The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


PSF appealing for financial backers after distributors leave bills unpaid

Influential Japanese label PSF is appealing for financial help. The Wire's Alan Cummings has translated label head Hideo Ikeezumi's original post:

"Some of you may have noticed that PSF has not put out any new releases for almost a year now. There are releases ready to go by Kazuo Imai, Suishou no Fune, Kyoaku no Intentions, Ai Aso, Masayoshi Urabe and others, but unfortunately over the past year it has become financially impossible for me to release anything.

PSF currently deals with 30 distributors and record stores, both inside and outside Japan. Seven of those companies have failed to pay what they owe. The total amount owed to PSF by these seven companies is around £15,000 ($25,000), and this situation has continued for over a year. CD sales are falling everywhere, it seems, and everyone has problems with their cash flow. I have asked these companies to pay multiple times over the past year, but no one has the cash. Just two years ago, everyone paid their bills on time, and PSF was able to release new albums and publish G-Modern regularly.

15 years ago, two friends who ran a real estate business and a bookstore each invested about £12,000 ($20,000). That enabled PSF to release a string of high quality releases, even though they never sold in huge numbers. Then, five years ago, both of my friends’ companies went bust and I returned their investment money to them. If I were able to get back even half of what PSF is owed, I would still be able to put out new albums and publish the magazine. If I am unable to recover any of this money, PSF will not be able to continue. I have talked with a lawyer friend and he advised that me that I should sue these companies in the small claims courts and that way I would probably get back around half of what I am owed. But I have had long relationships with some of these companies, so I am unwilling to do that now.

Instead, I have decided to try to find new investors through the PSF website. It’s pitiful, I know, but this is the only way left to me. I would like to find people who would be willing to invest at least £1,500 ($2,500). Just ten people investing that amount would mean that the label could continue. If I can’t find anyone, then going to court might be the only option. If anyone is willing to help, please get in touch. It will probably be difficult to pay a dividend immediately to the investors, but they will receive five copies of all new releases. When costs have been covered, then they will receive 10% of the profit as a dividend.

When I started the business, PSF was supported by the profits from the Modern Music shop. In the past two years, this situation has reversed and it is now the label that supports the shop. This is no longer financially sustainable, so I have taken the difficult decision to close the shop this March and make the business internet-only. I would like to thank all the customers who have supported me over the years. Rest assured that this was not an easy decision."