This Is Supposed To Be A Record Label
Staalplaat: Eleven Years Of Distortion In The Independent Music Industry
a book by Frans de Waard
second expanded edition, soft cover, 288 pages
In 1992, Frans de Waard (of Kapotte Muziek, Beequeen and the Korm Plastics label) was asked
to work for Staalplaat, then one of the biggest independent labels for experimental and electronic
music. Staalplaat was the home for bands like Muslimgauze, :zoviet*france:, Rapoon, O Yuki
Conjugate as well as Jaap Blonk, Normally Invisible and Kingdom Scum. With an average of
three new releases every month, Staalplaat remained a major player for the next eleven years.
Hired to set-up a database and to sell and buy new music, Frans de Waard over the years also
assumed a role as (unofficial) business director and A&R man, and came to be regarded as the
head honcho. In 2003 he’d had enough and decided to quit.
This book tells his story about those eleven years, the many high and as many lows of working
for a small independent record label, which also functioned as a shop, mail order, radio
programme, news outlet, and concert organiser. It’s about embarrassing confrontations with
musicians, labels, distributors, and the endless spending on the most unique packaging
CD-Land ever saw.
Including an interview with Staalplaat founder Geert-Jan Hobijn, a transcript of a radio interview
with Muslimgauze, a 1980’s account of Staalplaat’s activities, and a discography, among others.
For everyone with an interest in the experimental music scene, and anyone else who wants to
read a crazy, funny and sad story about a small struggling record label.
Anyone who is interested in a manual of how (not) to run your record label might want to
price: 12,50 including worldwide postage send an e-mail to order
"Before reading this, I had some doubts about Frans’ ability to write something so captivating and
downright fucking funny. I’ve worked with him myself before, plus we have met a few times, and I
always had this impression he was a somewhat sombre, serious type (an impression maintained
by his reviews), but This is Supposed to be a Record Label shatters this completely. The man
ought to put down his pipe long enough to get another book out because he certainly knows how
to tell a story." (Adverse Effect)
"Although familiar with his work in sound and music, I hadn’t had the chance to hear de Waard’s
writer voice until I came across his long-running music review newsletter, Vital Weekly. The
matter-of-factness reflects the brutal honesty of his assessments. A dry, wicked sense of humor
is always close to the surface. De Waard’s keen observational eye made This Is Supposed to
Be a Record Label a must-read for anybody interested in underground sounds." (Hyperallegric.com)