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Dim Mak Records
Dim Mak Records

Dim Mak is an independent, Los Angeles-based record label, events company, and lifestyle brand founded by Steve Aoki in 1996. The label has released music in punk, indie rock, hardcore, hip hop, and electronic dance music.


Steve Aoki started Dim Mak Records in 1996 at the age of 19, out of his college apartment at the University of California, Santa Barbara.[1][2] The label's first release was a 7-inch record by a hardcore punk band called Stickfigurecarousel.[3] The name Dim Mak is a reference to Bruce Lee's martial art Death Touch technique.[4] Prior to launching Dim Mak, Aoki was heavily involved in the local hardcore punk scene. He wrote for a small zine and would constantly receive demos and albums to review. At the same time, he began hosting punk and hardcore shows in the living room of his college apartment, which came to be known as The Pickle Patch.[5] Hundreds of acts played there in exchange for a place to sleep for the night, including The Rapture, Jimmy Eat World, Atom & His Package, and more.[4] The relationships formed throughout these formative years served as a crucial foundation for what would later become Dim Mak Records. In 2001, Dim Mak released one of the label's first nationally recognized projects with the self-titled debut EP from Pretty Girls Make Graves. Following the success of this record along with The Kills’ Black Rooster in 2002, Aoki relocated Dim Mak to Los Angeles and began to usher in the label's second era.

In 2003, Dim Mak began to develop a new roster of indie rock artists, beginning with the U.K. band Bloc Party. After mailing Aoki a 7-inch of their track "She's Hearing Voices", the group signed to Dim Mak Records.[2] Shortly afterwards, Dim Mak entered into a partnership with VICE (a subsidiary of Atlantic Records), for the rights to Bloc Party, marking Dim Mak's first deal with a major label. Together, Dim Mak and Atlantic released Bloc Party's debut album Silent Alarm in 2005, which went on to sell over 350,000 physical albums.[3]

As underground dance music began incorporating (which was coined electro at the time), Dim Mak shifted with the times and entered its electro era.[2] One of the biggest tracks of this era came when Steve Aoki collaborated with The Bloody Beetroots for "Warp 1.9", the lead single off their debut album Romborama. Thump placed the track at #19 on their 101 Best EDM Songs of All Time list and called it 'Perhaps the definitive track from that particularly fruitful period of hook-laden abrasiveness.'[6]

Around the same time, Dim Mak released an album from Mstrkrft titled Fist of God, which brought major pop and hip-hop collaborators into the electro scene.[7]

New Noise is Dim Mak's new music discovery imprint that focuses on cutting-edge sounds from burgeoning artists across the genre spectrum. Launched in 2010, New Noise got its start as a compilation series highlighting fresh faces handpicked by Steve Aoki and crew. By 2015, the platform evolved into a bi-weekly, free-download platform based on singles.[8][9] Ghastly's underground house single "Every Night" was the first release under this format.[10] As of 2016, New Noise's current incarnation is a copyright free model that allows the budding community of Twitch gamers and amateur YouTube content creators to use New Noise music in their videos and live streams sans purchase or fees, all in exchange for linking back to the artists and their music.[11]

Music publishing

Steve Aoki founded Dim Mak Publishing in 2014, as the fourth division of the Dim Mak brand. Since its launch, songs from the Dim Mak Publishing repertoire have landed major sync placements across national advertising campaigns (T-Mobile, Acura), feature films (Sausage Party, Ride Along 2, Why Him?) and TV programs (Transparent, CSI: Cyber).[12] On August 9, 2017, Dim Mak Publishing announced that it had signed a global deal with Warner/Chappell Music, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group. Warner/Chappell now administers the entire Dim Mak Publishing catalog, which includes a wide variety of dance/electronic works from songwriters such as Autoerotique, Garmiani, Henry Fong, Max Styler, Ookay, QUIX, Shaun Frank, Stööki Sound, and Viceroy.[13]

Associated artists

Some Steve Aoki releases are co-released alongside Ultra Records as well as Dim Mak Records, however, they are officially categorized under the Ultra Records discography, it is also the same for other artists such as The Bloody Beetroots.


Dim Mak events have featured performances from a diverse range of acts such as Migos, Lil Uzi Vert, Thomas Bangalter of Daft Punk, Skrillex, Rae Sremmurd, Kid Cudi, Zedd, Lady Gaga, Waka Flocka Flame,, Dillon Francis, Diplo, Justice, Afrojack, Travis Scott, Bloc Party, Borgore, Yellow Claw, and Steve Angello.

From 2003-2014, Dim Mak held the weekly Dim Mak Tuesdays event at Dim Mak Studios (previously known as Cinespace) in Hollywood, CA. The stars that had performed at Dim Mark Tuesdays includes Lady Gaga, Justice, Diplo, of the Black Eyed Peas, and Daft Punk's Thomas Bangalter.[14][15][16]

To date, Dim Mak has hosted branded Dim Mak Stages at major music festivals around the world, including:

Dim Mak has an established history of producing special events at key music conferences such as SXSW and Miami Music Week. Also in 2006 and 2007, Dim Mak produced a medium-scaled music festival in Los Angeles called "Neighborhood".

In 2016, Dim Mak commemorated its 20-year anniversary with 20 events around the world.

Clothing & accessories

In 2014, Dim Mak Collection[70] was launched. From its launch Dim Mak has been worn by celebrities and influencers including Gucci Mane, Migos, David Guetta and Bella Thorne and has been featured in The New York Times,[71] Vogue[72] among others.

In addition to the proprietary Dim Mak Collection has collaborated with other influential clothing and accessory brands on limited edition collections. Those are listed as:

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