A post by Brent DiCrescenzo over at Time Out Chicago’s Blog seems to confirm rumors we’ve been hearing this week that the longstanding, highly influential Chicago label Touch & Go is closing up shop. Nothing 100% confirmed, but as DiCrescenzo notes:
When reached for confirmation this morning, owner Corey Rusk gave me an official “no comment,” but explained that a press release will be forthcoming later today.
For those of us who cut our teeth on — nay, had our early worldview shaped by — Jesus Lizard (and Scratch Acid), Big Black (and then Rapeman and then Shellac), Laughing Hyenas (and Negative Approach), Slint, and Butthole Surfers, etc., this is a sad day. For folks who cut their teeth on Yeah Yeah Yeahs, !!!, and TV On The Radio, this should be a sad day, too. Really, the list of great albums they put out seems sorta endless.
More details when we have them.
UPDATE: We now have more details, including Corey Rusk’s 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.
Additionally, the DailySwarm is reporting that “the entire label staff of 20 has been let go.”
But this isn’t just a bummer for Touch & Go. The labels no longer distributed by them include 2131, 5 Rue Christine, All Natural, Atavistic, Drag City, Emperor Jones, Estrus, Flameshovel, Jade Tree, In The Fishtank, Kill Rock Stars, Le Tigre Recordings, Merge Records, Overcoat Recordings, Pretty Activity, Post Present Medium, Record Label, Robcore, Suicide Squeeze, Trance Syndicate, Trixie, Voodoo-EROS, Warm Electronic Recordings, etc.