A Decade of Doom: Dome of Doom Records Celebrates 10 Years in the LA Beat Scene

Dome of Doom Records has been a central player in the LA beat scene for the past decade. Now the imprint celebrates with a thirty-track reflection.
By    September 21, 2021

Our tireless staff is here to document the music that matters to the point of exhaustion. Support real, independent music journalism by subscribing to Passion of the Weiss on Patreon.

At the intersection of futuristic Los Angeles beat music and the analog tradition of cassettes sits Wylie Cable, the flame-dreaded multi-instrumentalist and founder of Dome of Doom Records. Born and raised in L.A., Cable grew into his own while watching the flourishing beat scene, sneaking into Low End Theory at 17 to see the likes of Daedelus and Flying Lotus shatter skulls with battle sets. After an undergrad stint at CalArts, Cable founded Dome of Doom Records in 2011, an artist-centric indie label whose hallmark is ethereal beats and a meticulously curated conveyor belt of cassettes.

Inspired by the stomach-twisting bass of the legendary Low End Theory, Dome of Doom has been a central player in the LA beat scene for the past decade. They have released tapes from beat scene legends like Daedelus and DJ Nobody, as well as introducing inventive new artists like Huxley Anne and QRTR. The LA indie label has birthed some of the most dynamic and futuristic music of the 21st century—the low end lives within them.

For the tenth-year anniversary of the label, Dome of Doom Records is releasing a 2LP vinyl compilation Decade of Doom, a thirty-track reflection of the label’s journey thus far. The album takes from a variety of releases spanning the past decade, paying homage to the artists who have helped to cultivate and shape Dome of Doom into a beat scene bastion. The compilation ebbs and flows, showcasing the dexterity of the label and the wide swath of sonic space the artists occupy, from the brain-jolting dub of Jon Casey to the rowdy introspection of SPEAK.

Below, sorted in order of release, are some of the standout albums featured on the Decade of Doom compilation, supplemented with original commentary from Wylie Cable detailing the making and impact of these projects and artists, as well as their importance to the prosperity of the label. – Kevin Crandall

Ahee – Xhals (2012)

Wylie Cable: “Chris ‘Ahee’ Adams, that’s my boy, he’s a trip. He’s one of the artists that’s been there from the literal beginning, and we still work together and have done all sorts of shit together. I can talk about mine and Chris’s friendship forever, like we went to CalArts together. We’ve done ten or twelve releases of Ahee over the years, six physical releases of his and then like five digital EPs for him, it’s crazy. His progression over the years has been really wild, and in the past two to three years it’s taken off and it’s incredible.

This is technically his second but kind of his first full-length album. This is so ‘DIY times’ of the label; the cover is literally just a Google image of a tardigrade, this little microbe creature, and he did it all with DaFont shit. This release from him was empirically found sound recordings. He would just walk around with his Edirol stereo recorder recording weird shit, recording the sound of glass falling through nails and throwing cans downstairs. The whole album is made of chopped up sound collage. There are no synths, nothing besides just things he recorded in the world and manipulated with AD audio. This record is special. It’s something very pure and just made from his creative perspective. It wasn’t made to be this specific thing or some genre, there was no box to fit it into. It was just the sounds he heard in his head at that point in life. I’m really glad we put this out.

Chris says to me still that some of these songs are some of his favorite songs that he’s ever made. That ‘HMU’ song (featured on the compilation), I think every artist has a ‘did you make this song or did it get transmitted through you.’ When I talk to him about this record, he’s like ‘I couldn’t make these songs again. I don’t even remember how I did it.’ It’s something he channeled and created. He’s tried to reproduce them, and he even has some modern flips of some of these songs that he produced with 808s and proper mixing and mastering and stuff, but they somehow don’t capture the same magic of the original recordings being this weird moment of his life that he put on audio, and I think that that’s kind of special.

He focused more on the solo artist path, and I focused more on the label, I mean I still put out records and I am an artist myself, but I have put in a lot of time and energy into running this label. It’s cool to see how far he’s come. He’s kind of like a mirror image of what my life could’ve been in some way if I had gone down that path. We played a lot of our first shows together, we DJed together. There’s a picture someone sent me recently of us playing together in some shitty warehouse and I’m using Ableton and some shitty Korg nanoKONTROL to play my DJ set, and Chris is standing at the back of the stage because he was playing the same show as me, and this was like twelve years ago.”

