from just 500 copies of an EP to 1,000, then 2,000, then 5,000 odd copies of this new album. After millions of streams, thousands of fans and even a song (Season Song) being featured in the acclaimed film 28 Days Later, some 24 years on, Blue States are still releasing with Memphis and have just released their 7th studio album World Contact Day.

The Go! Team:
In 2004 Memphis picked up The Go! Team without knowing what they were about to get into. With their debut album Thunder, Lightning, Strike came unexpected success, reaching widespread acclaim and even a Mercury Prize nomination. After originally creating the album in his parents’ house as a solo project, Ian Parton recruited a band to play the Accelerator Festival in Sweden. From there the band became increasingly popular with primetime radio play around the world and a Best New Music Pitchfork review when that meant something. After all these years, The Go! Team recently released their 6th studio album with Memphis Industries in 2021 called Get Up Sequences Part One, hopefully meaning we can be expecting a highly anticipated Part Two shortly.

Baba Ali:
Among the many talented artists on roster at Memphis Industries, a special mention must go to Baba Ali, whose debut album released with Memphis was awarded a Qobuzissime instantly. Baba Ali is an '80s man, but there's more to him than that, as Memory Device proves. A New Jersey native with Nigerian roots, Baba Ali combines the sparkle of funk, the coldness of post-punk, and the effusiveness of dance music to create a sparkling debut. Beyond the broad variety of musical references on display, what really makes this album captivating is the way the tension is maintained from one track to the next, making it the stuff of cathartic club trips. In short, a gem of a Qobuzissime, whose magic simply has to be shared.

Among these talented few, some other must listen to artists on Memphis’ roster include Sunderland baroque rock legend Field Music, experimental pop/electro artist POLIÇA, quirky folk-esque singer-songwriter Rachael Dadd and the 60s inspired Francis Lung.

Discover the fantastic artists of Memphis Industries on Qobuz now wither our specially curated playlist!