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Dependence 2015

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Dependent reopen in summer/fall 2009

Stefan Herwig - Dependent

Hello boys and girls,

I am writing this in English with the intention to reach as many people as possible right now. Please forgive me the inevitable  grammar mistakes (English is not my native language) but I wanted this to be published along & simultaneously with the news we are releasing today as well (usually it takes Ned 2 to 3 days to translate, and longer texts like this one can sometimes take a full week).  I guess some of you have already read the actual news first:

I have decided to reopen Dependent and start again. This will include the release of some physical CD’s, starting in late summer 2009.  I am well aware that this contradicts with what I said approximately 26 months ago when I first announced that we would stop releasing physical records due to the piracy thingy. Don’t worry, this is not going to turn into another anti-piracy rant, I have done enough of those. But I would like to explain here what caused this change of mind.

I noticed in the last years that the electronic/industrial music scene is in a state of advanced decay, and that labels have cut back considerably on releasing new fresh artists.

At the same token I have stumbled across a few absolutely amazing releases and demos. My favorite two artists in 2008 have not even been able to release their music in Europe at all. We were promised years ago that the internet will help us find all those small cool artists much easier, but it seems like the very opposite happened: all those good bands are being buried under a pile of subpar bands, and are hardly visible.  Hardly any electronic newcomer bands have been able to stick a hand out of the underground since 2004/2005, and the longer this situation continues the bleaker the outcome seems to be. But bands like Kilowatts & Vanek, who we are going to release on Dependent have really earned some recognition as this is electronic music that – just like Mind.In.A.Box – sounds like no other band before.

To many people the last few yeas might look like there were hardly any good bands out there anymore. But the truth is that they just don’t seem to be able to reach a wider audience anymore without someone in the background to lift them above the rest. And since artists are usually good singers and songwriters but suck at marketing, some of this really amazing music does not reach YOU anymore. So despite of what a lot of people say, there still seems to be a point in record labels.

That is one reason for reopening this label.

The second reason is that we got a surprising amount of fan mails from people who asked us to release music again. We were really touched by that as we have been in contact with a lot of people, and the music of bands like Mind.In.A.Box, Seabound, Pride And Fall or even the Click Click and haujobb re-releases we just did seem to mean a lot to them. A few have also mentioned that they have lost orientation in this scene and want to find quality bands – but can’t. A lot of labels have quit their job in the meantime, and they were an initial means of recommendation. I was really amazed how many people are out there who can’t seem to find "their music" music anymore and who are missing those labels as an important QUALITY FILTER for them.

Also it amazes us that our forum is still going with a lot of dedicated people who have a serious musical background and gave us lots of recommendations and constructive comments. I actually thought that this forum would turn into a desert town no later than six months after our closure, but the opposite seems to be the case. It is still going strong right now.

It is seriously these people that make some artists and labels going in the first place. People's appreciation for our work is as much a reward for us as the money they spend – especially since we all know that they could have all gone "the cheap route" as easily.

Last not least – and this is also mentioned in the news – we have gotten a lot of support from our partner label in the states – Metropolis Records, who will help us out with some bands on their artist roster. This support will make the business part of our label much more steady, and will also enable us to sign a few bands as a joint effort which we could otherwise not have worked, including MESH and Front Line Assembly for instance. But besides some of the big boys, we will also keep releasing innovative music and smaller bands. For instance, I have started to work on a new Septic compilation just now.

So, early to mid  2007 we were heavily frustrated by the market development and that filesharing was destroying this music we love. On top of that I was diagnosed with advanced burnout syndrome (the real deal, not the "Why dont you go on vacation for an extended weekend?" thing) .
Now it’s mid 2009, and we think that there are enough people who understand the value of supporting artists and record labels. The tone in a lot of music forums has changed considerably from "pro filesharing" to "contra filesharing". But the music is missing to justify that attitude. I know now that there is a dedicated fanbase of people supporting labels and artists that really care about the quality of the music and will go a long way to keep this scene alive.

I don’t know about you, but I think this might be a healthier environment for running a label than it was back in 2007. Feel free to run your comments on our label forum. As we end up seriously considering them.

Stefan Herwig
On May 15th 2009