Best Label Strategy for Staying on Top of the Changing Record Industry

Thrill Jockey Adding Quantity to Quality

Critics' Picks

The digital marketplace has helped the record biz recover a little from the past decade's tanking sales, but things still look pretty bleak. So it's heartening to see venerable Chicago independent label Thrill Jockey adapting to the near collapse of the industry by doubling down: for years it's been increasing its output and growing more adventurous. In 2007 the label had 15 new releases; in 2013 it's on track for 37. More than a few of the added releases are limited and vinyl only, but Thrill Jockey isn't cutting corners to put out more records. The quality of its catalog remains top-notch, and stylistically its reach is broader than ever, encompassing African music (Sidi Toure, Sorry Bamba), instrumental psychedelia (Barn Owl, Date Palms, Peals), hard rock (Golden Void, Survival), metal (Liturgy, Oozing Wound), weird electronic music (Jan St. Werner), and more.