Netlabels are online record labels that distribute music primarily in digital audio formats, such as MP3, Ogg Forbis, or WAV. Typically, netlabels offer a great share of their releases for free, often under a Creative Commons license. Like regular record labels, netlabels specialize in genres.
Traditionally, all types of electronic styles have a strongest representation in the netlabel community, possibly because commercialization is the toughest for these music genres. The netlabels presented in this article cover a wide range of genres, including electronic, punk, metal, hip hop, and classical.
Genres: ambient, electronic, folk, post-rock
John Kruse founded Mine All Mine Records in 2006 to release limited edition copies of his own music. In 2007 he released his work on Archive.org and began publishing the work of other artists in the following year. After several years in business, Mine All Mine Records has worked with over eighty artists. The latest compilation album, which features almost 30 different artists, is their 200th release.
Recommended album: Mine All Mine Two Hundred by Mine All Mine Records
The netlabel Lepork Records promotes the best underground punk bands from around the world. They have released over 30 albums. The recommended album Last One Standing recently surpassed 20,000 downloads.
Recommended album: Last One Standing by The Leftouts
Genres: metal, black metal, post metal, death metal, industrial, grindcore
The Asiluum currency is attention. Albums published by this netlabel are shared under a Creative Commons Music Sharing License, which excludes commercial use. Asiluum also helps its artists to get studio time and record their music.
Recommended album: Mad Man Circus by White Walls
Genres: pop, folk, ambient, electronic, hip hop
Circle Into Square isn’t strictly a netlabel as they also release their music on CD, cassette, vinyl, next to digital media. The volunteer-run label is based in Portland, Oregon and partners as online store for Fake Four, Inc. While most of their music is available for a fair price, some albums can be downloaded for free in exchange for an email address.
Recommended album: Compilation Vol. 2 by Circle Into Square
Genres: classical, instrumental
SHSK’H is a New York netlabel founded in 2007 by musicians Jody Pou and Igor Balleraeau. The started to release their own music, but soon promoted the work of fellow musicians. The music released on SHSK’H is shared under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Recommended album: Solo Viola d’Amore by Garth Knox
For more free independent music albums, visit our weekly Sound Sunday feature. Also have a look at these articles:
- 5 Resources Used To Find Free MP3 Albums For Sound Sunday
- Top 10 Free Ways To Discover New Music Online
- If You Are A Music Lover,Try Out Flowd To Catch The Latest On Musical Events & Artists
- Top 4 Sites To Download Karaoke Music Without Words To Test Your Singing Ability
- The 3 Best Free Classical Music Download Sites
Can you recommend a netlabel and what is your favorite way to discover new independent music?
Image Credits:Aaron Amat