Around the world in 80 labels: Culprit – Droog

The UK temperature has dropped, and the clocks have been turned back, meaning winter is well and truly here. As such it seems like an appropriate moment to abandon the good ship Britannia in search of warmer climes, and so we look to Southern California for our next label of distinction.

Culprit may only be a couple of years old but it’s already been making a sizeable impact on the scene from its US headquarters. Names like Manik, Subb-An, Lee Foss, Seth Troxler, Lee Curtiss, Anthony Collins, and Shonky have all put in appearances (some of whom can be found on the recent compilation, Above the City) meaning it’s not hard to grasp why so many heads have been turned, with support coming from DJs such as The Revenge, DJ T, Deetron, Marc Romboy, jozif, and Anthony Pappa, to name but a handful. Those in charge have definitely got something right then, so we roped in the three head honchos, AKA Droog, to offer a few insights into exactly how such rapid success is possible.

Culprit (USA) – Droog

Describe your imprint’s output. 

A bounty of retro futuristic musical delights that move the dancefloor and stimulate the mind… and other places.

What would you say makes it different?

The label in general is thought of in cinematic terms, from the music itself to artwork and just the general vibe. It’s all part of a continuous and timeless epic that’s being played in our minds. 

What is it that makes you keep looking for new talent to expose? 

We just looove “exposing” new talent, what can we say. Honestly, that’s the best bit about having a label, pushing young artists to reach their maximum potential. And if we pluck somebody really, really talented out of obscurity and help shape a great career – why not, ya?

What’s the label’s pinnacle achievement so far? 

Being profitable. These are the tough times for labels in general. Staying afloat is difficult enough, so not flushing money down the toilet and being self-sufficient is a major accomplishment. That allows us to keep investing in the label development, whether that’s taking more chances on new talent, throwing top class label showcases, or being able to actually pay the artists for their stellar work – they suffer enough by doing this in an unfavourable environment already.

Also the amount of good will and respect bestowed upon Culprit has been amazing. We are still a very young label.

If people were going to hear one release from your camp, what would you prefer it to be? 

Musically all of our releases are equally good in our eyes. And, if we have some personal favourites, we’ll never tell!

All being well, skip forward five years, where would you like things to be?

To be one of the most admired and followed labels in all of electronic music, and to be artistically as adventurous as we’d like to be regardless of any vagaries within dance music’s trends and fads.


Recent stops

UK – Ramp / Fourth Wave / Ashes – Tom Kerridge

UK – Soma Records – Glenn Gibbons