Bad news for fans and bands of Dependent Records and for friends of high-quality electronic music: This summer, the electro-industrial label Dependent Records is going to shut its gates. This was announced by the label's mastermind, Stefan Herwig, in the booklet of their recent compilation, "Dependence 2", which was issued last Friday. The reason is neither a lack of good sense for high-quality music, nor a lack of bands producing the latter, nor too little joy of music and of bringing it to a larger audience. Neither are Dependent Records forced to quit for financial reasons directly - thus no declaration of bankruptcy either.
Dependent started up with bands like Covenant, VNV Nation, Velvet Acid Christ and is (yet) home to further scene representatives like Suicide Commando, Seabound, Rotersand, Dismantled, Fractured, Edge of Dawn, Stromkern, Pride & Fall, Mind.in.a.Box, Girls Under Glass and many more bands which are atop of quite some favourites lists. Many of you may also own some original records of the highly priced Septic series. Speaking of original records: Those of you who actually bought their favourite music have contributed to the fact that an idealistic label like Dependent Records was able to survive for so long at all - despite the spreading opinion that it is legitimate to steal an artist's fruits for months of hard work, produced with the help of their labels. Those of you who share this opinion are the main reason for the end of Dependent Records. Darkmoments wishes you the worst of all mainstream-trash ear candies and a nice hard drive crash (including all backup disks). Please, don't get us wrong. Those who actually do listen to mainstream trash probably won't read this article anyway.
We're not talking about people who want to check on some samples before buying an album and download them for that reason only. Neither are we talking about legal downloads. Nor about those of you whose collection may contain one or another burnt copy. There are many good reasons for downloading something from the Web. But those who get most of their music illegally (and thus show their complete lack of appreciation for the artists' and labels' hard work) don't seem to be aware of the consequences of their actions - and neither of their responsibility. The argument "CDs and legal downloads are too expensive" is a weak one, too. Right now, you are visiting Darkmoments and reading this article. Why? Most probably because you care for music and the music scene. It may even mean a lot to you, and many of you might have a hard time imagining their lives without music. At least, that's how we feel about it. Do you smoke? One CD = 3 boxes of cigarettes. Do you sometimes enjoy a drink or two at a pub? One CD = 4 beers. A CD which contains an artist's work of a whole year, a lot of money some label put into it, a designer's nice booklet - something you might enjoy for years. Is the CD too expensive? A pack of chewing gums for the price of a song. Is 1 EUR too much for a song? To those of you who argue that it's only the evil labels anyway who pocket the bucks to the disadvantage of the artists, I warmly recommend an older article by the label in question about who gets what of the price for a CD. Very informative! (And with a funny beginning, too.) If you are interested, click here.
We're appalled that even in a scene which values its high moral standards and for which music is that important, the situation has become so dramatic that someone like Stefan Herwig has to make a decision like this. What do we mean by "someone like Stefan Herwig"? We are talking about someone who is committed for what he is doing. Someone who lobbies for his bands. Someone who, seemingly untiringly and with convincing arguments, fought against the development we are currently witnessing. Someone for whom the production of demanding music outranks pleasing the masses - and whose products thus have little in common with the "commerce" so ill-reputed in the scene. One of the "good guys", who is doing it all right and who is willing to do so - and who gets his butt kicked by those who don't give a damn about values. Someone who runs a label for the love of music, someone who still believes in ideals. We thought that was also what the "scene" wanted and appreciated. We were so wrong... Darkmoments is committed to similar ideals. We can vividly imagine the frustration that underlies his decision.
Those of you who wish to learn more about Stefan Herwig's arguments for his decision, please check the booklet of "Dependence 2" or (soon) the label's website ,where further essays on related issues can be found as well. In case you want to say something to the Dependent team or to discuss the situation, you can do so at the label's forum - we are sure your feedback will be welcome. (Those of you who just want to flame, please scratch together your last bits of decency and abstain. The situation is already sad enough.) "Respect music" - and the people behind the music as well.
Darkmoments wishes to take this sad opportunity to express their gratitude to Stefan Herwig and the Dependent team for many great albums they unerringly picked out of probably thousands of demo recordings, for polishing them, producing them, and thus giving them a larger audience. You have our respect and full support. Even as a little webzine only, we might be close enough to knowing how important a label is for bringing us the music we love. It is beyond question that the closing of a label like Dependent, which is renowned not only for the great music they produce but also for their integrity, would be a great loss. It is a shame that, once more, the wrong ones have to suffer the consequences. Those who suffer, besides the people behind the label itself, are the ones who used to buy the CDs and who got involved. And it is also the bands, who were true to the label over years or who, as newcomers, trusted them with their Start Dependent. We therefore hope for them, for us, and for the entire scene that we will still hear from Dependent beyond summer 2007...
The text published under permission of Darkmoments.de
Polish translation: Khocico yesternight.pl
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