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Indie Touch & Go Slashes Staff, Ends Distribution

CHICAGO (Hypebot) – After more than 20 years, seminal Chicago based indie label Touch & Go is severely cutting back its operations. 20 staff members have reportedly been given 6 weeks’ notice and the distribution arm of the company is shuttering entirely.

The label says it will continue its core operations, but rumors are swirling that new signings have been halted and that a catalog-only operation with only a skeleton staff is likely. Touch & Go was once home to The Jesus Lizard, Slint, Butthole Surfers, The Mekons and TV On The Radio, as well as, current releases by of Calexico, Mi Ami, All the Saints and others.

Indie labels left looking for distribution include: 2131, 5 Rue Christine, All Natural, Atavistic, Drag City, Emperor Jones, Estrus, Flameshovel, Jade Tree, In The Fishtank, Kill Rock Stars, Le Tigre Recordings, Merge Records, Overcoat Recordings, Pretty Activity, Post Present Medium, Record Label, Robcore, Suicide Squeeze, Trance Syndicate, Trixie, Voodoo-EROS, Warm Electronic Recordings.

The text of a statement issued by Touch and Go founder Corey Rusk:

"It is with great sadness that we are reporting some major changes here at Touch and Go Records. Many of you may not be aware, but for nearly 2 decades, Touch and Go has provided manufacturing and distribution services for a select yet diverse group of other important independent record labels. Titles from these other labels populate the shelves of our warehouse alongside the titles on our own two labels, Touch and Go Records, and Quarterstick Records.

"Unfortunately, as much as we love all of these labels, the current state of the economy has reached the point where we can no longer afford to continue this lesser known, yet important part of Touch and Go’s operations. Over the years, these labels have become part of our family, and it pains us to see them go. We wish them all the very best and we will be doing everything we can to help make the transition as easy as possible.

"Touch and Go will be returning to its roots and focusing solely on being an independent record label. We’ll be busy for a few months working closely with the departing labels and scaling our company to an appropriate smaller size after their departure. It is the end of a grand chapter in Touch and Go’s history, but we also know that good things can come from new beginnings."