Statement from Corey Rusk, Touch & Go Founder:
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.
Little birds were whispering rumors of the demise over the last 24 hours, but it seems like the gossip is now true. Touch and Go Records, Chicago’s venerable indie institution, is done. The label will go the way of its Bay Area cousin, Lookout! Records, ceasing new releases and managing back catalog only. Issuer of influential post-punk albums—Slint’s Spiderland, the Jesus Lizard’s Goat and Big Black’s Atomizer, to name a few—Touch and Go began at the dawn of the ’80s in East Lansing, Michigan, before founders Tesco Vee and Dave Stimson handed the biz over to Necros bassist Corey Rusk in 1983. Soon after the baton passing, the label moved to Chicago and began documenting our city’s burgeoning punk scene.
UPDATE: The entire label staff of 20 has been let go. More details forthcoming.
Labels previously distributed by Touch & Go 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
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