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Post Cool → The History

The above image is Hud Mo's bedroom in his mum's house, in a basement in Glasgow's West End - circa 2006 around the same time that "Hudson's Heeters" was released. We used to go round here to steal his decks before playing parties when we were at the art school. There was no label then - we were simply friends making music and playing small shows together. The Blessings (Dominic Flannigan & Martyn Flyn) continue to run the label. Martyn came up with the name "LuckyMe". It was his idea to release the hybrid music that we’d started to make on cracked software, throwing it up on Myspace. Around that time Hud Mo had partnered with Mike Slott under the name Heralds Of Change to put out a couple records. The scene in Glasgow was starting to come together. We were playing parties alongside Rustie and the guys who went on to found the Numbers label. We started the label to put out the first Hudson record with the help of Rub A Dub Distribution. Called "Hud Mo Says Ooops!", it sold out every time we repressed it. Enough to keep us doing it.

We started to tour, becoming friends with like-minded promoters, artists and scenes across the world. In Amsterdam there was Rush Hour, Patta, Cinnaman & Tom Trago. In Los Angeles there was Fly Lo, Brainfeeder & Dublab. In Vienna there was Dorian Concept, CID RIM & Affine Records. In New York we got to know Kingdom, Machinedrum and the artists hanging around the Dante’s Fried Chicken parties. In London there was Deviation, Benji B, & Patchwork Pirates. And most significantly for us in Montreal, where the promoter of our first show was an 18 year old called Philippe Aubin-Dionne, now known by Jacques Greene. The support act that night was Lunice.

Dominic and Martyn both moved back to Scotland, dedicated to turning this label into a business while holding down day jobs in clothing stores. LuckyMe had started to get written about in press as a hot new sound but we never felt comfortable with all the bizarre genre names thrown at us. We sought to diversify the sound associated with LuckyMe by signing a rock band called Americanmen. Members of which later released solo projects for us as Sevendeaths and Claude Speeed. We were introduced to Eclair Fifi around this time through Konx Om Pax. She was one of the few DJs playing music we liked in Scotland, blending new hip hop and club music into techno and electro. Our favourite DJ, we started working together.

Calum (Spencer) at Numbers was head of digital at Warp at the time and was instrumental in signing Hud Mo and Rustie to Warp, where they both put out their debut albums. We reached out to Travis Stewart aka Machinedrum and signed him just prior to playing our first takeover at Sonar Festival in Barcelona. S-Type had already been producing rap records and was known on the scene of the Louis Den Beat Battles. It took him a while to start working with us but we kept hounding him. He was always the best doing it.

We followed a whole genre of young labels who hosted shows on Rinse FM & NTS, travelling down to record shows in London beside Hessle Audio, Night Slugs & Hyperdub. Joe Coghill’s club in Glasgow Baller’s Social Club had placed LuckyMe acts alongside a lot of the best talent in the world coming through the city, connecting us to so many artists and DJs. In 2012 Dominic moved down to London to live with Hud Mo. It meant when our friends were touring they had somewhere cheap to crash and not long after moving down, Lunice came over for a week of shows. At the time Hud Mo was renting a tiny studio from MJ Cole and in just two days Lunice and Mo had made the TNGHT record. We approached Warp to ask permission to release Hud Mo’s music outside of their contract together, and we made a hand shake agreement to put out the TNGHT ep together as a 50/50 release. That record blew up. Enough to keep us doing it.

We were sat in the hotel room before TNGHT's first ever show at SXSW, and we were sent a demo which we liked. Hud Mo shouted through from the other room "gimme that and I'll play it tonight". It was a song from a kid called Baauer. While Dom was standing side of stage at the TNGHT gig, they played the Baauer song and a young music manager ran over and said "this is my artist's song how do you have this?". We signed Baauer. That started a run of releases which saw us open up the label in the US: from Baauer's debut ep, S-Type's smash "Billboard", and the debut CID RIM release which all received best new track at Pitchfork.

