Nervous Records is a New York City record label of Underground House music and hip-hop, founded in 1991. Noted for early productions by notables including armand van helden, Mood II Swing, Masters At Work and Josh wink.
The label was famous almost immediately when it started back in 1991 because of its eye-catching, very distinctive cartoon character logo. In addition the first three releases were produced by Roger S., Kenny Dope, and Todd Terry respectively, representing the three best house producers of that time. By 1992 Nervous was featured in magazines like Billboard, DJ Magazine (cover story), Mixmag, and ID, hailed by all as the “Sound of New York nitelife.”
Nervous’ first major dance release came in 1992, with “Feel Like Singing” by Sandy B. Nervous decided at that point to focus its energy on expanding the label’s musical field. The label’s first step outside the house music arena was with the Brooklyn, NY-based rap group, Black Moon, whose SINGLE “Who Got The Props” virtually put Brooklyn back on the map as a center of hip hop. At the same time, the label decided to alter the Nervous character for this release, giving it specific hip hop characteristics, and calling the hip hop label Wreck Records. Massive success followed with the Wreck imprint, as hits soon followed by Smif-N-Wessun, and Funkmaster Flex.
Arguably, the best selling and most popular artist on the label is Kim English. When Nervous started back in 1991, our focus was East Coast house music. There were a couple other hot NYC labels like strictly rhythm, Nugroove, Emotive and Maxi at the time. This was a great time for this genre, and the labels were thriving. Whenministry of sound first opened in 1992, they had flags in the club celebrating all the New York labels.
The concept of combining soulful, flavorful beats with old disco samples was still fresh. And the top producers in the game, like Kenny Dope, Louie Vega and todd terry, were “breaking off beats” for their friends, and these beats when pressed on wax would sell over 10,000 copies. Nervous had its share of hits during this time, but it had one big asset that the other labels did not share….an Amazing logo. Out of the box, the Nervous logo became a staple of the European club scene, plastered on t-shirts, caps, pants, dj bags, even undergarments!
As one of the longest standing independent RECORD LABELS in the US, Nervous Records has built its reputation through a willingness to take chances on new sounds and new producers. Nervous was the first American label to sign and release tracks from such dance industry luminaries as Armand Van Helden, Paul Van Dyk and Nuyorican Soul. This spirit has enabled Nervous to build a catalogue of hits that spans the complete range of underground dance and hip hop genres.
Sublabels: Disco Dolly, Nervous Chill, Nervous Dog Records, Nervous Old Skool, Nurvous Records, Ricanstruction Records, Sorted Records, Strapped Records, Weeded, Wreck Records.