1.Happy Birthday!

1/12

Downtown Records celebrated their fifth birthday last weekend with a two-night blowout party in New York City, featuring performances from the hottest artists on the label. On Friday, A-Trak, Art Brut, Lissy Trullie, White Denim, and the Suzan all performed at Webster Hall, while Miike Snow, Major Lazer, Santigold, DJ Mehdi and So Me rocked Terminal 5 on Saturday.

Before the party, Josh Deutsch, the label's founder and CEO, chatted with SPIN about why he signed these disparate acts. "Downtown Records is a home for really uncompromising artists with a very singular, strong vision," Deutsch says. "I'm drawn to artists that don't fit a particular format. Artists that are truly unique."

Click through to see pics and read more of Deutsch's thoughts.

START THE GALLERY >>>

2.Happy Birthday!

2/12

Downtown Records celebrated their fifth birthday last weekend with a two-night blowout party in New York City, featuring performances from the hottest artists on the label. On Friday, A-Trak, Art Brut, Lissy Trullie, White Denim, and the Suzan all performed at Webster Hall, while Miike Snow, Major Lazer, Santigold, DJ Mehdi and So Me rocked Terminal 5 on Saturday.

Before the party, Josh Deutsch, the label's founder and CEO, chatted with SPIN about why he signed these disparate acts. "Downtown Records is a home for really uncompromising artists with a very singular, strong vision," Deutsch says. "I'm drawn to artists that don't fit a particular format. Artists that are truly unique."

Click through to see pics and read more of Deutsch's thoughts.

START THE GALLERY >>>

3.Miike Snow

3/12

"They're one of my favorite bands," Deutsch says of the Swede trio, which released their self-titled debut in 2009 to much fanfare. "The evolution of Miike Snow is something we're really proud of at Downtown. It's exciting to see a band play for 10 people at Mercury Lounge, then 18 months later, play for 25,000 people at the Mt. Fuji festival. Their level of commitment to both their art and to building an audience the traditional way is unbelievable."

4.Santigold

4/12

"She's a defining artist for Downtown," Deutsch says of the Philadelphia-bred singer-songwriter. "She blends dub, punk, pop, rock, hip-hop -- there isn't anything like it. She was trying to release her record [2008's self-titled debut] and there was an opportunity to sign her to Downtown, and I jumped at it. The record sailed on critical acclaim. It was one of the most licensed records in history. She's just finishing her second record now and it's incredible. She's a total sweetheart. She's a dream artist."

5.Lissy Trullie

5/12

"Mark Ronson played her demo on his radio show," Deutsch explains of discovering the New York singer-guitarist. "There hasn't been someone so iconic in the New York City rock scene in a while. She picked up where Strokes and Chrissie Hynde left off. She's just finishing her new record with Dave Sitek from TV on the Radio. It's crazy electro punk-pop. She's a star."

6.Major Lazer

6/12

"I heard one song and I signed them on the spot," says Deutsch of the Jamaican dancehall collaboration between DJ-producers Diplo and Switch, and featuring numerous guest vocalists, including Santigold and Philly rapper Amanda Blank. "It was really irresponsible [laughs]. But it's the most interesting mix of dub and reggae and electronic music and visual elements. Their live show is nuts (hype man Skerrit Bwoy is pictured above). They're putting all these different cultures into a blender and doing something ridiculous with it."

7.White Denim

7/12

"I don't know how to describe White Denim other than that they're one of the most exciting live bands I've ever seen," Deutsch says of the Austin, TX, quartet. "They fuse Zappa and Phish. They're completely genre defying. They have one of the most effortless live shows ever. One day you'll wake up and they'll be playing Madison Square Garden. They're a band that has a really concise vision. We're looking for artists with a strong sense of self and those guys really do."

8.Art Brut

8/12

"What's not to like about self-effacing humor?" says Deutsch. "The first time I heard 'Formed a Band' I thought, 'This is the best thing ever.' It's hard to find artists that are really funny and really great. It's challenging to work them -- people are used to one or the other. A lot of people don't get it, but working with the band is great. It was an immediate love-fest."

9.The Suzan

9/12

"They're an all-girl Japanese band, doing English rock, produced by a Swede -- it makes some weird sense," jokes Deutsch of the Tokyo quartet. "A-Trak first signed them to his Fool's Gold label. I'm friendly with Bjorn, of Peter Bjorn and John, who produced them. Golden Week for the Poco Poco Beat is a really fun record. They're amazing players and they write catchy melodies."

10.A-Trak

10/12

"He's a tremendous talent in so many different ways," Deutsch says of 28-year-old Montreal DJ and founder of Fool's Gold records, born Alain Macklovitch. "It's rare to meet someone who's a great performer, producer, and repertoire source. I met him when he brought in [Chicago rapper] Kid Sister, who he had produced for Fool's Gold. They had a ton of success with Kid Cudi before he went down a different path with Motown and Kanye.... We're having a ton of success right now with Duck Sauce [A-Trak's electro-house collabo with DJ-producer Armand Van Helden]. That 'Barbra Streisand' song has been No. 1 on the dance charts since December and it won't go away. I'm expecting enormous things out of A-Trak. He's capable of having success across so many streams."

11.DJ Mehdi

11/12

"Downtown Records has a great relationship with the Ed Banger crew and all its members, including Mehdi," Deutsch says of the Paris collective. "We released Justice's record and had a tremendous amount of success. So we worked with Mehdi. His videos have contributed tons of impressions for Downtown."

12.Diplo

12/12

"He's a genius," Deutsch says of the 32-year-old Philadelphia DJ, producer, and Mad Decent label head, who made his name working with M.I.A. (He's pictured above DJing the Downtown Records birthday after party). "He's really responsible for a lot of dance music's influence on pop culture right now. He's a renaissance man."