XL Recordings is an independent British label, founded in 1989 in London, originally as a sub of Beggars Banquet Record. It was one of the most successful labels in the Rave scene, releasing major hits from the Drum n Bass, Techno and Breakbeat Hardcore scene.
On 25th August 2014, the label are releasing Pay Close Attention, a history-spanning compilation album which documents and celebrates the key releases and moments from the 25 year history the label.
Pay Close Attention will be released as a 4 x LP vinyl boxset that includes bonus DVD and poster, as well as a 2 disc CD format and download.
Pay Close Attention also exists in website format at pay-close-attention.com. The newly-launched site is comprised of a series of immersive and interconnected timelines that allow you to explore the work of the artists. It also features a wealth of new and unseen content, including new interviews and performance footage from Vampire Weekend, The White Stripes, Tyler, the Creator, The Prodigy and Bobby Womack. In addition, the Pay Close Attention site includes a bespoke music and video player that allows you to build playlists to enjoy as you navigate the site.
Pay Close Attention track list:
1. SL2 - DJs Take Control
2. The Prodigy - Out Of Space
3. Awesome 3 - Don’t Go (Kicks Like A Mule Mix)
4. Liquid - Sweet Harmony
5. Jonny L - Piper
6. Roy Davis Jr. featuring Peven Everett - Gabriel (Live Garage Version)
7. Dem 2 - Destiny
8. Nu-Birth - Anytime
9. Basement Jaxx - Jump N’Shout
10. Dizzee Rascal - I Luv U
11. Wiley - Igloo
12. Various Production - Hater
13. Giggs - Talkin The Hardest
14. SBTRKT - Wildfire (featuring Little Dragon)
15. Jamie xx - All Under One Roof Raving
1. The Prodigy - Firestarter
2. Peaches - Fuck The Pain Away
3. The White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
4. Devendra Banhart - I Feel Just Like A Child
5. Ratatat - Seventeen Years
6. M.I.A. - Paper Planes
7. Thom Yorke - The Eraser
8. Gil Scott-Heron - New York Is Killing Me
9. Radiohead - Weird Fishes / Arpeggi
10. Tyler, The Creator - Yonkers
11. The Horrors - Sea Within A Sea
12. Jai Paul - BTSTU (demo)
13. Bobby Womack - Please Forgive My Heart
14. The xx - Angels
15. Sampha - Too Much
16. Vampire Weekend - Step
17. King Krule - Easy Easy
18. Adele - Rolling In The Deep
In the Pay Close Attention sleeve notes, XL owner Richard Russell writes:
“XL Recordings is a collaborative endeavour, and many people have contributed to its evolution. In the song ‘Out Of Space’, Liam Howlett of The Prodigy provided a blueprint when he sampled Kool Keith of Ultramagnetic MC’s rapping these words: “Pay Close Attention”. And whilst XL has never had any outside ownership, Gil Scott-Heron advised me not to even consider XL an “independent”, because everything is connected.
Part 1 of this compilation are the roots of XL; underground music, made for DJs. These roots are still growing. Part 2 features some of the singular talents who have taken the label further than we ever envisioned. There is no unifying genre; hopefully the thread of originality is evident though.
The rave music XL first became known for was known as “hardcore”; that spirit continues.
To show our appreciation for your support, thank you DJs.
And thank you also to the retailers, writers, and, of course, ravers. “ - Richard Russell, London, 2014