Beck has just inked a deal with independent label, XL, to release his as yet untitled new album in the UK this summer. Having previously released his efforts through major labels like Geffen and Interscope, it seems the lure of the independent - and specifically an independent label so willing to innovate - was too great for Beck. It's no surprise that it's already been announced that the album will be out in less then six weeks, a move mirroring that of The Raconteurs (also signed to XL) who released second album 'The Consolers Of The Lonely' within two weeks of announcing it even existed. For some artists the process of having to wait four months between the album being completed and people actually getting to hear it is long gone.
XL must still be on cloud nine following the signing of Radiohead for their recent album 'In Rainbows'. Although they weren't directly responsible for the radical way in which it was released (I'm not going to repeat it here, you know all about it by now), they did in theory sign a band whose new album was probably already in the homes of everyone (and more) that wanted to own it. It wasn't exactly a risk, but it was an interesting move seeing as the packaging of the physical album probably wasn't cheap and the subsequent single releases haven't exactly brought in the cash. What it does show is that XL are now building up an amazing roster of acts, a roster that already includes Cajun Dance Party, M.I.A, Dizzee Rascal, Vampire Weekend, Devendra Banhart, The White Stripes and many others.
Let us not forget also, that it was XL that brought us the classic 'On A Ragga Tip' by SL2. Break out your smiley face T-shirt and get down to some proper dance music (ahem).