What's a label?

Labelmania: Our music critics take in the changing music industry and try to find some meaning

Who needs record labels? Do you? Yes, the music industry is in turmoil -- so what's the point of branding anymore? The Guardian checks out anonymous underground classics, military-industrial backers, trickle-up breakthroughs, warped corps, reissue revivalism, and indie's wild, wild ride.

>>The name game
What does a record label mean in 2009? Label owners sound off
By Johnny Ray Huston

>>Saved by zero
Dance music still shakes off labels and flirts with the void
By Marke B

>>Great expectations?
Indie labels ride the ups and downs of the blog buzz and bluster
By Kimberly Chun

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