Saturday, 31 May 2014

Brand new slipmats

We've finally got round to putting out a series of slipmats. There are four designs to choose from and all of our slipmats are of superior quality with a glazed bottom so that it is extra slippery.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

We have a problem

Although there is continuous talk of record sales increasing, where some statisticians boasted a 101% increase from 2012 into 2013, where there was an increase of 780,000 records sold over the entire duration of the year, these figures are not applicable to underground music.

These figures only represent the Rock & Pop following which has always been consistent where the fan base have maintained a loyal purchasing pattern.  The underground music scene, especially the electronic music scene, has barely contributed to the increase in vinyl sales around the world.

At a time where we are hearing of labels moving away from vinyl, shop after shop closing their doors and distributors and pressing plants shutting up shop, there is a problem.

At the end of summer in 2013, Chemical Records had to call in the administrators where they tried to salvage the business, but on the 26th of March 2014, they closed their doors permanently. Chemical Records was one of the biggest vinyl vendors in the UK and arguably in Europe. They catered for all sorts of genres and without them, record labels will struggle to move their units.

Over the last five years the number of pressing plants that have closed have risen. This has resulted in pressing vinyl becoming an increasingly expensive venture which has a knock on effect on whether it is worth the hassle.

ST Holdings announced on the 6th of May that they are cutting back the amount of labels that they distribute and manage. This leaves a large number of labels now without a distribution system and they will most probably begin to consider whether manufacturing and distributing vinyl is worth doing.

ST Holdings most definitely made the right decision to cut back so they can cultivate manageable growth as they did in 1998. By reducing on warehouse costs with stock that isn't moving they can focus their time on pushing the small selection of labels that they have decided to keep on.

In this circle, the labels can't be blamed because it is much more lucrative to stick to digital only releases as they are catering to their own demand, stores cannot sell enough vinyl to stay open, demand is decreasing where labels are only pressing 200 copies so vinyl pressing prices are increasing and distributors are either not taking on labels or taking larger percentages on distribution costs. In this vicious circle, nobody can be blamed.

It is the state of the music scene and the choice is left to the people. It is up to the people whether they want to save vinyl or not. If everyone purchased more records, labels would have more capital to press more music, which would result in shops selling more units to stay open and distributors being able to get the records in stores worldwide, so the power is truthfully in the people.

In 1977 a British band called 'Scritti Politti' was formed where they released a vinyl called 'Skank Block Bologna' in 1978. They were one of the first bands to take control into their own hands and truthfully push the 'do it yourself' mentality. They started a revolution where artists knew they didn't need to be signed to a major label to press their own music to vinyl and thousands of people followed.

It is time to support the independents, it is time to stop spending money on overpriced coffee at cafes and invest in the future of the music scene. If demand continues to slip away, thousands of labels will fall to the side and countless amounts of music will not be pressed onto a timeless format.

We have a problem and only you can fix it.