Rustie played a BBC Essential Mix which won lots of awards and became a sort of fabled mix of exclusives. He premiered so many of our releases including Baauer's 'Harlem Shake' alongside Sam O.B. aka Obey City and Cashmere Cat. Not long after that mix, Harlem Shake went viral on YouTube thanks to a video by Joji, and Baauer sort of lost control of how people remember that record. The song aligned with a change in chart rules that qualified streaming as a sale, and Baauer consequently shot to number one and double platinum. He broke all chart records. He graced the cover of Billboard Magazine, ushering in the era of streaming. We helped the team answer emails and sync requests. Wild stuff like requests from The Simpsons and Good Morning America. Baauer toured and travelled the world in the year that followed, recording songs for his debut album.

Meanwhile we worked on an official remix project for Pusha-T. It felt like we were moving closer to being able to work on big rap projects which was a dream of ours. Kanye became aware of us and reached out. Hud Mo penned a production deal with Def Jam / G.O.O.D Music, working as a principle producer and engineer for the camp, on everything Cruel Summer through to Life Of Pablo. We met Travis Scott when he was mad young. He slept in the studio we were using in Hawaii. He played us Owl Pharoahe out of some blown KRKs on a tiny setup in a mic booth in Paris. We met Rocky. Met Es Devlin. Met Bernard Arnault. That same year Hud Mo worked on Drake's album, earning platinum plaques for 'Yeezus' and 'Nothing Was The Same'. He worked a few days with Frank Ocean between Channel Orange and Endless. And started to send demos back and forth with Anohni fka Antony & The Jonsons. Mo has since gathered a number of Grammy noms for his work on 'The Life Of Pablo' and 'Anohni'. Despite staying completely independent we’ve been able to bring some amazing talent to our own artist’s releases, working with Future, Rae Sremmurd, Travis Scott, G Dragon, Yung Lean, Denzel Curry, Roc Marciano, Lil Wayne, Fetty Wap, Skepta, Miguel, Young Thug. So many more...

Back in Scotland, Martyn opened up an office at The Summerhall in Edinburgh and we started new companies to look after management and art direction for music clients. Dominic had worked on 'Cruel Summer' in Hawaii and 'Yeezus' in Paris. He became an A&R at Warp in late 2012, looking after Hud Mo, Rustie and working on the marketing of Boards Of Canada, Autechre, Aphex Twin, Mark Pritchard, Bibio, Clark and many more of the Warp roster. LuckyMe had been courted by some major label interest but in 2015 we signed a partnership with the head of Warp to release albums by our roster. We started scaling up campaigns and building our marketing team. For the first time we had worldwide distribution via our team in Los Angeles, New York, London, Scotland, France, Germany, Korea, Japan, Australia and Mexico.

While Eclair Fifi undertook a 6 week residency on BBC Radio One she premiered SOPHIE and early PC Music releases back when they had just joined soundcloud. She had just found them online but we became friends and played a number of shows together in London and the US, including the premiere of QTs live show, and a large Boiler Room event for the launch of Hud Mo's 'Chimes'. At this time back in Edinburgh, we signed a three-piece art school band called NAKED who consequently moved to London, became a duo and started making noise sets. For the launch of their album they opened for Merzbow and Thurston Moore in St John's of Hackney. An amazing night.

One night Jacques Greene hit us with a link to these kids in Ontario who had put up a reactive music video hosted on a fake Tumblr. They were called Littlebabyangel. After years of working with producers and DJs it felt like a logical next step to work with a vocalist. We distributed their debut mixtape 'GADA' via a chain letter: exploring ways of bypassing the editorial structures of streaming services. Since the start of LuckyMe we've sought to freely distribute music and we're proud of the idea of being a "web-label", creating numerous microsites dating back to 2007. We continue to release free mixes and an annual "Advent Calendar Giveaway" - the first advent calendar for music on the internet.

In 2018, we signed New Orleans producer Suicideyear. We first met James as he dragged his PC tower into the club at SXSW 2013 and we'd watched him grow on releases for Daniel Lopatin's Software label. His album "Color The Weather" has been a highlight of our year. Another new signing this year was Denzel Himself - a writer, rapper, producer and director from London who, although barely into his twenties, is fusing a lot of the music that was primary inspiration for this label. We put out a series of Baauer singles that featured the voices of AJ Tracey and virtual model Miquela - a statement on the internet and the predicament of modern algorithmically driven pop music.

