Friday, April 14, 2006

Feisty Independent Canadian Recording Lables Speak Up!

Following in the footsteps of Nettwerk Records, major Canadian Independent recording lables have broken with the CRIA. This news rocked the Canadian Recording Industry today with reports on Howard Knopf's blog Excessive Copyright article "
CRIA - What Lies Ahead?" and and Michael Geist in "Removing the C from CRIA" and the CBC,'s Arts & Entertainment article "Indie labels break with CRIA".

Prominant Canadian Indie Lables like Anthem, Aquarius, Nettwerk and True North label have removed themselves from the digital distrotion field generated by the CRIA.

In a previous post I talked about the distiction between entities in the music industry. The afore mentioned entities, Anthem, Aquarius, Nettwerk and True North are all true recording lables. They record and produce their own recordings. What you are now seeing is the real Canadian Recording Industry. Many will not know these names because they are relatively low in profile though their output is prodigious.

These small and some that have grown to be not so small are the wrokhorses of the recording industry. They give artists a real chance at success. The group we call "The Major Labeles", those multinational recording industry congomerates, then swoop in and grab them up claiming that they discovered these artists. The credit should go to theses smaller lables. Mostly they are started by people who love music and love the industry. They are the ones that give heart and soul to the industry. They deserve our support.

What ever the reson for this break with the CRIA it is nothing but nothing healthy for the Canadian Recording Industry since it separates the real work horses of the Canadian Industry from the multinational conglomerates who operate in Canada as supposedly Canadian. Mostly they are poor excuses for their industry and take more from the Canadian public than they return to the country culturally.

I am scratching my head trying to think of Canadian Jazz artists on any of these lables. Dianna Krall is the only on that comes to mind. But she began her recording career with one of the Canadian Indies "Justin Time Records" from Montreal before moving to GRP and finally landing with Verve, owned and distributed by Universal.

You know that we have a living and vibrant Jazz community in Canada, but you'd never know it by looking at the so called Major Lable's catalogue. This countries Jazz musicians are woe fully neglected by these major players. As I pointed out above, Dianna Krall's first and second release were on a small Montreal Lable, they did the hard work of promoting her when she was largely unknown. Oscar Peterson got his first recording break o
n the Verve lable when it was a small indepenent start up Jazz lable.

The Canadian Classical scene is represented by only slightly more Canadians, Ben Hepner on BMG, Canadian Brass on Phillips (if they are currently recording) and l'Orchestre Symphonique du Montreal's contract has ended with Decca/London. But outstanding pianists like Louis Lortie and Angela Hewitt all record for small indie lables, Louis Lortie records for the Chandos lable and Angela Heweitt for Hyperion.

So, readers, you see those multinationals arent' really doing Canadian artists any favours at all. They scoop up the stars and leave the rest.

Further, let me make one point very clear. Despite statements that the CRIA is speaking for creators, song writers and composers, in reality they represent none of the above. They can only represent their own interests and that of their shareholders. All the rest is the distortian feild they have generated to deceive the public and above all, our politicians and law makers.

No comments: