Nu Urban Music - one of drum and bass’s biggest vinyl distributors - has allegedly gone bankrupt, meaning certain artists and producers may never be paid for what they are owed in record sales, and a dent in the resurgence of vinyl that the music scene has seen in recent years.
Drum and bass is one of the leading genres involved with the use of vinyl in modern times, with most labels still pressing records despite the recent rise in mp3 and digital DJing. While the apparent loss of Nu Urban may not affect everyone - distributors such as ST Holdings are still doing well - they are a huge loss for the genre, and were also one of the only distributors dealing with drum and bass in the USA.
One of the main areas of drum and bass who will be hit by the loss of the company is jump-up drum and bass, who’s vinyl is almost 100% distributed by Nu Urban.
Labels that are known to deal with Nu Urban include Doctor P and Flux Pavilion's (dubstep label) Circus Recordings, Playaz, Viper, Undiluted, Spearhead, Congo Natty, Charge, Clear Skyz, and Audio Porn. While some labels such as Circus and Playaz are most likely big enough to go unaffected by the company’s bankruptcy, some of the smaller labels could find themselves with a massive problem.
Twitter is starting to full with messages thanking Nu Urban for their work over the years, while some have started to point fingers, claiming quality control is the major cause of the bankrupty.
It will be interesting to see what happens with drum and bass vinyl in the coming years; will another distributor step up to the plate, or is it downhill from here?