Breaking barriers and pushing the dance music envelope since its inception in 2011, Canadian independent label Monstercat is Dancing Astronaut’s Label of the Year. For the past six years, Monstercat has paved the way for listeners to discover dozens of new artists, garnering a massive following along the way. Led by a boundary-pushing team, 2017 proved to be the label’s best year yet. They brought on more than a dozen new artists, including Modestep, Kill The Noise, Bassnectar, Ragga Twins, Dirtyphonics, Gammer, Kayzo, Lookas, Ookay, Fox Stevenson, Slander, Sullivan King, and Gareth Emery.
Monstercat started 2017 strong with the launch of a massive anti-bullying campaign in accordance with the release of Gareth Emery and Standerwick’s “Saving Light,” raising thousands of dollars for an anti-bullying foundation called Ditch The Label.
February brought the label’s first-ever platinum record recognition for marshmello’s 2016 release, “Alone,” which has garnered millions of streams across platforms to date.
As festival season approached, the Monstercat team ramped up their efforts for shows at Amsterdam Music Event, EDC Las Vegas, Tomorrowland, E3, PAX East and Miami Music Week.
In the midst of festival season, Monstercat announced a partnership with Rocket League that resulted in the label releasing an album for the video game. The 18-song compilation featured songs from Slushii, Notaker, Tristam, WRLD, and more, and was released in accordance with the game’s two-year anniversary.
They capped off a successful summer by opening their headquarter doors in Vancouver for a Monstercat Compound event. The street party served as an opportunity for the label to recognize the community that has supported them over the years with free performances by Robotaki, Conro, Going Quantum and Grant.
In November, the team continued their worldwide reach with multiple shows in China, including a residency at Asgard Nightclub in Beijing that featured performances by JOYRYDE, Delta Heavy, Pegboard Nerds and Lookas.
As 2017 draws to a close, recognition for the label is coming in from all sides of the music industry. SoundCloud recognized Unlike Pluto‘s “Everything Black” as their Top Electronic Track of 2017, and the track was also Monstercat’s most-streamed on Spotify, amassing more than 10 million streams on the platform. Two weeks ago, the label turned the power over to the fans and asked them to vote on their top Monstercat tracks of the year. After a short voting period, listeners selected label OGs Pegboard Nerds’ track “Heaven Let Us Down” as their favorite release of 2017.
As years go by and music trends shift faster than most can keep up with, the Canadian label proves time and time again that they have finger on the pulse of the next best thing in electronic and dance music. By exposing their listeners to an unimaginable range of music from some of the industry’s most talented innovators, the Monstercat team has established themselves as fearless trailblazers in an unpredictable industry.
To celebrate their incredible year, Monstercat called on Dan Scarcelli, Head of Programming for the label’s weekly Call of The Wild show, to whip up this vicious mix packed with some of their hottest releases to date. Appropriately, the mix serves as the 200th edition of our long-standing AXIS mix series.
This story was originally published at dancingastronaut.com. Read it in full, including runners-up, on DA’s website here.