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Warp Records is dead in France ?

Warp Is Dead

You might not know it but I was among the first people to write about Warp Records on the world wide web, more than 15 years ago. You might not know it either but when the label launched their digital store, I was the beta-tester for France. But you haven't read much about Warp Records in those pages during the last years. The reason is simple: the label launched a french department and since then it's hell.

Read the whole story about the death of Warp Records France in the rest of this article…

Warp Is Dead

I kinda stopped announcing, indexing, playing and reviewing Warp Records' releases approximately at the end of 2008.

I had started writing and talking about Warp Records in the mid-90s with my first website I was so deeply into Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Autechre, Plaid and many others that my music website was filled with Warp's artists reviews and discographies.

In 2003 I met a guy at P.I.A.S. distribution, who was supposed to be in charge of Ark (THE incredible french minimal-house-meister). I was building Ark's website in order to get him international dates and went to his 'label' to get records, press info, photos, etc. (thanks to this site Ark went to play all over the world but that's another story…)

That guy didn't give a shit about Ark and tried to explain to me how he was supporting him. Of course I could easily translate his explaination into "how he was ripping the artist off"… But hey, I wasn't there to go punk all the way, so I didn't say anything. Then that same guy tried to get me to do some websites for some P.I.A.S. compilations he was the executive producer of! With nearly no budget for the website of course!!

I went back home with NOT ONE digital file, a few vinyls and black and white paper copies of press articles, and proof of the incompetency of this cheap and petty-minded guy who only cared about his own career and money.

I happened to meet the same guy a few years ago… when I went to the french distributor Discograph and found out he was running a French departement for Warp Records in a small corner. Explaining how useful my Paris DJs website could be to Warp, their artists and their fans, I got the same kind of bullshit I had years before with Ark: promises of getting exclusives Warp artists mixes for Paris DJs - false promises of course - and a lot of chatter about some other electronic labels with the same distributor, labels who had nothing to do with Paris DJs's editorial line, French labels releasing electronic music at least 10 times less interesting than similar UK or US stuff, mostly.

I went to meet the guy a few times, I sent many emails, but I never received any promo record and I never got any mix as promised. I tried writing to Warp explaining the problem but they forwarded my emails to that same cheap guy, who after receiving 2 or 3 of my furious writings, sent me an email saying just "Hello Djouls". Not only doesn't he give a shit, but he's also mocking my media openly...

This is totally crazy considering that:
- I was among the first people in the whole world supporting the label on the Internet,
- I introduced Warp music to some of Warp's current employees more than ten years ago,
- I was the beta-tester for (Warp's digital store) in France.

The only logical conclusion to that story is that Warp Records France is dead.

Which explains why you haven't read much about Warp Records in this website those last years.

I can only hope that the label will understand my point of view and will start working directly with me again, like so many other American or European labels do. Labels who I've explained to the situation with incompetency in France, where you stop getting a higher job only when you've reached your incompetency level.

You may still follow Warp Records thru those links : officialfacebookmyspace | soundcloud | twitter | wikipedia | youtube

PS : Warp Records UK and Warp Records France have been warned about the publication of this article many days ago and in the end I received emails from a girl at Warp Records France who totally refused to apologize about all this saying "J'hallucine" which means "I hallucinate"... so I guess we have at least that much in common!!


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thomas thomas ·  23 June 2011, 15:43


Leopold Stotch Leopold Stotch ·  23 June 2011, 16:45

I used to work for a big electronica mag years back and EVERYONE (artists, distributors, other labels) used to complain about how sketchy PIAS was. Kind of sad considering how many great people/musicians passed through that label/distribution company.
It's one thing when some big major label pulls a stunt like that, but when it comes from the small independent realm, it kind of breaks your heat.

honicz honicz ·  23 June 2011, 21:28

what a dick

Audio Texture Audio Texture ·  27 June 2011, 11:03

I've had the same experience living in Spain. My request to Warp records for promos was passed to PIAS who never got back to me despite lots of emails from me so I've given up trying to get promos and hardly support the label. I occasionally put a Warp track into my widely syndicated radio show after they've been released but never write any reviews for my blog or for the magazine I used to write for when I was more of a print journalist. Brainfeeder, Ninja Tune, Hyperdub, Planet Mu etc etc all have good promo services and receive a lot more support in my show and blog. Warp are surviving simply because of the quality of their releases whilst seemingly receiving little help from PIAS!

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