DJ Nobody – Puzzles (1996 Reissue) (2015)

Wylie Cable: “This release was lowkey super, duper important. If you look at the chronology of the label, it was the first time an artist of that tier reached out to me to work. It was all just me and my close, personal homies at first, very DIY. When I started working at Low End Theory doing visuals and stuff though, I got to know all the residents and they became personal friends of mine. So when we did that reissue for Nobody, it was the first time we had worked with an artist from Low End—and he was down. He was saying ‘I really like the label and the stuff you’re doing, it’s cool.’

It’s also really dope for me because it’s his first self-released album. There’s something cool about that because that’s very much the vibe of the label. It’s grown a lot since then and it’s now a fully fledged indie label, we have global distribution and licensing and blah blah blah, but it started just with me and my friends making tapes in our garage. This is that same project for Nobody. This is his first self-release. This was made in 1996. That’s insane.

Working with DJ Nobody was the first stepping stone for all of the stuff that came after that to happen. He told his homies that I do good work and I’m cool and easy to work with or whatever. That opened up the cap for all these people from the LA Beat scene community calling and asking to work on stuff.”

ELOS – Limit Break (2016)

Wylie Cable: “ELOS and I were really good friends. We were both at Low End every week, we were homies and both video game nerds and we just connected on all the same shit. We were in a similar circle of artistic peers, and we got along. Chaz heard that we put out dope shit, and then the record happened.

The [cover] artist is this cool pixel artist from Japan too, and I’ve never been able to get artwork from this artist again. They just really liked ELOS’s album, cause his style has a weird video game, anime trip to it as well. I really think this is top three album art we’ve ever done on the label. This pixel artist is famous; you know the pixel video game Downwell? It was like the most popular game on the App Store for a while. He made that, and he liked ELOS’s music enough to make the cover of this record.

As far as the songs that are featured with rappers, ‘Not The Best’ (featured on the compilation) is definitely one of my personal favorites. How can I not be a huge fan of Busdriver and Milo, they are two leaders of that universe—I’d defer to them on what they want it to be called. Without designating the genre, I feel like Busdriver and then Milo, generationally there is a sort of artist lineage there because Milo raps about being inspired by Busdriver. He’s got songs about chilling on Regan’s couch and shit. To have both of them on a track is really crazy to me, that we got a track with those styles of artists.

It records this moment in history where Milo was in LA and chillin with Busdriver all the time, and they could get in the studio and do this, that, and the other thing. 2016, shit was still rolling super hard in the beat scene in LA, it was still a topic of conversation in a major way. Not that it’s not now, but I feel like it had a certain heat and focus then in the 2015-16 era. Low End was cracking off and every Wednesday there was an insane lineup. There was an undeniable thing happening in that moment, and I think this is a really cool track that encapsulates a bit of that era. Those are the cool things about running a label to me, you get to record those moments in history.

The compilation has these hills and valleys, and this is in that second chapter of the label, where we’re working with Low End artists and LA established artists like Busdriver. Also, I was at Low End, Busdriver knew me and we were homies so when ELOS was like “yo, I wanna put this record out on Dome of Doom,” Busdriver was down. I don’t think Busdriver would put verses on anybody’s record, he thinks about that, so it’s cool for me to hear that those artists trusted me to steward their music out into the world and have their names associated with the label that I’ve been running.”

Daedelus – Labyrinths (2016)

Wylie Cable: “That was a super crucial release, the first time that we did anything with Daedelus and that was really crazy for me. They cold-call reached out to me because I had been releasing music for a lot of people in the LA community that they were friends with and that were colleagues of theirs, creative peers at Low End. We were casual friends through the LA music community, and we had mutual friends and stuff. They’re an artist I’ve always looked up to ever since I started making electronic music. For them to reach out to me and be like “hey I love your label…let’s work!” was a really big moment for me for sure. It was crazy to get that email and be like ‘Daedelus wants to do a tape with us?!’

After we did the DJ Nobody album, a year or so later, we did the tapes for Labyrinths. One of the songs on this is still one of Daedelus’ most streamed songs ever on Spotify, ‘Special Re: Quest’ (featured on the compilation). It was a popular release that a lot of people loved, and our name was attached to it, so now people were talking about Dome of Doom in association with this artist that they’ve known. It was another big steppingstone, absolutely. Getting our name out there and working with an established artist who has a long touring history, who’s played all these festivals and has all these accolades. That they wanted to work with us is a huge statement on the credibility of the label, that I’m doing good work and living up to my word.

