Monday, November 17, 2014

Horizons untouched


Sinfini Music - which is owned and controlled by Universal Music - is profiling and puffing the ECM label. Now ECM deserves to be profiled and puffed, but some background is missing from the Sinfini article. So here is my contribution to the ECM profile, taken from a post that first appeared On An Overgrown Path in April 2013.

Such is the degree of control exerted by global music corporations that the most unlikely parties have chosen - or been forced - to form alliances with them. One notable example is the charismatic ECM label which very successful portrays itself as a fiercely independent maverick in a corporate-dominated industry. Yet ECM has a contractual collaboration with Universal Music and its predecessors that dates back to 1976, and today Universal subsidiaries distribute ECM releases in the USA, Canada, France, Germany and Japan as well as in smaller territories. Which means that in many of the world's major markets Universal controls the crucial interface between ECM’s music and the listener. None of which detracts from the excellence of ECM’s output. But it is worth noting that in 2011 Universal Music issued a press release celebrating thirty-five years of collaboration with ECM. However the label itself is rather more coy, and in Horizons Touched, the official history of ECM, there is not a single mention of the label's long-term global partner Universal Music.

Header image is not from a new ECM Meredith Monk CD - it was taken at Thetford landfill site. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

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