The worldwide independent music community was dealt a blow with the announcement of the collapse of German-based manufacturer/distributor EFA. In a letter sent out to various effected labels and individuals, EFA stated they were forced to file for bankruptcy. The 22 year old company claims that this comes after numerous attempts to have tried to prevent this, including, as they state: "downsizing our staff, restructuring all distribution methods and channels, negotiating with third parties, particularly with several groups of possible investors, yet - sadly - to no avail."

This could possibly be a much more powerful blow to the business than previous collapses of other once large independent label distributors like Cargo, Rough Trade, Bayside, and Dutch East. EFA has a small amount of in-house labels, including Clearspot, but the bulk of their business is through a large amount of European labels they manufacture and export worldwide as well as North American and British labels they import and distribute throughout Europe. Some of the past and present labels include Accession, Anticon, Chicks On Speed, Cold Meat Industry, Constellation, Crammed, Crippled Dick Hot Wax, Dischord, Force Inc./Force Tracks, Gramavision, Impact, Ipecac, italic, ITN, Kitty-Yo, Klangbad, Metropolis, Mille Plateaux, Ongaku, On-U Sound, Payola, Plug Research, Quatermass, Rephlex, ReR, Ritornell, Saddle Creek, Sähkö, Scape, Shifty Disco, Shitkatapult, Southern, Southern Lord, SubRosa, Thirsty Ear, Thrill Jockey,Touch, Touch & Go, Transient, and Tresor. Pick up a German pressed CD in your collection, see if it has EFA printed on it. If it does, chances are that release's entire income is controlled by EFA.

Repercussions have not begun to surface yet but don't be surprised to see the closing of some of these labels while others scramble to get their stock back before auction time and find other distirbutors. More information about EFA including their history, roster, business statement, and ethos can be found online at their website,