When a Sony distribution center in London went up in flames Monday night, the victim of an arson attack during the city's widespread riots, the music industry took a huge hit: the building also served as the warehouse for PIAS, one of the world's biggest indie distributors. Their roster includes Rough Trade, 4AD, Domino, XL, Young Turks, Ninja Tune, Soul Jazz and Warp, along with such top-notch boutique labels as Buzzin' Fly, Border Community, Finders Keepers, Rekids and Soma.
Some of the bigger labels have additional stock in other warehouses, but some smaller imprints lost their entire catalogs. As Ben Watt's Buzzin' Fly label reported on its website, "Virtually all Buzzin' Fly and Strange Feeling stock was destroyed it is unlikely much of our stock will ever be repressed at all. A huge slice of the label's history has been destroyed." Even if insurance ends up covering the lost product--a big if--it's a crushing blow to the indie ecosystem, entailing delayed shipments, lost revenue for retailers, and similar shocks up and down the chain.
To support the labels affected, we've put together a playlist highlighting our favorite songs by PIAS-distributed artists. Listen, discover, check 'em out on tour, and maybe even buy some merch or an LP -- because even the music cloud isn't immune to fires on the ground.