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Daptone Records

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Label history

Daptone Records is a funk and soul independent record label based in Brooklyn, New York, most well known for Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Charles Bradley.

In 2001, Gabriel Roth and Neal Sugarman formed Daptone Records. Roth had previously run the now defunct Desco record label.

The core beginning of the Daptone records sound began as the Dap-Kings, who in collaboration with Mark Ronson, backed Amy Winehouse on her hit record, Back to Black, which was recorded at the Daptone recording studio. In 2007, the Dap-Kings toured with Winehouse.


Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings features Sharon Jones on vocal, Gabriel Roth aka Bosco Mann on electric bass, Binky Griptite on guitar, Tommy 'TNT' Brenneck on guitar, Fernando 'Bugaloo' Velez on percussion, Homer Steinweiss on drums, David Guy on trumpet, Neal Sugarman on tenor sax, and Ian Hendrixson-Smith on baritone sax.

The Sugarman 3 features Neal Sugarman, saxophone; Adam Scone, Hammond organ; Al Street, guitar; Rudy Albin, drums; Dave Guy, trumpet. Soul singer Lee Fields often sings with the Sugarman 3, and Daisy Sugarman plays flute.

In addition to Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Daptone has recorded and released the music of Antibalas, The Sugarman 3, The Budos Band, The Poets of Rhythm, The Daktaris, The Mighty Imperials, Lee Fields, Charles Bradley, Binky Griptite, and Naomi Davis.

The Daptone Record label is inexorably tied to Sharon Jones. The label and members of her band were with her during the last weeks before her death.

Daptone built their studio, called Daptone's House of Soul in a converted two-family home in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. It was very run down when they first rented it, and the neighborhood was not great. Daptone Records has its offices in the top floor, the studio is on the ground floor. The label built the studio from scratch, and made the decision to not have computers, but to rely completely on the more old-fashioned analog recording methods to make music. There are tape machines and a CD recorder, but no Pro Tools or digital reverbs.

The studio is where they have recorded most of their releases. Their distinctive sound is a product of the studio acoustics, recording only on analog tape (no digital), and mixing done by Roth. The recording studio and engineering personnel have been sought out by record producers such as Mark Ronson.

In February 2009, Daptone's House of Soul was broken into and thieves made off with the better part of its equipment.

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