Retail Briefs: Essential Music & Marketing Launches North American Division
Retail Briefs: Essential Music & Marketing Launches North American Division

Essential Music & Marketing Launches North American Division
-- Essential Music & Marketing, a U.K. and European indie distribution company, has launched a North American division. Erik Gilbert, who previously was VP of client strategy at IODA, will head the new division.

With a New York-based office, Essential will offer American indie labels strategic global marketing and distribution services for Europe while providing European indie labels with marketing services and digital distribution in North America.

Essential, which distributes such labels as Arts &Crafts, Cooking Vinyl, Decon, Stone's Throw, R&S Records, Easy Star, Unison Records, Fat Possum, Megaforce, Dine Alone, Luaka Bop, Prawn Song, Shout! Factory, Vagrant and Weathermaker in overseas markets, will be based in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood.

Essential USA CEO Gilbert said in a statement that his goal is to build upon the success that Essential has achieved in the U.K. and Europe.

"The rapidly changing physical and digital landscape offers a great opportunity for us to provide North American labels with a viable alternative to some of the leading distributors in UK and Europe, as well as provide marketing services in North America," he said.

Redeye Lands U.S. Distro For Wichita Recordings, Lex
-- Redeye Distribution has landed two London-based labels for U.S. distribution: Wichita Recordings and Lex. The Wichita Recordings roster includes Frankie and the Heartstrings, Gruff Ryhs and the Cribs. Its first new release being handled by Redeye is First Aid Kit's "The Lionr Roar," which will be released on Jan. 24. Lex, which has issued albums by Danger Mouse, DOOM and Neon Neon, will offer an album from Complex for its first Redeye release sometime in the coming months.

Ambassador Iggy Pop Talks Important of Record Store Day
-- The indie retailers who bring the world Record Store Day are already gearing up for the next one, which falls on April 21. This year's Record Store Day ambassador is Iggy Pop, who offers his reasons why record stores are important.

"I got my name, my musical education and my personality all from working at a record store during my tender years," Pop said in a statement. "Personally I feel best in a store that, while staying small and socially relaxed, still keeps a complete variety of music types and non musical recordings on offer. I'm aware though that a lot of great places are genre-specific, like dance hall shops in Jamaica or Compas here in Little Haiti. In Europe and on the West coast the same goes on for Punk and Goth. All of this is cool and has a much bigger future than most people realize today."

In addition, the Record Store Day coalitions also chose "VINYLMANIA: When Life Runs At 33 Revolutions Per Minute," a film by Paolo Campana, as the official film for Record Store Day.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

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