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R&S A&R Quits Due To Unprogressive Management
Christian Eede , October 14th, 2020 23:12

Raj Chaudhuri says that label co-founder Renaat Vandepapeliere holds unprogressive views on "the roots of techno, Black Lives Matter, charity initiatives, diversity" and more

An A&R at electronic music label R&S has quit his role citing his opposition to stances held by label co-founder Renaat Vandepapeliere as his reason for stepping down.

In a statement shared via social media today (October 14), Raj Chaudhuri says that he is no longer comfortable working with Vandepapeliere, or "putting energy into a company that doesn't support Black and women artists sufficiently." He goes on to say that Vandepapeliere holds unprogressive views on "the roots of techno, Black Lives Matter, charity initiatives, diversity and basic decency," and says "it has become apparent that there is no way to change Renaat."

Chaudhuri also points to recent public incidents surrounding Vandepapeliere and the label's treatment of LA-based artist Eddington Again who released an EP, Damani3, via R&S sub-label Apollo in 2019. Eddington Again had asked for their contract with R&S to be terminated after "receiving incorrect splits on late royalty statements," and said they had asked "numerous times" for the label to release them from the contract, but R&S would not agree to do so.

Eddington Again also criticised the label, which was founded in the early '90s amongst a scene heavily built around Black artists within techno, for not taking public stances on Black Lives Matter or doing more to diversify their current roster, in a series of email exchanges that were shared online by the artist, as Mixmag previously reported. In the exchange, Vandepapeliere described an artist he is working with for the label as a "full pure breed black artist," a phrase that he has sought to explain away as a result of a language barrier. R&S has since terminated its contract with Eddington Again.

Chaudhuri had worked with R&S for over a year before stepping down from his role. In that time, he set up a label collaborative with UK-based imprint More Time and put together the In Order To Care charity compilation, which raised over £50,000 for the NHS amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The NHS compilation alone with one release had more non-male artists than had released on the entirety of R&S's 37 year history, and more Black artists cumulatively than the last 20 years of R&S' release output," he says in his statement.

He concludes: "I cannot work with Renaat when I know that his views on race and gender are not as progressive as some of the music that has been released on his record label."

You can read Chaudhuri's full statement here.