Repercussions of the London riots are about to have a massive impact on the music industry: A Sony warehouse that served as a distribution center for more than 100 independent labels burned down yesterday. The Sony DADC center in north London, where anarchy has plagued the streets for three days, was home to the Pias Group, which oversees the distributions of labels like Domino, 4AD, Warp, Beggars, Thrill Jockey, Mute, Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar/Dead Oceans, and many more high-profile names.
There's video of the aftermath of the Sony DADC blaze, and it's safe to assume that everything inside the three-story, 65,000-square-foot warehouse has been destroyed, which means the labels will have to absorb the cost of manufacturing their stock anew. "Physical retail is still absolutely crucial to many in the independent sector and if -- as seems quite likely -- several smaller labels aren't covered by insurers, this could be the difference between survival and going out of business," industry analyst Paul Scaife told the Guardian.
The London riots were sparked after police in the city's Tottenham district shot and killed an unarmed man. What began as a protest against the victim's death soon devolved into unrestrained violence and looting that has now lasted three days, making it the most violent riot to hit London since 1995, Yahoo! News reports.
"We've lost thousands of records! So sad," indie label One Little Indian wrote. Another, Memphis Industries, tweeted, "All the stock we got left is sitting in our office. Devastated is the word." The Guardian has the complete list of indie labels affected by the fire. M.I.A., no stranger to making ill-timed comments, tweeted "im going down to the riots to hand out tea and mars bars," but that note has since been deleted.
- Sony DADC