London Calling – Pinpoint Music Vs. Sony/PIAS Warehouse Fire London Calling – Pinpoint Music Vs. Sony/PIAS Warehouse Fire

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Here at Pinpoint music, we’re fans of our independent music. Hell, it probably accounts for a solid 75% of the reviews that we write for the site. That’s why we were as shocked and saddened as the rest of the indie music loving community to see that the UK’s largest distribution centre for independent music was destroyed on the morning of Tuesday, August 9th.

It should be immediately pointed out that, most importantly, no injuries were reported. However, all stock that was being stored in the warehouse was destroyed- and the impact of these losses on the lives of the people involved is very real. Such dramatic losses in physical stock have had an effect on labels, artists and retailers.

Here’s why you should care. The ‘independent’ music I’ve referred to is more wide ranging than you might assume- I’m not talking about some guy from Camden with an acoustic guitar singing Smiths covers; labels like 4AD, (The National, Ariel Pink, Bon Iver) Domino (Animal Collective, Elliot Smith, Pavement) and Sub Pop (Avi Buffalo, Beach House, Mogwai) are the types of labels affected, to name but three from over one hundred and fifty.

Particularly hard hit are likely to be the vinyl collectors of independent music up and down the UK. Many local music shops are expected to be without back catalogue in a week or two, and the cost of pressing vinyl records is such that it is highly unlikely that the smaller indie labels will re-press.

Some of these labels will be insured for stock losses. Some are still waiting to hear; Ninja Tune (Amon Tobin, Bonobo) lost 120,000 records in the blaze, and at the time of writing still do not know whether their stock is covered. However, even if a labels stock is covered, waiting for the insurance money raises awkward cash flow issues. Beggars Group- which includes XL, Adele’s label- notes that larger labels like themselves and others have distribution centres around Europe, and will most likely be able to cope. There is a real fear though that for smaller labels on tight budgets the stock losses will punch a serious hole in their finances that they simply won’t be able to deal with. Aside from you not being able to tell your friend about this great new indie band you’ve discovered- what are us Pinpoint writers going to do?!?

That’s the heavy stuff out of the way. In light of this totally shit thing happening, we at Pinpoint have decided to put our money where our exceptional tastes in music are, and shell out for our favourite labels and artists. The best thing that you as music consumers can do is to simply get our your wallets and buy some music. Over the coming days Pinpoint staffers will be writing on which artists and labels we got behind, and why, in the hope that you will do the same.

“‘Cause music is bigger than words and wider than pictures”- Mogwai (‘Yes! I Am A Long Way From Home!’)

***For more information, please visit Record Label Love. They have compiled a fairly comprehensive spreadsheet of labels and artists affected by the blaze.

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