New-York based label Luaka Bop releases music from all over the world, great sounds that don't necessarily fit into categories typically used in record stores. "The initial concept was no concept," says founder David Byrne about the early days of the label - founded over 20 years ago. Over 70 albums have been released on Luaka Bop to date, with more waiting.
Luaka Bop rejects some of the preconceptions and prejudices that lie behind the term "world music", instead floating easily between diverse styles from around the world, including the USA. Not for the relentless search for the "other" - they don't just look for the exotic or "ethnic" or the "pretty-pretty", though there's plenty of gorgeous music and stunning vocals on their albums - they also delight in the cheeky and infectious eclectic groove. They're not afraid of "mutant" styles and cultivate an ear for the unusual, the less known, "the little side roads" that music takes, the cult sound, for the thing that contradicts the stereotype, the unexpected and the raw and rough - trashy organs, wah-wah guitars or synthesizers.