Rykodisc is finalizing the purchase of the L.A.-based independent label Emperor Norton Records, according to a well-placed source. Rykodisc's distribution arm, Ryko Distribution, begins handling Emper

Rykodisc is finalizing the purchase of the L.A.-based independent label Emperor Norton Records, according to a well-placed source.

Rykodisc's distribution arm, Ryko Distribution, begins handling Emperor Norton's releases today (May 3).

The label previously went through Caroline Distribution.

Ryko Distribution has announced that a new album by Emperor Norton's DJ star Felix Da Housecat, "Devin Dazzle & the Neon Fever," will be released May 25, with three other titles from the artist arriving in June.

The Emperor Norton deal marks the first acquisition by Ryko since the purchase of Restless Records in 2002. Former Restless president Joe Regis now heads the Ryko Label Group. Emperor Norton was founded by Peter Getty, grandson of the late billionaire J. Paul Getty.

The label's most recent hit was the soundtrack for director Sofia Coppola's Oscar-winning film "Lost in Translation," which has sold more than 114,000 units, according to Nielsen Soundscan. A specialist in electronic music and esoteric rock and electronica from Japan, the imprint sports an eclectic catalog that includes Ladytron, Money Mark, Arling & Cameron, DJ Me DJ You, Dublab, Fantastic Plastic Machine, Olivia Tremor Control, Takako Minekawa and the Zoobombs.

With the purchase by Rykodisc, Emperor Norton's current titles will be deleted, according to the source. Some 20 titles will be re-released with new catalog numbers in expanded editions.

Emperor Norton president Steve Pross and GM Van Riker will both join Rykodisc's staff in A&R and marketing capacities.

Pross did not return a call from seeking comment, and Riker declined to comment.

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