Warp (also known as Warp Records) is an English independent record label, founded in Sheffield in 1989 by record store workers Steve Beckett, Rob Mitchell and record producer Robert Gordon. It is currently based in London.
In the 1990s, the label became associated with experimental electronic styles such as Intelligent Dance Music, and served as the home of a variety of acclaimed and influential electronic musicians, including Aphex Twin, Boards Of Canada, LFO, Black Dog, and Autechre. Current artists on the label roster include Flying Lotus, Rustie, Oneohtrix Point Never, Danny Brown, Grizzly Bear, Brian Eno, TNGHT, and Kelela.
(Read more at Wikipedia.)
Links To Peel
In June 1998, the opening night of the Meltdown festival curated by Peel was a Warp label live special featuring Autechre, Broadcast, Plaid and Plone. The DJ closely followed the evolution of the Sheffield label from early “bleep techno” 12-inch dance singles from outfits such as LFO and Nightmares On Wax to a wider range of experimental electronic music more for home listening, including releases by session artists Aphex Twin and Boards Of Canada.
Warp initially tapped into two areas that interested Peel: the local Sheffield tradition of electronic music and the northern club music explosion of the late 1980s from both sides of the Pennines. The first album released by the label was by Sweet Exorcist, who featured Richard H. Kirk of Peel session veterans Cabaret Voltaire. It subsequently worked with other electronic music artists long championed by the DJ, including Alex Paterson (of the Orb) and Brian Eno.
Outside Warp's usual parameters, Peel also gave airtime to releases on indie subsidiary label Gift, including early 90s singles from Sheffield session stalwarts Pulp, before the band signed for Island.
After Peel's death, Warp publicly thanked the DJ for his backing:
- ”John was a great supporter of our music and, as with so many other labels and artists around the world, he was the first person to contact us when we started the label. He phoned the shop in Sheffield himself in 1989 before anyone had a clue what we were doing and was raving about the Forgemasters track - it made our day.” 
Warp artists who recorded Peel sessions. List includes sessions when the artists were not on Warp.
- Aphex Twin: (2 sessions, 1992-95)
- Autechre: (3 sessions, 1995-2003)
- Black Dog: (2 sessions, 1995-97)
- Boards Of Canada: (1 session, 1998)
- Broadcast: (3 sessions, 1996-2003)
- Mira Calix: (1 session, 2000)
- LFO: (1 session, 1990)
- Plaid: (3 sessions, 1996-2003)
- Plone: (2 sessions, 1996-99)
- Sabres Of Paradise: (1 session, 1995)
- Seefeel: (1 session, 1994)
- Tortoise: (2 sessions, 1996-98)
- 30 June 1998: Warp label live special recorded at Meltdown, 1998-06-20, featuring Autechre, Broadcast, Plaid and Plone.
- 20 April 2000: Luke Vibert (& BJ Cole), live DJ set from Scala, Kings Cross.
According to The Festive Fifty by Mark Whitby (1st edition, 2005, pg195), Warp had the joint 19th most Festive Fifty entries of any label in Peel's lifetime (with 13, level with Big Cat and Reception), and the 18th highest number of separate tracks (13, one behind Cog-Sinister, Duophonic and Probe Plus).
The list below covers Festive Fifty entries on Warp; it does not include entries by Warp artists on other labels. Please add further information if known.
- Aphex Twin: 1996 Festive Fifty: Girl/Boy Song #29 // 1999 Festive Fifty: Windowlicker #42
- Autechre: 1998 Festive Fifty: fold four wrap five #48
- Boards Of Canada: 1998 Festive Fifty: Aquarius #18 / Roygbiv #41 // 2000 Festive Fifty: In A Beautiful Place Out In The Country #20
- Broadcast: 1999 Festive Fifty: Echoes Answer #36 // 2000 Festive Fifty: Come On Let's Go #5 // 2003 Festive Fifty: Pendulum #40
- Plone: 1998 Festive Fifty: Plock #16 // 1999 Festive Fifty: Be Rude To Your School #34
- Sabres Of Paradise: 1994 Festive Fifty: Wilmot #29
- Squarepusher: 2001 Festive Fifty: My Red Hot Car #20
- Aphex Twin: 2014 Festive Fifty: Minipops 67 #07
- Battles: 2007 Festive Fifty: Atlas #01 // 2015 Festive Fifty: The Yabba #18
- Grizzly Bear: 2009 Festive Fifty: Two Weeks #17
(3xLP / CD - We Are Reasonable People)
- 26 May 1998: Squarepusher / AFX: Freeman Hardy & Willis Acid
- 27 May 1998: Boards Of Canada: Orange Romeda
- 02 June 1998: Plaid: Ilasas
- 03 June 1998: Plone: Plaything
- 04 June 1998: Red Snapper: 4 Dead Monks
(4xLP / 2xCD - Warp 10+3 Remixes)
- 09 November 1999: Boards Of Canada: Kid For Today (remixed by Stereolab)
- 10 November 1999: Seefeel: When Face Was Face (ISAN remix)
- 11 November 1999: Autechre: Vletrmx (Plaid remix)
- 16 November 1999: LFO: Nurture (Surgeon remix)
- 17 November 1999 (BBC World Service): Boards Of Canada: Kid For Today
- 18 November 1999: Autechre: EP7 / Envane (Bogdon Raczynski remix)
- 24 November 1999 (BBC World Service): Autechre: EP7/Envane (Waiting For You Amidst The Mist Of Cars, Signalling You Do Not Stop For Me)
- 02 December 1999: Tricky Disco: Tricky Disco (Plone remix)
- Peel Sessions Releases: Warp has released Peel session EPs by Autechre, Black Dog, Boards Of Canada, Mira Calix and Plaid.
- Peel Compilations: A Warp Peel sessions compilation was released in Japan by Associated Records.
- Label Specials: Includes Warp live at Meltdown
- Official site
- The History Of Warp Records
- A History Of Warp Recordings in Eight Releases
- Guardian Music Weekly: Warp Records special (podcast to mark 20 years of the label in 2009)
- ↑ The Warp night was on 1998-06-20 (Independent newspaper review). Selections were broadcast on Peel's show of 30 June 1998. The event came shortly after the release of the label compilation We Are Reasonable People (Warp 100), which featured all four artists.
- ↑ Paterson appeared on the 1992 Warp compilation ‘Artificial Intelligence’ with the track ‘Loving You Live’. Eno has been with the label since the 2010 album ‘Small Craft On A Milk Sea’.
- ↑ The first Warp release, 'Track With No Name' by the Forgemasters, was played by Peel on 25 January 1990.
- ↑ Alex Paterson did five sessions with the Orb from 1989 to 1997, while Richard H. Kirk of Sweet Exorcist did two with Cabaret Voltaire, in 1981 and 1984. Brian Eno, who didn't record for Warp until after the death of Peel, did one solo session in 1974, five with Roxy Music and one as a member of Fripp & Eno.