Founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1993, Metropolis Records has developed a strong reputation over the years as a leader in various genres of underground music. Though widely known for electro-industrial,synthpop, future pop, darkwave, and gothic music, the label has always operated with a bent towards all genres of dark alternative music, be it electronics-based or post-punk.
In 1993, Dave Heckman formed Metropolis Records, and started the process of building a roster and partnerships with bands and labels overseas. The label’s first releases were issued in May 1994. These albums were “Teignmouth” and “Mental Traveller” by Love is Colder Than Death, “Revelations 23” by Mentallo and the Fixer, and “Bioculture” by Electro Assassin.
A huge step forward for the label came in 1995, when Metropolis landed its first flagship band, as legendary industrial act Front Line Assembly joined the roster. With this signing, paired with the label’s reputation for fair treatment of its artists, Metropolis began to rapidly expand. Another major factor that lent itself to this growth was a distribution deal with Caroline Distribution, which made it possible to get releases into national chain stores like Borders and Tower Records.
By 1998, the label was considered the premiere dark electronic label and was closing in on its 100th release. This milestone was celebrated by the issuing of Re:Boot, a live album from legendary EBM pioneers Front 242.
Over the next few years, Metropolis continued to expand and grow more diverse, as evidenced by signing bands such as The Birthday Massacre, Electric Six, Juno Reactor, IAMX and Gary Numan, as well as the label’s top selling album to date, “You’ll Rebel To Anything” by Mindless Self Indulgence. 2010 saw Metropolis Records join forces with long-time supporter and friend Jim Semonik to release his “Electronic Saviors: Industrial Music To Cure Cancer” series, a set of massive compilations wherein bands from all over the world donate tracks. To date, the compilations have raised over ,000 for cancer charities such as Gilda’s Club.
As Metropolis Records has navigated over the course of the turbulent landscape of the current music industry, the label continues to expand and diversify its roster, boasting releases from punk to ambient experimental, rock, trance, electronic industrial, goth rock, and more.
Adding greater credence to its reputation as an unshakable pillar in the independent music world, 2014 sees Metropolis Records closing in on not only its 20th anniversary, but also the 1000th release.