the arkive

CONTACT: For queries, please email arkive<at>beggars<dot>com

BEGGARS ARKIVE is the catalogue and archive department for past and present Beggars Group labels and artists. Beggars labels include 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade, XL Recordings and Young. We also handle our legacy labels including Beggars Banquet, too pure, Wiiija, Situation Two and more.

Beggars began in 1977 and we have over 40 years of catalog to work with. We care passionately about sound quality, quality re-issues, artwork and when we can manage it….very fancy packaging. We handle all aspects of curation.

Over the last ten years, we have reissued albums by Bauhaus, Gary Numan, The Cult, The Fall, Pixies, Cocteau Twins, The Mortal Coil, Freeez, Buffalo Tom, The Charlatans and many many more. Our releases are done in full cooperation with the artists, oftentimes with them leading the charge.

We also manage a physical archive space, which contains a wealth of our musical and visual history. We’re continually working on maintaining, growing and cataloging the archive and it has become a great source of materials and a perfect space for research.



Beggars Groups has five active labels, 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade, XL Recordings and Young. We work closely with them to curate reissues and celebrate their releases.

Many other labels have been part of our family over the last 40 years.




4AD is one of the world’s most celebrated independent record labels. Established in London in 1980, it is famed for it’s extraordinary roster and visually distinctive identity and has long been held up by others as the benchmark to follow.


What others might call a scattershot lack of musical focus, we call DIVERSITY TO THE MAX.  While some remain trapped in an US ’80-’90’s “indie” (ahem) nostalgia-fest, we’re firmly committed to fucking with future generations’ heads as thoroughly as those we’ve previously damaged.  We’re Matador Records, established in 1989 in the Hate Fuck Capital Of The World (sorry, Hoboken) and we’re JUST GETTING STARTED.


Rough Trade was at the epicentre of the punk explosion right at the start and since then has gone on to release a catalogue that almost defines the genre of independent music itself.  Over the years Rough Trade Records has released an undeniable stream of quality releases by some of the most talented, gifted and unique musicians of our generation.


XL is a British independent record label founded in 1989. They are home to a wide range of artists including Adele, Radiohead, Arca, Ibeyi, Jai Paul and many more.


Young is a London based record label founded 2006. Most recently, they have released albums by Ethan P. Flynn, FKA twigs, Jamie xx, Sampha, Kamasi Washington & The xx.




Beggars Banquet started life as a small chain of independent record shops in West London and in 1977, spurred by the prevailing DIY aesthetics of punk, the Beggars Banquet imprint was launched with the first band on the label The Lurkers releasing their classic ‘Shadow ‘ / ‘Love Story’ 7″ single. Later in the decade and into the early ’80s, hits with Tubeway Army and Gary Numan spelled a successful time for the label. In 2008, Beggars Banquet ceased actively signing acts.


Don’t Fall Off The Mountain was a Beggars label active in the early 80s releasing albums by primarily US artists including Chrome, Raybeats, Human Sexual Response and Del-Byzanteens.


Set up in 1995, by John Empson and Beggars Banquet owner Martin Mills, Mantra recordings existed alongside other Beggars affiliated labels and initially set about filling the musical gap between the guitar rock of Beggars and the purist dance ethic of XL Recordings. Mantra ceased operations in early 2003.


Playlouder was active in the early 2000s and was an extension of the website and the PlayLouder Singles Club series of digital-only releases (which included early releases by bands such as Franz Ferdinand, The Rakes, The Go-Team, Futureheads, Tom Vek and Editors). The first signing to the label was Norwegian band Serena-Maneesh. PlayLouder was co-founded by Paul Hitchman and Jim Gottlieb, who previously ran independent record labels, Sugar and Candy in the 1990s, as well as stints in A&R at both BMG and Warner Music.


Situation Two was  created in 1981 by Peter Kent as an offshoot of the larger Beggars Banquet label. During its 11-year history, the label came to prominence as the home for a varied number of indie favorites. These included Madchester band The Charlatans, Bauhaus side projects Tones on Tail and David J, and cult bands like The Associates, Thee Hypnotics, Gene Loves Jezebel, Play Dead, Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Buffalo Tom, and early incarnations of The Cult. When Situation Two was dissolved in 1992, many of the roster’s releases were then issued on the main Beggars Banquet label.


Too Pure began in 1990 and at its inception the label was largely occupied by the so-called Camden Lurch scene, through its ‘Sausage Machine’ night in North London. The Too Pure imprint was retired in 2008 and now only releases singles in a subscription service.


Wiiija was founded in 1988 by staff from the Rough Trade Shop in Notting Hill, London. The name Wiiija is a corruption of W11 1JA, the postcode of the Rough Trade Shop in Talbot Street. Wiiija Records was a subsidiary of Beggars Banquet Records from 1996 and remained active until the early 2000s.