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Despite being a budding film editor, Daniel Miller showed early signs of entrepreneurialism in the late ’70s by scraping together enough money to release his own single, Warm Leatherette. Recorded in Miller’s apartment using two Revox B-77 tape machines and a cheap Korg 700S synth, the track was a dystopian predictor of the electronic rock movement that was to explode several years later.
The single was released on Miller’s own Mute label, and demo tapes came flooding in to the address provided on the vinyl sleeve, with new wave/ industrial act Fad Gadget becoming the label’s first true signing in 1979.
Since that day, Mute has ridden through the hiccups that all labels experience. The initial success of Depeche Mode helped guide it, while gigantic sales from Moby’s Play album provided much-needed income during a troublesome end to the ’90s.
Today, Mute is in rude health, having expanded its roster of artists and recently upgraded its studio facilities to provide a luxurious environment for in-house and external clients to get creative. Future Music visited Miller and took a tour round Studio Mute...