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I take little pleasure in making this post. But I’m sorry to report that despite all its promises, eMusic has failed to deliver, even by its own standards.
As you may recall, back in those halcyon days of yore, when eMusic actually maintained a blog to maintain transparency with its subscribers, many of us were upset with the sudden massive gaps in eMusic’s catalog, especially as they emerged after the debut of the new website. The new site was intended, at least in part, to deal with a problem that had gradually cropped up with the old one, namely that new music wasn’t showing up in a timely manner. We were told that the reason for this is that the distribution systems, from the labels to the site, had gradually gotten corrupted. The site needed more than a mere overhaul; it needed a full-scale replacement. This would make it a million times easier to fix problems as they emerged, since the team responsible for building it in the first place would be the same people in charge of it now.
Well. As we’ve seen, things didn’t work out so well, because content availability is now dramatically worse than it was with the old site. Whereas before, we’d occasionally have a new release delayed months before it finally made it to the site, we now have many dozens of indie labels who no longer have any content available at eMusic whatsoever, whether new releases or back catalogs. So in what follows, I’ve attempted to document everything that has either gone missing or is otherwise unaccounted for. There are some examples that are kind of obvious and wouldn’t be expected to be found here, like the major labels or the Beggar’s Banquet labels (4AD, Matador, etc.). Likewise, given that many indie labels are actually kind of faux-independent, that is, they are affiliates of, or distributed by, major labels, we’d sadly probably not expect to find those here either. What we would expect to find here are genuine, full-throated indie labels. We subscribe to eMusic in large part because most of the music we happen to purchase in any given month happens to be on indie labels. So if those labels aren’t here, if all that’s available at eMusic is “The Best of Hungarian Yak Herding Music, Vol. 4,” then it kind of defeats the whole purpose of subscribing at eMusic. These discounts on music are great, but they ought to be on music we were already inclined to purchase.
Sadly, what we’ve gotten from eMusic of late has mostly just been radio silence. The blog, the Twitter handle and this Reddit board were all supposed to signal a new era of transparency for eMusic subscribers. On July 13th, the blog addressed the missing content directly: “Currently, we’re targeting mid-next month for our next update, but we hope to have more good news for you before then. Please continue submitting issues to [email protected]
and sharing thoughts on how to improve our catalog. Our label relations team is listening and are committed to growing the quality and quantity of eMusic catalog.” (https://blog.emusic.com/2017/07/13/label-status-and-feedback/
Other than a post reporting the availability of playlists for the eMusic phone app, the blog has essentially gone dark ever since. And of course, mid-August has come and gone. We’re now just a few days from September. Worse still, label content and general availability at eMusic has actually declined since that post. So in what follows, I give you my updated master list of missing and otherwise unaccounted for content. As before, I have to give due credit to all you who have reported all these gaps. I’m personally responsible only for a fraction of what’s in this list; it’s only possible because so many of you have reported what you’ve found (or haven’t found) here. So thanks to all of you.
The only other thing to mention here is that the performance of the eMusic site has grown increasingly erratic. There were two major outages over the last week, coming and going without comment on the blog or Twitter account. Some of us also panicked when even more labels appeared to vanish from the site last weekend. (In this instance, content was on the site, but rendered “unavailable” for 1-2 day period, only to come back just as suddenly.) Again, this came and went without official comment or notification. Some here at Reddit have argued that this may be a good time to consider spending whatever remaining credits you have, on the basis that eMusic is a sinking ship, and may soon evaporate without nary a warning. I hope this isn’t true, and I think we all earnestly hope that eMusic can gets its house in order, and quickly. We’re subscribers to eMusic for a reason: we like this model, and as subscribers, we all have proverbial skin in the game.
So if you’re one of the eMusic staff members tasked with keeping up with this Reddit page, I urge you: please talk to us. Please help this wonderful model for getting great music affordably achieve what was promised, and in so doing, please give us reasons to stay as subscribers. We’d like to, and we’d like to recommend the service to others, but neither will happen if this keeps up much longer.
In what follows, I divide the list between three groups: those labels newly missing as of July or August, the general list of labels missing in their entirety or nearly so, and finally, those which are “patchy,” missing significant portions of their catalog but still retaining some partial availability at eMusic. As before, any corrections, updates, and the like are earnestly requested and highly appreciated, and will be incorporated into this list. The idea is that this list should be organic, and will be continuously edited to reflect any updates the community here submits. (If you’re in the UK, Canada, etc., please say so. I’ll verify whether the label is also missing here in the US.)