Daedalus is already an incredible artist who was well known before they started working with us, but we have a mutually beneficial relationship now where we’ve done five plus releases for them. I’m honored that I get to work with them. It’s wild. A lot of my friends and people that I grew up with in LA also are huge fans of theirs. I consider them like a creative peer now and a friend, but it’s still trippy too. Like this dude sends me his demos?

That one actually has a feature from me. I’m the sole feature on that album. It’s definitely a very full circle moment.”

Huxley Anne – Ilium (2017)

Wylie Cable: “This is a special record for me. She’s an old friend and I’m just really happy to see that she’s been able to make such an outstanding career for herself since we dropped that record. It really set it all up so she can make it happen. I’m still amazed by how she’s carved a path for herself, it’s dope.

At that period in her career, it was her first album; she hadn’t really toured yet. She had done a lot of DIY stuff on SoundCloud and had played shows but not really a proper, full tour yet. This was the first time she put out her own full-length album as Huxley Anne, as a solo artist. She’s done a bunch of collabs with Courteous Family and Tsuruda and other peeps, all in this SoundCloud era. This was kind of the moment it turned into her being able to have a solo career as just Huxley Anne. We got her on a tour; she had the Ilium tour. She sold out the physicals. It established her as being able to exist as her own artist and be out there.

Those are cool moments when I can help. I see it as, I’m their first superfan. Huxley Anne was gonna pop, she was dope. I was there at the right time and believed in her art. I saw me asking her “hey would you want to put out an album on Dome of Doom?” really inspire her and make her go into this deep creative space and pull all this shit together and make a full-length album. It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of effort to really commit to that, and it can be very life-changing for people to take that creative leap.

I actually mastered that record; I’ve mixed and mastered a lot of albums over the years so this is one I did the masters for. She’s an incredibly talented producer, but she was still learning technical stuff at that point in her artistic path, so I helped her master the record, got it all set up for distribution.”

SPEAK – A Man + His Plants (2018)

Wylie Cable: “That’s a really incredible record. SPEAK is dope. We’ve had a longstanding creative relationship. He’s a very successful artist in his own right, he wrote that song Gucci Gucci for Kreayshawn. He wrote those bars, and she sang them, and it came out on Sony or whatever the imprint was. He’s been doing crazy shit for awhile and has kind of always been on this crazy solo artist journey.

A Man + His Plants, for his fanbase, was a special record. It really was very deep, introspective from his perspective as an artist. It’s about heartbreak and identity. He moved from Mexico to LA and had relocated and was in a new city and had relationships ending. The record is very somber for the guy’s catalog. He’s made some rap banger shit to play in the club, and the Singularity album is more rap, club music with his LA, West Side flow.

It’s very honest. SPEAK is really just talking about how he feels as a person, an artist, a man. A lot of his fans and fans of the label quote this release as one of their favorites of all time or it being a very special release, and specifically that song (‘Plants Fill The Room,’ featured on the compilation) being very special in the album. It means a lot to a lot of people, me included, and it holds some emotional weight in the catalog.

If you listen to the dude’s catalog, ‘Plants Fill The Room’ stands out as different from a lot of his work. It was just him bearing raw ass whole on a track, and that comes across. It has a sort of powerful, magical quality to it that translates some raw human experiences that we can all identify with. I think those are the moments that people connect to in music. We put out a lot of instrumental music, so I’m always grateful to do some music that has words because it’s really a tie in for a lot of humanity, to be able to hear a story directly told like that.

We’re just homies. We both grew up in LA and have known each other for a long time. We’re both in similar friend groups and know all the people from Beat Cinema and Low End. It’s really easy for me to work with him and we’ve continued to have this long-standing creative relationship. He was on some of our early, early releases too. Dream Panther and SPEAK did a whole collaborative album, Speakpanther, that came out in 2017, before we did the A Man + His Plants release.”

Jon Casey – Flora & Fauna (2019)

Wylie Cable: “This is a really great one. This is Jon’s debut album. We did a physical for it, we did a whole tour for it. That was incredible. This record changed everything for him, it’s a time pillar in Jon Casey’s career as an artist.

This is a new chapter of ours, a new generation of ours. More technical, less beat scene, more bass music and electronic dance stuff. Trap and all those kinds of genres. ‘Banga’ (featured on the compilation) is a trap anthem, are you kidding me? It’s a banger, it’s in the name and everything.

