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Baltimore Arts

Best Label

Friends Records

Photo: Adam Lempel, License: N/A

Adam Lempel

How does one make a record label make sense in the year 2011? Well, it certainly helps if you make records—the seven-inch variety as well as the 12-inch type—one of the last remaining fruits of the music biz people are actually eager to pay for. And if you make tapes too—yes, cassette tapes, ’member those?—you not only revive a fun format for kicks, you give yourself and your artists a good, affordable way to release music that oughta be heard. But most of all, you must focus on good music that people are going to want to hear and might not hear otherwise. And considering that releases on Friends Records’ hoppin’ release schedule over the past 12 months include the likes of Height With Friends’ whut-hop opus Bed of Seeds, Secret Mountains’ Rejoice (think: Jefferson MTA Bus), Microkingdom’s kick-your-ass/weed-your-brain spazz-out Three Compositions of No Jazz, Celebration’s long-awaited Hello Paradise, and Co La’s summer jam Dial Tone Earth, among many others, we can call this one easy.

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