A record by our Rinse-resident Inkke saw us strip it all back and focus on the real world. He shot and edited videos himself: raw black n white collages of hanging out around the skate spots and clubs in Glasgow. And we littered the city in Inkke stickers to let em know about it. In London, Eclair Fifi has continued to grow her radio show at NTS and has toured extensively this year, including a televised set to open the new V&A in Dundee. She featured high on The List's Hot 100 and has won Best Electronic Artist as the SSE Scottish Music Awards. We started a new imprint with Clair, specialising in electro, house and techno – the label is called River Rapid.From playing the worlds first internet radio stations over 20 years ago to see things blossom in the last few years has been incredible.

Jacques Greene's 'Fever Focus' ep started out as an hour long YouTube mixtape and cassette. The music on 'Fever Focus' laid the ground for JG's second album Dawn Chorus, a project which occupied much of 2019 for the label. His latest releases moved Jacques Greene yet deeper into a unique interpretation of dance music and posited a new direction for the producer years after he first sprung onto the scene. Pitchfork wrote "...almost a decade since he released his first release, he’s still finding new paths to euphoria."

Our artists continue to create edits of their favourite records, from the dawn of LuckyMe on 'Hud Mo Says Ooops!' to Jacques Greene's 'Another Girl' which was named one of Pitchfork's "Tracks Of The Decade". In 2017 we released a project in tribute to the original Otomo Akira series, with an album called 'Capsule's Pride' by Berlin-based techno, trance and house producer Nathan Micay. The record is available via an animation and "free download here" . The follow up release, Blue Spring, was heralded as an album of 2019. This time we felt it only fair to create our own story and set out an original graphic novel about a future data war, where the rebellion takes the form of large raves in the woods outside the city. A lot of this was quickly echoed in real life, via the protests in Hong Kong or in 2020 throughout the summer of the Co Vid pandemic. You can explore the project "here" .

Recently we've been tooling LuckyMe for what will be the second generation of the label, and artists who haven't yet featured in this story. Beyond our own releases we've been helping run Eclair Fifi's River Rapid label, releasing great Techno, House and Electro. And after ten years of knowing each other, we've started working with Nosaj Thing to distribute his label Timetable.

While the majority of our visual work is created in house at LuckyMe, we've been proud to work with some of the best visual artists, directors and designers of our time: Mauries Matos, Hiro Murai, Virgil Abloh, Thomas Rhazi, Peter Marsden, Shaniqwa Jarvis, Jonathan Zawada, Ezra Miller, Emir Eralp, Morey Talmor, Harry Mcnally, Konx Om Pax, Mathieu Fortin, Til Weideck, Teddy Fitzhugh, Nic Hamilton, Jase Coop, Astrid Anderson, Daniel Swan, Christina Kernohan, Sam Rolfes, Tim Saccenti, Braulio Amado to name but a few. Eric Hu redrew our logo in 2018, and Hassan Rahim's ongoing work for Jacques Greene has informed numerous mood boards and club flyers.

We spend a lot of time considering the value of the visual identity of the label. Constantly employing and retracting our brand relative to that of our artists. Our images are found on dsps, record stores and worn on peoples backs around the world and the aesthetic language we promote at LuckyMe is that of a meta-modern exaltation of our subcultural influences to the level of institutional reverence. Ultimately we create work for our artists, making worlds for their projects. Dedicating years to albums long before they are announced because we trust that if we charge a record with this much time and effort, people will pay attention and help us spread the word. LuckyMe exists in promoting black music, jazz music, rap music, hardcore, rave and dance music. Skate, film, fashion, DIY and the avant garde in whatever form that needs to take. We know it's a lot; but all these influences are just one continuum with our work contributing to it. Miles Davis summarised it best, in a magazine interview in 1969, addressing the evolution of emerging forms: "... it's folk music, it'll never die".

For years we wrote "LuckyMe family" as a way of signalling to the established industry before us that this thing was a little different. That we all knew each other early in our careers and that the people working to market these records weren't separate from those creating the music. A decade into LuckyMe our dynamic might have to change as we continue to sign artists years our junior, and our role becomes about supporting new talent. But the notion of family remains important because now more than ever with increasingly commodified internet and splintered media, the context we gain from each other is vital to reaching those thousands of fans who support our work. To this day, in the spirit of the deals we sign is the notion that we work together to add value to the art. And like a family, grow together.

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