Saturday, March 22, 2008

It's the economy, stupid.

Long-running UK Industrial/Electro retailer Music Non Stop just closed its doors (no puns about the name, please). Interestingly, the statement on their site cites "current exchange rates of the Euro and the dollar against the pound", "the lack of consistent ‘big name’ releases in this scene" as well as the "increase in distributor and day to day running costs" before pulling out the ubiquitous spectre of file sharing, which they couch within the broader descriptor of "other methods now available of obtaining new music" (ie, all manner of paid, legal models of mp3 distribution are taking a bite out as well). At a personal level, while I was always staggered by MNS' catalog (I have fond memories of grabbing a particularly limited Welle: Erdball vinyl box set from them), their shipping prices, not to mention the aforementioned exchange rate always made buying from them a special case, rather than the rule.

It's interesting (as well as depressing) when basic global economics takes down a scene staple, rather than "personal issues" or piracy. This hasn't stopped the Side-Line thread on the subject from devolving into the usual poo-flinging about who is and isn't "supporting the scene", of course. Whether the recession (dammit, US media, you've been asking if yr in one for over a year now - just admit it) will put the squeeze on retailers/distributors who rely on domestic sales remains to be seen, but in the meantime the prices that COP/DDT are posting right now look rather tasty to this Canadian vulture.

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