In rotation: 8/27/21

Tokyo, JP | Symphonic Distribution Partners with Qrates to Expand Vinyl Services to Full Roster of Independent Artists and Labels: Qrates, the world’s premier destination for fast, hassle-free creation, financing, distribution, discovery, and sales of vinyl records, has partnered with Symphonic Distribution, the latest leading music distributor to provide its independent artist and label clients with discounted access to Qrates’ end-to-end services, from crowdfunding through to fan fulfillment. This deal gives all of Symphonic’s clients access to vinyl creation and sales, giving them the ability to capitalize on one of the most lucrative and fastest-growing formats in the music industry today. …Because Qrates has direct relationships with pressing plants, it is able to turn around orders more quickly than other companies, with priority given to independent artists and labels. And with free warehousing in North America and the U.K., artists and labels can choose whether to have Qrates handle order processing, storage, customer support, and distribution for them.

Adelaide, AU | Clarity Records is expanding into the shop next door: Cult Hindmarsh Square record store Clarity Records is expanding into an empty bricks-and-mortar space next door, and plans on also throwing (sometimes boozy) gigs on weekends. Clarity Records is much more than just a record store. After opening on Pulteney Street in 2010 as a specialist music shop – slinging vinyl, CDs and other music merch to die-hard punk and hardcore fans – it morphed in 2015 when the business launched annual music festival A Day of Clarity. Clarity co-owners Matt (also known as Footy) and Laura Hovarth are deeply embedded within Adelaide’s underground music scene. They both run the festival, record shop and all its affiliated appendages, such as the self-titled record label that manages bands such as Hydromedusa. Unsurprisingly, in 2021, the business needed space to grow. That’s why last year Matt and Laura decided to lease the vacant 100sqm retail space next door to sell more records – now from artists spanning other musical genres such as jazz, soul and funk – and offer a space for permanent live music.

Has the pandemic created a brief blip or permanent shift in traditional media consumption? There are plenty of articles, whitepapers and reports out there that have been tracking the changes in media consumption over the past year and, perhaps inevitably, an acceleration further into certain digital channels is quite apparent. But for a while now, having read and heard various things, I’ve been musing over whether this tells the whole story. A frequently recurring theme that has been present over the past year has been one of nostalgia, and it got me wondering whether this has begun a trend toward an occasional hankering for some traditional media, or is it merely a fad; a symptom of these extraordinary times. …The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) reported in December that sales of vinyl records in the UK had reached their highest since the early 1990s. Now, this was following a trend in growth for the 13th consecutive year, but given the frequency and depth of lockdowns during this period and people’s focus on their finances in other areas, this is some achievement.

Warner Music Is Worth a Spin: Record label’s stock has lagged behind even as consumers are paying up for music. The nice thing about being Warner Music these days is that the company still does well even when listeners go old school. Streaming is now the main driver of the music business, accounting for about 83% of the industry’s $12.2 billion in U.S. revenue last year, according to data from the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA. But the industry is also seeing a strong uptick in sales of vinyl albums, which generated nearly $620 million in U.S. sales last year—up 29% from the previous year. That is the highest sales figure for the vinyl format in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1988. …But as Tim Nollen of Macquarie put it, Warner is “having it both ways” of late. Vinyl demand powered a 155% surge in physical music sales to $130 million in the company’s fiscal third quarter ended June.

OVERKILL: ‘The Atlantic Years 1986 -1994’ Vinyl And CD Box Sets Due In October: An integral part of the early-’80s thrash metal movement that spawned acts like METALLICA and ANTHRAX, New Jersey’s OVERKILL garnered a reputation for brutal, pounding speed and technique. Taking their moniker from the 1979 MOTÖRHEAD album of the same name, an early demo, “Power In Black”, made waves in the underground tape-trading circuit and caught the attention of Megaforce Records, which issued the band’s full-length studio debut, “Feel The Fire”, in 1985. High-profile shows alongside luminaries like SLAYER and ANTHRAX followed, and with the American thrash scene in full tilt, OVERKILL inked a major-label deal with Atlantic, which put out their sophomore effort, 1987’s uncompromising “Taking Over”. This was followed quickly in 1988 by the equally uncompromising “Under The Influence”, which spawned the MTV hit “Hello From The Gutter”.

Sales of the Deluxe Vinyl Set for HISTOIRES SANS PAROLES -HARMONIUM SYMPHONIQUE Surpass 5000 Units: This collector’s volume includes the album on four 12-inch 180-gram vinyl LPs, along with a large luxurious hardcover book. Montreal, Quebec-based record company GSI Musique announces that the super-deluxe limited-edition vinyl set of the acclaimed double album Histoires sans paroles – Harmonium Symphonique, a symphonic re-interpretation of the music of influential 1970s Montreal-based progressive rock act Harmonium, has sold 5000 units. This collector’s volume includes the album on four 12-inch 180-gram vinyl LPs, along with a large luxurious hardcover book (illustrated with photos taken during the recording sessions at Montreal’s Maison Symphonique, in the presence of Harmonium mastermind Serge Fiori), the standard 2-CD album set, and a full-album download. For a deluxe vinyl set to ship 5000 units is notable under any circumstances, but this news is particularly impressive as the album is available exclusively through the website

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