Civil unrest has hit very close to home for those in the independent music community. Earlier this week in London, rioting broke out as vandals burnt buildings down to distract police while stores were looted.
Tragically, one of the buildings that went up in flames was the Sony Distribution Centre, home to the physical media stock (CDs, DVDs, LPs) of PIAS, the biggest distributor of independent music releases in the U.K. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the fire, but the entire 20,000 square foot warehouse and its inventory have been destroyed.
Here is the complete list of labels affected by the fire:
1234, 2020 Vision, Accidental, Ad Altiora, Adventures Close to home , Alberts , All City , Alt Delete, Ambush Reality, Angular, Ark, ATC, Atic, Atlantic Jaxx, Azuli, B Unique, Backyard, Bad Sneakers, Bandstock, Banquet, Beggars Group (XL, 4AD, Matador, Rough Trade, etc), Big Chill, Big Dada, Big Life / Nul / Sindy Stroker, Boombox, Border Community, Boysnoize, Brille, Bronzerat, Brownswood, Buzzin Fly, Can You Feel It, Catskills, ChannelFly, Chemikal Underground, City Rockers, Counter, D Cypher, Dance To The Radio, Deceptive, Def Jux, Dirtee Stank, Divine Comedy, Domino, Drag City, Drive Thru, Drowned in Sound, Duophonic, Eat Sleep / Sorepoint, Electric Toaster, Emfire, F. Comm, Fabric, Faith And Hope, Fantastic Plastic, Fargo, FatCat, Feraltone, Finders Keepers / Twisted Nerve, Fingerlickin’, Flock, Free Range, From The Basement, Full Time Hobby, Goldsoul, Gronland, Groove Attack, Halftime, Hassle ,Heron. Hum&Haw, Independiente, Info UK, Join Us, Kartel, Kensaltown, Kitsune, Kompakt, Laughing Stock, Leftroom, Lex, Lo Max, Loose, Love Box, Lowlife, Lucky Number, Marquis Cha Cha, Memphis Industries, Merok, Metroline, Mute, Naïve, Nation, Navigator. New World, Ninja Tune, Nuclear Blast ,One Little Indian, Output / People in the Sky / Process, Pale Blue, Palm, Peacefrog, PIAS Recordings, PIP 555 Productions, Play To Work, Powerhouse (T2), Propaganda / Ho Hum, Raw Canvas, Red Grape, Red Telephone Box, Rekids, Renaissance, Respect Productions (PES digital), Reveal Records, SMG, Rock Action, Roots, Rough Trade, Rough Trade Comps, Rubyworks, Ruffa Lane, Search And Destroy, Secret Sundaze, Secretly Canadian / Jagjaguwar / Dead Oceans, Sell Yourself, Setanta, Shatterproof, Sideone Dummy, Slam Dunk, Smalltown, Soma, Something In Construction, Sonar Kollectiv, Soul Jazz, Southern Fried, Stranded Soldier, Subliminal, Sunday Best, TARGO, Taste, Ten Worlds, Thrill Jockey, Total Fitness, Touch And Go, Track And Field, TriTone, Trouble, Try Harder, Turk, Turnstile, Twenty 20, Underworld, Union Square, Urban Torque, Vagrant, Vice, Victory, Wagram , Wall Of Sound, Warp, Wi45 , Wonky Atlas, Word And Sound, Xtra Mile, You Are Here.
What that means to us, the music loving community, is that some of our favorite independent labels have been completely depleted of stock not already sent to retailers and have very little of anything to left. Despite any possible future insurance recoup, some are already speculating that even the biggest, most successful independents won’t see a restock of vinyl LPs for at least 3 months. For the smaller labels, it will certainly be even longer since the recent vinyl boom has most record pressing plants backlogged for months. With no product for 3 months or more, it severely hurts these labels and some might be in jeopardy of disappearing altogether with such a dry spell.
What you can do, as a music fan and supporter of independent music, is support those labels affected by the fire. If possible, buy music directly from labels, whether it’s physical media or downloads. Or at the very least, go out to your local independent record store and purchase titles from these labels. The Quietus has a great list of 20 recommended releases to buy to support the labels and Boomkat has a special page of releases dedicated to those affected.
A group of bloggers and associated music fans have rallied together and created Label Love to raise money for those labels affected as well as raise awareness about the situation. The page is sparse right now, but they promise to have more details and information as things develop.
If you love independent music and want to help it survive in the face of crisis, first get the word out about it on networking sites. Talk about it and the releases you buy in support of the cause on Twitter with a #labellove hashtag. Then, get out there and buy some great music you probably would have bought anyway.
By Jarad Matula