Article by: Sam Wolloch
In its first explosive year, Badkill Records quickly established itself as an artist-focused platform working in the darker side of electronic dance music. With an ever-growing roster of talented producers from all over the world, Badkill is poised to bring its grungy, hard-hitting sound to the masses of the EDM community.
Badkill Records was founded in 2019 by Todd Daggett, a 20-year veteran DJ in the Pacific Northwest dance music scene known as Deformaty. He quickly teamed up with longtime collaborator and fellow Portland, Oregon producer, Alex Lightspeed, and added the “Feeding Back Tuesdays” livestream host Justin Martin, also known as the artist KNO/WHY, for his visibility and connection to emerging artists. Now with an experienced leadership team in place, Badkill swiftly made good on its mission statement about being “dedicated to releasing the highest-quality, trend-setting music crafted by high-caliber, skilled, creative, and cutting-edge musicians.”
One of its truly remarkable successes is how many different genres of EDM Badkill supports under its platform of powerfully sludgy dance music. From drum and bass and electro house to dubstep and left field bass, there is a place at Badkill for skilled artists interested in growing their career and dedicating themselves to the dark arts of EDM. As evidenced by a thriving roster of international artists, Badkill is home to creative talent from all over the world.
For example, Cuban-based BeutNoise recently released his first song with Badkill, a dubstep banger called “Make Your Money Move,” and a few weeks ago Point 4, a South African drum and bass producer, debuted on Badkill with his track “Tectonics.” Other overseas artists include Merin from the Philippines, Exulo who now lives in Germany, and Foks from Newcastle, England.
Badkill has plenty of action in America as well, including the Toronto trap house and dubstep duo, The Disco Godfathers, who just this week released the newest Badkill single “No. 17 Craft.” Across the lake in Buffalo, New York are two more Badkill standouts: future trap house producer Scafetta, and dark dubstep dynamo Mr. Fink, who last month dropped the heavy-hitting track “Close Your Eyes.”
While the list of creative releases on its roster is quite lengthy, it is all easy to find because Badkill Records does a great job of uniting a diverse array of artists with its well-developed brand. The Badkill website features an artist section with a wealth of interesting bios, a merchandise shop with some sweet swag, and even a handy page for prospective producers to submit their music. Best of all, the releases page makes it simple to access and acquire anything from Badkill’s library of music, including easy links to Beatport, Traxsource, and Amazon Music.
The visuals and imagery for Badkill are striking too, with some really eye-catching pictures used for its various release art like Deformaty and Lightspeed’s collab “STRFKR,” the Wasteurself single “Astronaut Husband,” and Merin’s EP Gamer Moment. The Instagram account also boasts a bunch of wild promotional videos, and staying true to the Badkill ethos of the uncanny and obscure, it features nightmarish characters like head-banging clowns, possessed robots, and of course, the trademark BK Skull.
So with an experienced core of industry veterans leading a diverse international assortment of skilled EDM producers, Badkill Records is realizing its goal to unify the creative sound of its artists with its edgy and powerful vision for the future. The EDM world would be wise to take notice of this emerging force harnessing the dark arts of dubstep, trap, and bass, because Badkill Records is just getting started.