In 2008, the recording alter-ego of Mike Sniper, Blank Dogs, released the Captured Tracks EP. The release was a tour-only CD-R and featured noisier, more experimental tracks. However, the release was not associated with any label, so many assumed it was the name of Sniper's label. Since Sniper was already planning to release the next Blank Dogs EP, Seconds, himself, it became obvious to just call the label what people mistakenly thought his last merch item was released on anyway. The slash logo was born shortly afterward and the label was born. Paired with CT-001, the self-titled debut Dum Dum Girls EP, the two 12"s sold out quickly and, over the course of the next six months, one-off releases by The Oh Sees, The Beets, Grass Widow, Fresh & Onlys and Woods followed suit.
By mid-2009, the label had amassed the roster it would quickly become known for. At the time, artists like Wild Nothing, Beach Fossils, The Soft Moon and Widowspeak, the label's first signings were unknown. All four would release their first singles and LPs on Captured Tracks in 2009 and 2010. Soon after, the label would sign and develop Craft Spells, DIIV, Blouse, Chris Cohen and Mac DeMarco and begin to only work with bands that have no official release or a release that was manufactured in a very limited pressing a la Naomi Punk and Perfect Pussy.