In the late 1970s, a group of folks got together to address the state of independent artists and recordings. This was back in the early days of the budding independent music scene. Since that time many things have changed but many things have remained the same as the struggle to get paid for art continues.
In marked contrast to the highly commercialized and compromised music emanating from the majority of the major labels, a wealth of good music was being issued by musicians and other DIY labels. Of course, producing a record is one thing; getting it distributed is quite another. Without the muscle of the major labels, independents were forced to deal with distributors on less than ideal terms. The general rule was: a distributor would take product on consignment (a handful of “gimme”) but the reality was--even if the item did sell--the label might get paid (handful of “much obliged”). The situation was terrible and only grew worse when stores started mimicking this routine. Consignment was one thing but getting paid was another matter. It seemed that the only people who reliably paid were the end consumer (for the recording) and the artists/producers (for the manufacturing and related costs).
Meanwhile, we at Cadence Magazine (with our very open and transparent policy for reviewing releases) were receiving hundreds and hundreds of independent recordings. Readers wrote in asking, where could they get these independent labels? And stores and producers wondered why Cadence did not make these items available.
To fulfill this growing demand, Cadence cautiously started taking on some titles. The policy was very simple: Cadence would pay all labels within 20 days of receipt and would sell only on a non credit basis; that is, payment on receipt. This caused a number of different reactions. One of the most extreme we heard of was that certain larger and more established distributors threatened to refuse to distribute a label’s product if that label sold to Cadence. Other distributors were equally aggressive with their stores if those stores dealt with Cadence’s distribution side (now known as NorthCountry Distributors). One of the positive results of NorthCountry’s upfront business practices, however, was that labels began putting pressure on the handful-of-much-obliged distributors to pay up.
One label confronted their distributor, asking why couldn’t this distributor pay for product when NorthCountry could? The label was simply told, “Well, NorthCountry does it different.” Viva la difference!
Jump ahead 30 plus years and we are in the digital age. Most of the brick&mortar stores have closed but Cadence is still here, struggling to make available thousands of unpopular music recordings while continuing to deal ethically with artists, labels, and consumers. Ironically, even after over 30 years of selling recordings, our music sales division has never had an identity to which one could point. While we share offices with Cadence Magazine and NorthCountry Audio, neither one of those entities is in the business of selling recordings. In an attempt to focus our sales efforts and to create a point of contact for music sales, we have launched klompfoot.com (Extremely astute collectors may have some inkling to the genesis of this name.).
When dealing with klompfoot.com you can be confident that your purchases directly benefit the artists and labels who struggle to make available these (primarily) labors of love. No consignment, no listing fees, no come-ons or hidden chargebacks to artists or labels. We pay to bring in product, you pay us for that product, then we purchase more product. What could be more efficient? Our business model is to succeed but not at someone else’s expense.
We have been in the music business since 1976 and operate an actual shop with real inventory and real people. We are reachable by phone, fax, and email and are extremely responsive. The products listed here are in our possession and will be shipped directly from our offices to you. If the particular item you are looking for is not in our inventory, we will endeavor to track it down.
We continue to publish our Jazz magazine, Cadence: The Independent Journal of Creative Improvised Music.
Our offices are shared with NorthCountry Audio, a high-end audio business, run, for the past 30 years, by Vladimir, an informed and involved audio specialist.
Times change. Integrity should not.
Thank you for your support of our efforts. As always, if you have any questions or concerns contact us directly at 315-287-2852 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond promptly.