In the face of rampant bootlegging and other music industry hurdles, Needlework Records, responsible for one of my favorite eps for ’06, (D-Day One’s Loop Extensions) have decided to fold their operations. They will be missed. Peace to Mr. Trick, whose Rhythm Incursions show we try to catch whenever we can. Link (via)

Needlework Records RIP
Hello all,

After much soul-searching on my part, I have taken the decision to shut down Needlework Records. There are many reasons for this, but in the main I’ve just hit my limit in dealing with all the related label bullshit, and feel that in 2007 the traditional model for a record label simply does not work anymore. Strong indies are collapsing all over the place, and those of us without even that key access to the marketplace find ourselves in a grim, if not terminal, situation. As we recently saw with 2tall’s album being bootlegged some 2 months prior to release, the whole situation has reached a point where making money is nigh-on impossible, especially if you don’t have the kind of finances to ensure high-level PR campaigns get you volume sales. Whilst we all have great passion for music, the fact remains that it takes cash to get stuff happening, and if you cannot at least break even, you are going under.

Ultimately, I am very proud of everything we all achieved with Needlework, and I feel I at least stuck to my guns of running the label with 100% honesty and integrity. Whether that refusal to compromise was for the best is maybe something for discussion (having pissed off more than a couple of distributors along the way be refusing the accept their bullshit), and I’ve already told the artists that I am sorry if anyone feels I sold them short. Its been hugely rewarding seeing the releases get out there, and I hope that along the way some of you enjoyed what we did.

Needlework will continue to have its previously released products on sale, and the Bleep store will remain for the foreseeable future.

So what next? Well, I will be working with 2tall on his next album, which was one of the releases slated for Needlework. I had been worried about this release anyway, on the basis that the campaign behind the album with Dudley and Georgia left a large pair of shoes to fill that Needlework couldn’t match in terms of budget and scope. So, with the next solo record the aim will be to examine the new models for releasing music, where power goes back to the artist and the chances of actually recouping may be greater. Past that, I will be keeping my eye out for opportunities and continuing with my own music and remixes etc. The label may be ending, but my own involvements with music will not – and hence I shall quite possibly get even more active as I lock in with numerous other bands across different genres.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of our artists for being a part of this: 2tall, Waxfactor, Dday One, Mat Young, Dextah & Zilla. Some – Mat, Dex – didn’t even get to a release stage, whilst others have developed from upstart producers to names of note in their area. Any which way, I’m proud of where we’ve gone with this. Needlework started as a night created by Gray (Monk-A) for tablists, and ended up and label that we ran with passion and integrity at all times, seeing itself as more of a family than just a bunch of artists. I’m very proud of that, and I hope everyone involved was too, because they should be.

here’s to the future,


p.s. on a personal note, I’d like to thank the following people for helping me along the way with Needlework with their thoughts, opinions, wisdom and inspiration: Marco @ Bully Records, John Xela @ Type Records, Laurent Fintoni, Buddy Peace, Zilla, Mike and all the Banquet Records crew, Siya, Darren, Tim and all @ Eclectic Breaks, Long Distance Dan, Wrongtom, Tom, Ed and all @ Bleep, Jonny @ Catskills, Fink and Dave The Chimp. Apologies to anyone else I’ve forgotten…!