The future of record labels is constantly in question. However, we at betterPropaganda believe that the labels that matter the most are here to stay. These labels are the cream-of-the-crop - the tastemakers. They put out records because they love them and they know we’ll love them. They hold their genres dear, but have the courage to branch out. They believe in the music they release and, no matter what the sales expectations were, every album is a success because they released something they loved.

The Top 50 Labels of the Decade will be posted alphabetically beginning September 15th through September 19th with 10 labels per day.

Click on the below labels to read what their founders, artists and label managers have to say!

Hefty Records - "Generally speaking, our music finds it's identity in a strange balance of electronic and organic sounds. Hefty puts an emphasis on carefully crafted recordings / production and innovative album artwork."

Illegal Art - "Illegal Art is a small label that challenges the perceptions of copyright law. We embrace sampling and all its beautiful permutations."

Kill Rock Stars - "It is a place that takes dirt and turns it into life." - Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu

Kranky - "Before I was ever a Kranky artist, I was a Kranky fan, and I anxiously waited for each title to arrive." - Paul Dickow of Strategy

Lex - "Lex lovingly turns out about 4 albums each year. Whenever possible we release records with good looking sleeves. It's about quality over quantity." - Tom Brown, Founder

Light in the Attic - "In short, we're a bit nuts. We spend countless hours on things that most don't value - two weeks fighting over the text on a retail CD sticker; endlessly calling stores in the UK and France at 3am in hopes of spreading the gospel on a new release."

Luaka Bop - "We try to look at music without prejudice, without saying, 'This belongs in this category and this belongs there'. We'd like to throw things together which is going to be a little confusing for some people, but that's the way we hear." - Yale Evelev, Label President

Mad Decent - "We say Mad Decent is a movement, but that's less of a cocky reference to our legion of fans and more of a way to explain what bubbles up from our home base at the Mausoleum."

Manimal Vinyl - "I have always felt that there are certain artists that deserved to be heard on vinyl; bands and songwriters who perform as if they are reaching out at you from another dimension and time." - Paul Beahan, Founder

Matador - Throughout the current decade, Matador has managed to craft a roster of artists that transcends the indie label/major label distinctions.

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