written by Danny Silver / February 16 2012

The first installment of the best bits of the independent artists and labels banging down our doors to get into your ears...Indie music. For some it conjures up images of unwashed hipsters strangling the guitars they just got for Christmas, or of bands that just aren’t good enough to get a record deal. For others, the ocean of indie music in the world is the only place ‘real’ music exists. A place where artists can express themselves freely without pandering to the marketing desires of big label fat cats. Well the truth is, indie music covers all of these ideals, and a whole lot more.

Indie music is a land full of both atrocious howlers and undiscovered gems. Indie music is not just garage-noise-stadium-rock-wannabes or too-poor-to-even-buy-real-drums-hippie-artsters; the wide expanse of independent artists, and the ever burgeoning family of independent labels can be daunting to navigate but it provides truth in music. Truth is, when you can’t afford expensive auto-tuning sessions, you can’t hide that you can’t sing, and when you make a commanding, fresh, perfectly arranged track all alone in your bedroom, nothing can stop it being a great tune - it just has to get out there somehow.

As the multi-national media behemoth that it is (and an independent one), Gashe is regularly bombarded with requests from labels and artists, existing outside of the majors, to listen to their wares and help spread the word to the listening world. After trawling through countless emails (and subjecting my ears to some god-awful stuff), here is the first Gashe Indie Round Up: the best of the little guys. Power to the people!

Self Taught - Self Taught Life
Currently running their wares through the Vancouver based Chamberlain Drive Records, these lads have a surprisingly mature sound, even with their tongues regularly jammed in their cheeks. Both of the emcees are deft lyricists in their own right and the beats they ride on are equally matched in quality. A fun-loving video clip of animal costumes, mountain tops, and lemonade belies their ‘struggling independent artist’ existence, and hints at bigger, better, brighter, things ahead for this funky trio. Self Taught’s full album is currently available from Bandcamp, and is definitely worth some of your cash. With a roster of other big hiphop names to watch, and if Self Taught are anything to go by, Chamberlain Drive Records is one to keep an eye on.
Self Taught Life Video:
Artist Album Download:
Label Website:

Traders - Quiet Riot
French electro-rock outfit, Traders, are up next. Their manic, glitch tinged brand of dance rock goes beyond the pop flavours of Phoenix or Friendly Fires, dipping toes into the waters of the most hectic sounds of Mogwai or UNKLE, while retaining the dance-it-all-out attitudes of Soulwax or Goose. Combining the raw rock elements of drums and guitar with a massive array of synths and effects along with a very busy boy bashing away on a sampler, Quiet Riot could easily be the theme song for a big day at a summer festival. With a little more polish and a little more material, Traders really should be hitting the tour trails.
Quiet Riot Video:
Artist Website:
Artist Facebook:

Mightier Than The Sword Records
Based in North Carolina, USA, Mightier Than The Sword (MTTS) Records predominantly scour their surrounding geographical area for quality, intelligent hiphop, and occasionally stray out into the wilderness of rock and metal. Now home to quite the family of impressive up-and-coming hiphop artists and emcees, and headed by accomplished rapper Ty Bru, MTTS are sure to be the birthplace of hordes of internationally acclaimed hiphop talent. Ty Bru’s own Stereo Sound is a funk laden, upfront piece of urban hiphop, and Tenacious’ Feelin’ Alright, has a lazy but bumping summer vibe. Shamelessly using half time beats, trance inspired synths, and vocal effects, Medic drops a sexy slow rolling slammer with Another One, while D. Will is the basketball and emceeing high school kid who has no doubt shaken the halls of Eastern Randolph Junior High with his huge tune, Ill, which is a whole lot bigger than the age on his library card.
Ty Bru - Stereo Sound Video:
Label Website: 

Tha Gata Negrra
Apparently you can’t just have music, you’ve got to have “the whole package”. Tha Gata Negrra (translate: the black cat), certainly has a product to offer and somewhat of a niche to fill. On the heels of artists like Nicki Minaj and Azealia Banks, and looking like cyber-goth-meets-hello-kitty,  The Gata Negrra is full bottle, in-your-face chick hop. Her sounds run from the fat broken rock of Felinephunk, to the booty-disco of I Like, and the club friendly swinger of Like I Do. Currently represented out of New Jersey by 3 Mile Entertainment, Tha Gata Negrra definitely seems to be aiming for mainstream pop acceptance, but she’s doing it her way.
Artist Soundcloud:
Label Website:

So, are you an independant artist? Perhaps you're steering the ship of your own independent label? We want to hear you so that others can too! Send your shiz to today.