THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A RECORD LABEL by Frans de Waard
160 x 240mm, 288 pages, black and white printing, perfect bound, fourth edition, 2020
In 1992, Frans de Waard (of Kapotte Muziek, Beequeen and the Korm Plastics label) was asked to work for Staalplaat, then one of the biggest independent labels for experimental and electronic music. Staalplaat was the home for bands like Muslimgauze, :zoviet*france:, Rapoon, O Yuki Conjugate as well as Jaap Blonk, Normally Invisible and Kingdom Scum. With an average of three new releases every month, Staalplaat remained a major player for the next eleven years. Hired to set-up a database and to sell and buy new music, Frans de Waard over the years also assumed a role as (unofficial) business director and A&R man, and came to be regarded as the head honcho. In 2003 he’d had enough and decided to quit.
This book tells his story about those eleven years, the many high and as many lows of working for a small independent record label, which also functioned as a shop, mail order, radio programme, news outlet, and concert organiser. It’s about embarrassing confrontations with musicians, labels, distributors, and the endless spending on the most unique packaging CD-Land ever saw.
Including an interview with Staalplaat founder Geert-Jan Hobijn, a transcript of a radio interview with Muslimgauze, a 1980’s account of Staalplaat’s activities, and a discography, among others.
For everyone with an interest in the experimental music scene, and anyone else who wants to read a crazy, funny and sad story about a small struggling record label. Anyone who is interested in a manual of how (not) to run your record label might want to take notes.