Though Brooklyn was touted as the new geographic center of indie from the earliest part of the 2000s, its music scene didn’t really begin to plant institutional roots until the second half of the decade. It was then that the small labels now leading the local and national underground popped up in bunches. Sacred Bones put out its first LP in 2007. Captured Tracks sprang up the next year, and recently celebrated its fifth anniversary with a blowout concert in Bushwick. On the weekend preceding CMJ, Mexican Summer takes its own five-year bow, a milestone they’re marking with a two-day, 17-act music festival in Red Hook, as well as a commemorative hardcover book and limited-edition 10” record.
The label, which started as a vinyl and digital offshoot of Kemado Records in the fall of 2008, has seen more of the artists it’s worked with blow up than most small-scale imprints manage in a lifespan. Alumni include current headliners like Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, Kurt Vile and Washed Out. The deep discography defiantly crosses genre lines, with releases from artists as diverse as Chicago black metal group Nachtmystium and Brooklyn R&B deconstructionist Autre Ne Veut. Mexican Summer has broken artists as direct as Best Coast and as oblique as Oneohtrix Point Never.