NEWLY MISSING IN JULY AND AUGUST
'A' Records (Brian Jonestown Massacre's label)
Arts & Crafts
Bordellor Records (As reported by Doodahead, this is another label which evaporated just as it was to release a new album on 8/18)
Casa Del Puete Disco
Denovali Records (UK/EU) - Only 4 2011 albums left. Releases are limited up to as recent as 2016 in the US.
Glitterbeat Records (UK, 36 in the US)
Luaka Bop (US)
Silver Cross (On 8/18, PoseyHipster reported, "I'm interested in the new Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer record ("Not Dark Yet" on Silver Cross). I searched this morning and found the label (I'm in the US). The only results for the label were four singles from the record. There was also an artist page for "Shelby Lynne & Allison Moorer" containing those four singles. I wanted to get it, so I kept checking back to see if the album had appeared. Over the course of the day, the four singles, the artist page and the label have all disappeared from the site. I'm beyond trying to draw any conclusions, just reporting.")
(STILL) MISSING AND UNACCOUNTED FOR
Avant Media http://shop.avantmedia.org/
Bella Union (UK)
Drag City (may have an exclusive digital distribution contract with iTunes)
ECM (both US & UK)
Fat Possum (Previously, only up to 2012 was available, but as of August, only one anthology of their early releases remains.)
Finders Keepers http://www.finderskeepersrecords.com/
Greenleaf Music (Dave Douglas's label)
The Helen Scarsdale Agency http://www.helenscarsdale.com/
(Only 1 release as of 6/24)
Kanine Records (Only 1 release as of 7/1)
Metal Blade (UK)
Mexican Summer & sister labels Kemado/Software/Anthology (all US). [Only two releases on the US side at present. Though this issue may reflect a distributor issue, given its availability in the UK and relative absence in the US. However, this family of labels was fully available in the US up until the changeover, including releases up through 2017.]
Minus (Plastikman, Hawtin etc) http://www.m-nus.com/
Nettwerk (US & UK) - An odd case. It was one of the labels mentioned in the original update from eMusic. At that time, we were told, “Technical Issues - Not getting pricing. Following up with Technical team.” But this catalog has only gradually shrank since the initial update. As of the end of June, they were down to only two releases at eMusic, and as of July 1st, zero. As of July 24th, they are still fully MIA from eMusic, at least, on the US side of things. Weirder still: they were fully returned to the UK as of July 13. But as of August 5th, they seem to have evaporated from the UK. Again. So... make of all that what you will.
New West (might be multiple labels with that same name)
ReR Megacorp and ReR USA (Chris Cutler) http://www.rermegacorp.com/
Rock Action (UK)
Ronin Rhythm Records
Rounder (Distributed by a major??)
Setanta Songs/Setanta Records
Trost Records http://www.trost.at/
Unit Circle Rekkids
Winter and Winter (UK)
AVAILABLE, BUT PATCHY/INCOMPLETE/ETC.
1631 (Rapidly shrinking catalog noted, but this seems to be happening with their content on other digital providers, like iTunes and Amazon. They may be shifting to a Bandcamp-only policy.)
20/20/20 (only 3 releases)
American Laundromat (incomplete catalog)
ATO (missing everything after 2015)
BGO Records (only 16 albums appear from catalog)
Bpitch Control (missing 2017 content, newest Ellen Allien)
Cherry Red (only a few 2017 releases; most catalog AWOL)
(1 album left)
Don't Be Afraid
Erased Tapes (not up to date, missing 2017 content)
Fluid Audio (only 2 albums)
French Kiss Records (incomplete; also split in its listing as a couple of different spellings: frenchkiss records, French Kiss, French Kiss Records)
Hobbledehoy Records (Only 8 albums, not updated past 2016)
Metal Blade (US) (nothing post-2013)
Red House Records (Only releases by the Zombies; missing Greg Brown, other Americana content)
Rock Action Records (US) (5 releases as of 6/24)
Saint Marie Records (Mostly complete, but a few 2017 releases, such as from Lotte Kestner, Secret Shine, and Amusement Parks on Fire, are missing as of 8/27. This may be an evolving picture though, because the new releases from Carta and Crash City Saints were missing only the previous week, and they are now available).
Sanctuary (limited to Mick Jagger's solo albums, a Kinks anthology, and two others)
Scat (Only a few releases).
Shanachie (4 albums on 3 different versions of Shanachie's name, but nothing recent)
Stones Throw (Only 1 release left)
Subconscious Communications http://www.subconsciousrecords.com/
(1 album left: https://www.emusic.com/label/38119/Subconscious-CommunicationsNettwerk
Time Released Sound (Only one album from 2016; no 2017 releases)
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