independent record companies

independent record companies
   Popular music was one of the key elements of la Movida at the beginning of the 1980s. Influenced by the independent spirit of the punk movement, groups flocked to the new independent record labels which had been set up to cover the ground largely ignored by multinational companies. At first, the records released tended to be limited edition singles brought out by labels such as Tres Cipreses, DRO (Discos Radioactivos Organizados), Lollipop, Nuevos Medios or GASA (Grabaciones Accidentales). Many of the groups of la Movida had highly improbable names such as Derribos Arias (Arias Demolition), Glutamato Ye-Ye, Parálisis Permanente (Permanent Paralysis), Radio Futura (Future Radio), Loquillo y los Trogloditas (Loquillo and the Troglodytes) and Gabinete Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr Caligari). The type of music they produced varied immensely; from the obscurity of Parálisis Permanente to the elegance of Los Esclarecidos, or from the fresh pop of Los Bólidos to the industrial fantasies of El Aviador DRO or Almodóvar and McNamara's cabaret act. The focus of la Movida was Madrid, home of fanzines such as Editorial del Futuro Método (Future Method Publishers) and La Pluma Eléctrica (The Electric Fountain Pen) and magazines like La Luna (The Moon) and Madrid me Mata (Madrid Kills Me) which reflected what was happening in the clubs (such as Rock-Ola and El Jardín). The influence of the movement spread to other cities creating la Movida de Vigo, Barcelona and Valencia. Independent labels were supported by the most progressive commentators on popular culture in the media. Radio programmes in the 1980s played a vital role in promoting new groups nationwide, especially "Diario Pop" (Pop Diary)/"Esto no es Hawai" (This is not Hawaii) on RNE 3. Popular music programming on television, "Caja de Ritmos" (Rhythm Box) and "La Edad de Oro" (The Golden Age) reached an even wider audience. From 1983 onwards sales multiplied and the small independent labels entered into serious competition with multinational companies. The commercial interest shown by major labels in bands from la Movida became more evident, and it was not long before some of these combos would feel tempted by promises of fame and fortune and transfer to the big record companies, who catapulted them to chart success. Some independent companies survived throughout the 1980s, and there were even a few labels set up mid-decade (e.g. La Fábrica Magnética), but the golden days had passed and the majority of the small labels disappeared by the end of the decade.
   See also: Movida, la; rock and pop
   Further reading
   - Gallero J.L. (1991) Sólo se vive una vez, Madrid: Ardora Ediciones.
   - Márquez, F (1981) Música moderna, Madrid: Ediciones Nuevo Sendero.
   MIGUEL JIMÉNEZ PINILLA

Encyclopedia of contemporary Spanish culture. 2013.

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