Submerge Distribution will halt online orders for the time being, and plans to set up on Bandcamp.
First, Banks comments on a lack of responsiveness for recently placed orders. His sister Bridgette has fallen ill and was unable to work through the holiday season. Banks says that "for 25 years straight Bridgette has shipped the Gospel of Detroit Techno music to destinations all over this planet more than anyone in the world! She has done all of Submerge's mail order & shipping."
Banks goes on to explain the increasing difficulties with Submerge's current model, saying, "We are a very small business in an increasingly competitive environment (selling primarily vinyl records)... our reality here is difficult." The note details a "traffic jam" at pressing plants due to a resurgence in vinyl sales favoring major label releases and individuals or labels who can make upfront payments and withstand a nine-month waiting period for any proceeds (six months at the pressing plants and a 90-day invoice system for distributors to stores).
Banks says, "Ultimately this reality makes it extremely difficult for real urban inner city labels here in Detroit." While Banks and his team adapt to this climate they will not be processing any new online orders. Titles distributed exclusively by Submerge will only be available at the Somewhere In Detroit store by appointment.
The near future will bring an increased focus on the digital market for Submerge and its affiliated imprints. Banks says, "Soon we will offer a Bandcamp digital delivery service featuring UR & Red Planet digitally mastered by none other than DJ Skurge of UR at sonic levels unmatched by any other site on the web." He notes any existing online rips of the labels’ releases are "low-res or copied from vinyl records, and almost all are illegal!"
We'll have more news from Submerge as it's available.