Will Sony’s warehouse blaze burn indie labels?

The fire that destroyed the Sony DADC (Digital Audio Disc Corporation) warehouse in North London may have a huge ripple effect as the facility was home to over 150 independent record labels. The warehouse was used for storage of DVDs, Blu-ray disc, PlayStation games and other electronics. Located in Enfield, the facility also served as the main headquarters of UK music distributor Pias, which is a distributor of independent record labels such as Buzzin’ Fly, Strange Feeling’s, 4AD, Sub Pop, Domino, Warp, XL and many more. It is believed that at least 1.5 million CDs and 12″ vinyl records have been destroyed in the fire and while larger labels have product stored at other facilities, the smaller indie companies have been wiped out completely. Most labels still have digital downloads available, while Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling’s have limited stock available, their back catalogue of 12″ vinyl and CDs has been lost forever. I can only speculate whether or not the master recordings have been back up in a safe place and hopefully that is the case as masters can be used to reprint material.

Excerpts from an email I received from “Buzzin’ Fly” this morning:
“Earlier this week the Sony DADC warehouse in North London was burnt to the ground during the London riots in a massive act of arson. Apart from stocking various Sony electronic products it also housed all the stock of one of the leading UK independent record label distributors, PIAS. PIAS are Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling’s distributors.

What this means is that virtually ALL of the back catalogue of both Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling has been lost. Virtually every unsold piece of vinyl. Every unsold CD. Records by Tracey Thorn, Justin Martin, Mademoiselle Caro and Franck Garcia, The Unbending Trees, Ben Watt with Estelle, DJ Hell. Remixes by Radio Slave, Ame, Charles Webster, DJ Koze, Ewan Pearson. And many more. It has wiped out eight years of our history in one fell swoop.

The Buzzin’ Fly Online Shop has some limited stock unaffected by the fire, but when those items are sold it is likely that many of them will never be repressed. We currently have no income coming in from regular shop sales and distribution of packaged product as we having nothing left to distribute at the moment. Insurance claims and decisions over what to re-make will take time. If you just want to buy a few downloads, that is cool too. We offer them as well as T-shirts, posters, badges, hoodies and bags.”

It has been reported that Scotland Yard Police have arrested three teens ranging in age from 17 to 18 years of age in connection with the arson blaze that destroyed the Sony facility. The trio has been charged with violent disorder and arson, two of the jailed teens remain in custody, however one of the 17-year-olds has posted bail and was released. It is unknown how bad the smaller indie labels will get hit, but the unfortunate reality is many of them may go under, as they are not able to stay afloat like their larger counterparts. It is fortunate no was injured during the incident and we hope that everyone will be able to rebuild and get back on their feet very soon.

“The PIAS team has been working around the clock to limit the damage. We know that the livelihood of many talented, passionate and hard working music people, artists and small and bigger labels is at stake and depend on our actions and those of Sony DADC”
– Kenny Gates, Founder & CEO Pias

Links:
Buzzin’ Fly Records – Emergency News
3 Teens Arrested for Sony Warehouse Fire in London Riots
Message from Kenny Gates

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