Record giant Warner MUSIC GROUP (WMG) are devastating music fans by dropping nearly 100 artists - including electronic-pop band STEREOLAB - in a major reorganisation project.

WMG are threatening to dump nearly half of their 170 musicians while the survivors - including rockers THE DARKNESS - will be forced to work with smaller budgets in the future.

Stereolab's manager MARTIN PIKE says, "We were told that our services are going to be dispensed with. We've been with ELEKTRA since 1993. That company doesn't exist anymore."

WMG head LYOR COHEN apologises, "Artists deserve a deep commitment from their labels. If that commitment doesn't exist, they should be given the freedom to pursue it elsewhere. The goal is to nurture artistic creativity and create successful careers."

In March (04) more than 1,000 employees were made redundant from WMG following the buy-out of the WARNER BROS label from TIME WARNER for $2.6 million (GBP1.4 million) in February by a group of private investors including former Universal Music GROUP tycoon EDGAR BRONFMAN JR.

04/06/2004 17:40