Brian Burton has good taste. As Danger Mouse, he's won five Grammy Awards and worked with everyone from the Black Keys to Gorillaz to Adele. Now the musician, songwriter and producer is adding another impressive project to his resume: his own record label.
Burton's new label, 30th Century Records, is releasing its first album, a compilation of songs by relatively unknown artists, on Dec. 18. On this week's +1 podcast, host Bob Boilen talked to Burton about learning what it takes to make a label great and what made him decide to start a label of his own and then listened to two of the songs from his upcoming compilation, by the artists Sam Cohen and Nine Pound Shadow.
Burton on forming bonds with labels:
"You would have seen something that was on Bad Boy or on Death Row or something like that, you would have bought anything that came out, because stuff was changing so fast and there was no Internet, so you just had to be kind of told what was associated with what and what was supposed to be good."
On helping new artists:
"I'm not trying to shape the way these bands sound on the label at all. I'm looking for things that I like or that I connect with in some way that maybe other people are not, other labels are not really jumping on for whatever reason. Or maybe something that I hear first and think, you know, I could help them and put them with this producer or put them with this person. And sometimes it's just, if somebody wants to bring me songs and say, 'What do you think of these?' I can even just tell them that way. That's still a way to help them."
Sam Cohen, 'Lose Your Illusion'
Nine Pound Shadow, 'Melody'