About BlRR   Catalogue


Welcome to this fan site dedicated to the comings and goings of BlRR, one of the most remarkable small business enterprises serving the needs of record collectors from the post-punk, industrial 'scene'.

In the modern world, certain commodities have the special status accorded to them of being at the same time non-commodities. We are talking about 'art'. As long as the collective illusion can be maintained that the goods circulating in the art market somehow transcend their status as commodities by sharing the special religious aura of the 'artistic', canny investors will throw money at them. Ironically, BlRR have made a speciality of producing limited editon, blink-and-you'll-miss-it recordings by cult 'artists', selling them at a healthy profit to consumers who are thus allowed to see themselves as part of an artistic avant-garde simply by virtue of consuming properly designated items. There's nothing new in entrepreneurs selling alt.culture lifestyles to the gullible, but it is vastly annoying to those of us who do want to hear, eg., Nurse With Wound, but who feel mugged when having to deal with Beta-Lactam 'Ring'.

The breathless marketing, the intimation that buying these products makes you part of an alternative culture, and that by consuming expensive limited edition recordings you are displaying your sensitivity and sophistication - all of this is normal to this particular market. It is galling, though, that so many of the musicians involved dabble with the language of Dada and anti-art ('The Chance Meeting on an Operating Table of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella') and then choose to deal with this 'specialist retailer' so as to pull in some easy cash.

The situation is compounded by the arrogance of Beta-Lactam as sellers. Their records routinely go 'missing in the post', and if you don't pay their special insurance rates then you run a very high risk indeed of losing the money they pocket from you - you've no way of knowing that the records you ordered were ever actually posted, and no means of getting your money back. SquidCo can get a record to me in London from New York in a couple of days, for a few dollars... but not this lot. When you buy from BlRR, PAY THE INSURANCE PREMIUM - if you don't you run a very high risk of being fleeced. This is especially true if you've criticised their business model online - they read the mailing lists associated with their artists and take note of anything critical you say about them. Of the last four records sent to me by BlRR, only one arrived, and that took almost two months. The $50 I spent on the Eyeless in Gaza “Summer Salt“ box set might as well have been pissed down a drain... two months later there's no sign of it and no one at BlRR will respond to my emails. So, if you deal with these guys, hang on to your hat, take out insurance and try to develop patience as your special power.

(ps: A beta-lactam ring (-lactam) or penam is a lactam with a heteroatomic ring structure, consisting of three carbon atoms, one nitrogen atom and a tiny little cash dispenser).