After FIve years and 35 releases, the only dub label in the Pacific Northwest, BSI Records, is calling it a day. The announcement was made on December 7 in an e-mail sent by the head of BSI, Ezra Ereckson, who ran the label from the basement of his Portland home. Producing original works by both new and old dub artists such as King Jammy, Alpha & Omega, DJ Spooky, and Henry & Louis, BSI made Portland one of the epicenters (along with Berlin, Auckland, and Bristol) of modern dub production.

Earlier this year, BSI's hiphop subsidiary, One Drop, which released Onry Ozzborn's CDs, folded, and so the news of its parent's demise was not entirely a surprise. There are several reasons for the closing, the main one being the collapse of an important European distributor, France's Limonade. "It went under," explains Ereckson, "taking a bunch of our money with them. Also, a couple distributors in Europe dropped us; they weren't making enough money and had to consolidate. The market sucks in Europe--no one is buying records."

When asked about the future of BSI's house band, Systemwide, Ereckson answers, "It is going to transform it into a production team rather than a touring band. We're tired of going around in a tour bus." As for the future of their world-class catalog, "Nail Distribution will be handling it for the next several months, but our web store [bsi-records.com] goes down end of the year, so if you want to buy stuff do it now."

Support The Stranger

Sponsored
DocFest Kicks Off The Return of SIFF Cinema | Sep 30-Oct 7
A celebration of all films documentary—with in person and virtual screenings, plus filmmaker Q&As.