Touch and Go head Corey Rusk has announced that the legendary Chicago indie label (which released Slint's Spiderland, and a bevy of indie rock from two generations of indie bands) will be cutting off it's distribution services (it distributed albums from Suicide Squeeze, Kill Rock Stars, Merge, Jade Tree, and others) and scaling down significantly to essentially just manage past releases.
Citing economic downturn, Rusk said that the label won't be releasing any new music that isn't already set up to be released (like Crystal Antlers debut, Tentacles, which is due out on April 7, and their planned Jesus Lizard reissues).
The label, which celebrated its 25 anniversary in 2006, was home to many indie rock bands, who, unfortunately for Touch and Go, jumped to majors soon after joining the label (like Butthole Surfers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, and others).
In his release, Rusk made clear that the label isn't necessarily kaput, it's just not going to be what it was.
Here's Rusk's full statement:
"It is with great sadness that we are reporting some major changes here at Touch and Go Records. Many of you may not be aware, but for nearly 2 decades, Touch and Go has provided manufacturing and distribution services for a select yet diverse group of other important independent record labels. Titles from these other labels populate the shelves of our warehouse alongside the titles on our own two labels, Touch and Go Records, and Quarterstick Records.
"Unfortunately, as much as we love all of these labels, the current state of the economy has reached the point where we can no longer afford to continue this lesser known, yet important part of Touch and Go’s operations. Over the years, these labels have become part of our family, and it pains us to see them go. We wish them all the very best and we will be doing everything we can to help make the transition as easy as possible.
"Touch and Go will be returning to its roots and focusing solely on being an independent record label. We’ll be busy for a few months working closely with the departing labels and scaling our company to an appropriate smaller size after their departure. It is the end of a grand chapter in Touch and Go’s history, but we also know that good things can come from new beginnings."
Awful news on an awful day. Seems to always fit. One more thing on my mind today.