Following the news of the unfortunate sizable damage to Norton Records, another label based in Red Hook, New Amsterdam Records, has had its headquarters devastated in the storm, including 70% of the label’s CD inventory, which the artists themselves actually owned (the label held them as storage but 80% of their album revenue goes directly to the artists). All financial records and backups were destroyed, along with countless pieces of musical equipment from amps to vintage synthesizers.
– Norton Records Warehouse Takes Massive Hit from Sandy
– Jersey Native Nicole Atkins: “Every Place That We Grew Up Going To Is Just Ripped Apart Or Gone.”
– Brooklyn’s South Sound Studio Completely Destroyed By Sandy
Of the damage, New Amsterdam co-director William Brittelle says “We had actual money that got…we have paper towels out everywhere and we’re drying out money. It knocked over our desks that have CD sales and like…merch change money. So we’re finding these actual dollar bills everywhere. That was kind of weird. We were at the very end of our renovation stage where we were still cleaning wood and doing other stuff so we have woodstain still that kind of mixed with everything, and there was sewage in the water, it was gross.”
New Amsterdam Records was founded in 2007 to put out works that merge classical with jazz and other genres, and has grown over the last five years to include a series of events under the New Amsterdam Presents umbrella, sponsoring the 2009-10 Archipelago series of chamber music and operating for the past two years as associate presenter of the Ecstatic Music Festival, which roped in such indie luminaries as tUnE-yArDs (as well as her contributions to the New Amsterdam-released Roomful of Teeth), Dan Deacon, Oneida and Owen Pallett alongside classical artists.
In 2010, the label received its first Grammy nomination (for Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, and then again in 2011 for Jefferson Friedman’s Quartets) and has been praised by sources from NPR to the New York Times for its business model and releases. The label had only moved to the 3,000 square foot Red Hook headquarters in the last six months; this is their first year as a nonprofit organization.
The beloved-yet-still-burgeoning Brooklyn fixture has created a Hurricane Relief fund to cover repairs that you can donate to here or by checks made out to “New Amsterdam” by snail mail to:
98A Van Dyke St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Brittelle adds, “It’s a strange thing because I think all of us are fluctuating between feeling like the victim in the scenario, and also feeling kind of lucky because there are so many people in the Red Hook area who got it so much worse. I would encourage folks to head down to the Red Hook Initiative if they’re interested in helping, there’s still a lot of people without power or access to food and water that need all our help. People have been really compassionate for us and supportive, and I’d encourage people to help support the neighborhood.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 6, 2012