Thirsty Ear Recordings is an American independent record label. It was founded in the late 70s as a marketing company for the then-unnamed alternative music field, and expanded to issue its own records in 1990.
Thirsty Ear came to prominence in the mid-90s thanks to its series of CD reissues of classic early industrial albums by pioneers such as Foetus, Einstürzende Neubauten, Marc Almond, Swans, and Test Dept. The label also released new albums by alternative rock bands such as Baby Ray, Madder Rose, and The Church. Foetus would stay on the label, recording original music on Thirsty Ear through 2001.
More recently, Thirsty Ear's Blue Series of jazz albums has become a highlight of the genre. Enlisting Matthew Shipp as the artistic director, the Blue Series seeks to foster the expansion of modern jazz, releasing albums by jazz artists such as Shipp, William Parker, Charlie Hunter and Tim Berne, but also inviting electronica artists DJ Spooky, Meat Beat Manifesto, and Spring Heel Jack; hip-hoppers El-P and Antipop Consortium; and even Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.