Kung Fu Records is an American independent record label founded in 1996 by Joe Escalante and Warren Fitzgerald of the punk rock band The Vandals. Founded in order to release a record by the Riverside, California band Assorted Jelly Beans, the label soon grew to include a roster of notable artists such as The Ataris, Ozma, Tsunami Bomb, and The Vandals themselves. In 2000 Escalante started Kung Fu Films as a subsidiary of the music label in order to release DVDs of live concerts, music videos, band documentaries, and independent films. In 2005 Kung Fu also spawned the spinoff label Broken Sounds Records, focusing on hardcore releases.
The label began to grow quickly, releasing The Ataris' debut album Anywhere But Here in 1997, as well as releasing an album by the Bigwig and signing Longfellow. The Vandals also re-released some of their more obscure records through the label, including their live album Sweatin' to the Oldies and their country-themed album Slippery When Ill (re-released as The Vandals Play Really Bad Original Country Tunes). By 2000 the label had added Apocalypse Hoboken, Antifreeze, and Useless ID to its roster, and released a solo album by Vandals drummer and renowned studio musician Josh Freese. It was at this time that Escalante launched the subsidiary label Kung Fu Films (see below). With their contractual obligations to their longtime label Nitro Records complete, The Vandals also moved their operations fully over to Kung Fu, re-releasing Oi to the World! and an "Anniversary Edition" of their 1990 album Fear of a Punk Planet. Their first new studio album for Kung Fu was Internet Dating Superstuds in 2002, by which time more bands had signed to the label including Audio Karate, Ozma, Tsunami Bomb, and Mi6. In the next few years the label added The God Awfuls, Underminded, and Versus the World, and launched the hardcore spinoff label Broken Sounds Records.
In recent years there has been less activity from the Kung Fu Records label, as Escalante has focused his attention on Kung Fu Films releases and on his new career as a morning radio show host. A number of the label's past acts have either broken up (such as Tsunami Bomb), moved to other independent labels (as in the cases of Ozma and Bigwig), or signed to major labels (most notably The Ataris). However the label is still active and maintains a steady roster of roughly a half dozen bands, and continues to be the home of The Vandals.
In 2005 Kung Fu Records launched the spinoff imprint Broken Sounds Records to focus on releases by hardcore acts such as the Righteous Jams, The Getaway, xdeathstarx, Suffocate Faster, and H2O. To date, however, the only album to be released under the Broken Sounds imprint has been the Righteous Jams' Rage of Discipline.
|Album Cover||Year||Title||Other information|
|1999||No Stars, Just Talent|
|2000||The "Gone With the Wind" of Punk Rock Samplers|
|2002||Punk Rock is Your Friend||First in the series to carry the Punk Rock is Your Friend title.|
|2003||Punk Rock is Your Friend: Kung Fu Records Sampler #4|
|2004||Punk Rock is Your Friend: Kung Fu Records Sampler #5|
|2005||Punk Rock is Your Friend: Kung Fu Records Sampler No. 6||Subtitled Hardcore is Your Friend, Too as it contains several tracks intended for the label's hardcore imprint Broken Sounds Records.|
|2002||Secret Weapons of Kung Fu||DVD|
|2004||Secret Weapons of Kung Fu 2||DVD|
|2005||Secret Weapons of Kung Fu 3||DVD|