Since the beginning of the ‘proper’ Praxis Online Shop in 2005, over 7,500 titles have been listed. Of course not all of these are currently available, but a surprisingly large number are. This is because we have always gone to lengths to re-stock titles we once decided were worth listing in our store. Often this is not so easy, as a lot of releases in the fields of electronic music we cover are extremely limited.
This is even more the case now than a few years ago – many labels have started to only press extremely limited runs of records, many of which will undoubtedly become sought-after rarities in years to come.
Nevertheless, there is a common perception that most of these records will be easily obtainable for extended periods to come. This impression is aided by the fact that they are listed on different platforms, generating the illusion of an ubiquitous availability when the actual number of copies certain suppliers have in stock is low or even zero. Still, there has been a migration of customers away from the solid smaller stores (who actually support the labels and artists) and towards the big platforms and large stores. Not only that, in general the sales of left-field, unusual and radical electronic dance and experimental music have dwindled over the last decade, especially in the context we are active in.
The international network that allowed small labels’ releases to circulate relatively independently from media hypes and corporate control was cruelly decimated over the last decade, perhaps paradoxically also due to its relative professionalisation around the mid-2000s. switchrec (Peace Off), dswat (Death$ucker), digitalworldnet (Koolpop), Smash Berlin (Sprengstoff), Phuturerave, Possible Music, Subvert, Mad Dog and others, most recently Sound Base Music and Ad Noiseam either ceased operations completely or scaled them down massively, as did a number of record labels. Many ‘real’ record shops closed, many artists ‘retired’. This was only partially offset by the appearance of new labels and distros.
In the last few years there has been, at least statistically speaking, a stunning resurgence of vinyl production and sales. This is primarily true for the corporate market and can be exemplified with the reappearance of vinyl sections in major electronics markets in shopping malls. Even in the context of smaller labels, this trend seems to concern the releases of better known acts or classic re-releases. There may be a silver lining with more experimental techno releases, a resurgence of networks in the hardtek/tribe areas, a burgeoning cassette scene, and a realignment of marginalised countercultural currents.
The role our shop can play in this context is both to provide curated content and to serve as a node in a creative network, a connector and amplifier of exciting radical music, culture and critique. To serve these functions it needs your support!