Zoë Blade's notebook

Warp Records

Pioneers of the Hypnotic Groove
Pioneers of the Hypnotic Groove

In Sheffield in the 1980s, there was a record shop, record label, and studio called FON. Three of the people who had worked there set up their own record shop and record label, Warp. Both labels commissioned artwork from The Designers Republic.

The Warp shop originally imported house and techno from Chicago and Detroit, while the Warp Records label originally released music played at underground raves, especially in the midlands.

By 1992, they had shifted away from purely dance music, towards electronic listening music. This also involved switching from releasing 12" singles for DJs, to full albums for the general public. Their Artificial Intelligence series of compilations and albums exemplifies this change, showcasing some stellar ambient techno.


Warp are cool. They're still solidly into this thing where if they like something they'll stand by it. Warp has this self belief that I don't reckon most labels actually have.

— Sean Booth, Autechre, 1997[1]

Selected roster


  1. "Autechre: Techno-logical" Christopher Holder, Sound On Sound, Nov 1997


Record labels: Warp Records