Established in the 1990s, Other Music was formed in conjunction with the explosion of indie music. Madell and his business partner felt that there was not a place that housed enough of the vast quantities of new music that was emerging. To this day, Other Music adheres to its original purpose: to provide access to the most diverse range of underground music possible.
Although a plethora of replica independent stores opened after Other Music, Madell explains that many have closed down, which is unsurprising when even mega-music conglomerates - Tower Records, HMV and Virgin - were unable to sustain stores in the wake of the internet download phenomenon. Other Music's survival then must be attributed to something unique within the store itself.
Here Madell explains that he--like most record store employees--works there out of necessity to sustain his lifestyle as a musician, whilst still immersed in the world that he loves. In addition, when hiring new staff, he looks at how they can contribute to their musical family, looking for someone "who might not fit in" to ensure an infinite range of eclectic tastes are represented behind the counter of the store.
He also argues although music can be shared worldwide more easily than ever before, the vibrant music scene in New York ensures that new bands continue to emerge, recording LPs and cassettes that are not necessarily intended for download. The continued emphasis for the personal, the eclectic and the independent is perhaps why Other Music continues to hang on.
Text by Charlotte Rutherford for Crane.tv
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