We brought him out to LA, and I got him on Brownies & Lemonade, which is a huge promotor out here nowadays. Shoutout Chad from Brownies & Lemonade for booking Jon and all of our artists over the years. So, we brought him out to play Brownies & Lemonade, and the party got shut down by the cops, so they did a redo of the party several days later, and like twice as many people came because there was all this shit on the internet about the party getting busted and “it was sick, but then the cops came.” So, he got to play two shows for Brownies & Lemonade in one weekend on his first trip out to LA, right after we put out his album in November of the previous year.

The fact that we could bring Jon out and do a full US tour for him and get him on all these stages, that’s the moniker for a successful artist. A debut album with a US tour behind it with sold out tour dates, that’s what you want. This is a good run; it affected his career in a positive way. It’s given him tons of opportunities with other artists and labels to get his name out there. When I can do that, I feel like I’m doing my job.

Banga is also important because it has Dabow on it. Dabow, we’ve done various singles and remixes from him over the years, but just recently in 2021 put out his full-length album. It really went off from him, it’s got a feature from Good Times Ahead on there, Kali Sandoval and godspeed. It’s a really incredible album that I think will continue to have a lot of staying power in his catalog. Flora & Fauna was a link up moment for Dabow and I because he heard from Jon that I was doing good on his record. So much of it (networking and new deals) is internal word of mouth with artists.”

Wylie Cable – Shimmer, Then Disappear (2020)

Wylie Cable: “It’s my most recent album, it came out fall of last year while everything was still shut down. All of the solo tracks, I locked myself in the studio making beats cause all my gigs were canceled and I couldn’t go anywhere or do anything. I spent a solid month and a half, two months making thirty to forty tracks. There was this weird hermitage, cloistered artist moment where I just disappeared from the world and focused on making beats.

This was a unique opportunity for me to just be able to make music every day again for the first time in a long time—since my early twenties. It put me back in a similar creative zone that I hadn’t been in in a long time. I would wake up and I wouldn’t even eat breakfast, I’d just smoke a joint, drink coffee, and open my laptop and be like ‘I’m gonna make a beat.’ I did that every day. I didn’t finish a beat every day—if I started something I worked on it the next day until I was finished. I committed to that being the vibe, and it took you in a weird space, you know? When you’re in that zone every day just thinking about creative stuff.

It was kind of like therapy for me too. It was weird for me and my creative colleagues during that period of time. Everyone had to go into some sort of deep, introspective reflection period and be like what am I doing with my life. Is this gonna come back? Am I gonna be able to have a career again? Do I have to get a job at fuckin’ Facebook now? I was able to process this whole world crumbling before me and my identity being swiped out from under me. When I was making the album there was nothing. No one knew what was happening. It was gonna be a year plus till any of us could think about playing a show again. So, I was just like ‘okay, what else am I gonna do?’ My creative instinct is I’m just gonna lock myself in the studio and make a record.

I’m really proud of it, I think it’s good. I don’t listen to all of my music, because I’ve released a lot of records; this is my eighth full-length studio album. But this one in particular, Shimmer, Then Disappear, I’m really proud of. I feel like it’s a really cohesive album, partly because I made it all in one period. There are some unfinished demos I brought in, but it was all done in this one period, so it really had a cohesive feeling to me. It feels like a story.

I’m also really proud of the art. Dewey Saunders is such an incredible artist and we’ve been friends and creative fans of each other’s work for a long time.”

QRTR – Drenched (2020)

Wylie Cable: “It’s one of those releases and artists in particular that I think has a long and interesting and amazing career ahead of them. There’s some intuitive sense when I meet certain artists where I know they got it in them. QRTR is another one of those artists. She is really incredible and the progress between each release she does is incredible. When I heard QRTR’s demos I was like “this shit is crazy good, we gotta do this.” A light clicked. I knew it was gonna be dope; we’re gonna make this happen, against all odds, whatever.

I didn’t really know her, I hit her up on the internet, I was like “yo, I found your music, this is incredible, we’ve got to work together.” It’s not so often where these days I’ll cold call “hey, you’ve never met me, but I love your music,” but her record was incredibly inspiring to me and I wanted to work on it with her. I knew she could make some progress on it and it could really pop off. Here we are, she’s out there doing the damn thing a year and a half later.

She’s killing it right now and I really love working with her. Her new album [infina ad nausea] that she dropped in August is also insanely dope and a different vibe from her first record. I think it’s a creative stride forward for her and I think she’s flexing her production skills on this one way more and it feels like every track is made in the same zone. Even though there are a few different genres and styles on it, they all have this thread that I can tell that she made all of them in a similar moment. It’s a cool recording of her life as a creative person, at this specific time in her life.”

We rely on your support to keep POW alive. Please take a second to donate on Patreon!