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WARP'S STEVE BECKETT NAMED AIM PIONEER

Warp Records co-founder Steve Beckett will be honoured as a Pioneer at the Association of Independent Music Awards in London on 9/5 for his innovation in A&R and business. Under his leadership, Warp has signed artists as diverse as Flying Lotus, Hudson Mohawke and Brian Eno.

“Over the years Steve’s work has stood out as an exemplar of what it is to be a creative entrepreneur, at the forefront of artist discovery and development, digital evolution and subsequently film,” AIM CEO Paul Pacifico said. “I am delighted that we are able to recognise his exceptional career with this year’s AIM Pioneer Award.”

Beckett started his career running record shop FON in Sheffield alongside the late Rob Mitchell in the ’80s, as the first wave of Chicago house and Detroit techno exploded across the North of England.

With producer Robert Gordon, the trio formed Warp Records in 1989 to release local artists. Forgemasters' “Track With No Name” became an instant underground floor filler, while Nightmares on Wax's “Dextrous” and LFO’s “LFO” peaked in the Top 20 in 1990, developing the label into the home for esoteric electronic music. Later success came with Aphex Twin, Autechre, Squarepusher and Boards of Canada.

Under Beckett’s leadership, Warp has also signed Battles, Oneohtrix PointNever, Clark, Bibio and LoneLady. On the business side, he’s helmed the launch of DRM-free download store Bleep and film and TV production arm Warp Films.

Beckett said: “I'm so honoured to be recognised as a ‘visionary’ by my peers in the independent music industry. I can still remember, almost 30 years ago, writing lists of possible names for the label in a crappy shared house in Sheffield with my co-founder Rob Mitchell, who sadly passed away in 2001.

"We've built that bedroom operation into a group of companies that includes Warp Records, Warp Music Publishing, Warp Films and Bleep.com, employing 60 people in six offices around the world. We have remained staunchly independent throughout – not to be ‘against’ anything, but to be ‘for’ creating our own destiny. I'm proud of so many things we've achieved with Warp.”

 

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