Rough Trade! Beggars Group! Tommy Boy! Ministry Of Sound! Epitaph! Cooking Vinyl! With Your Powers Combined… I AM MERLIN!!!

This past weekend, at the yearly, international MidemNet music marketing forum, a new mega-superhero was born. Near the sunny beaches of Cannes, the world caught its first glimpse of the mysterious being known as Merlin. Uniting some of the most formidable independent labels in the music world, the London-based organization will combine the special powers of each affiliated record company to form a whole far more fearsome than the sum of its parts.

Meet the Recordteers:

- Rough Trade... packing the punch of tight pants-wearing Eurotrash everywhere!

- Beggars Group... encompassing every hip record label ever to exist!

- Tommy Boy... bridging the gap between classics like De La Soul and crap like Jock Jams within a single roster!

- Ministry of Sound... clinging bravely to extinct genres of electronic music with the strength of 10 DJs!

- Epitaph... providing the soundtrack to half-assed adolescent rebellion throughout suburbs everyhere!

- Cooking Vinyl... housing bands like Hanson and The Prodigy, who might as well have stopped existing 10 years ago!

Apparently when all six labels put their unique rings (Epitaph's has a li'l spike on it; Tommy Boy's is predictably iced out) together, a big green dude in tights flies out of them. That's Merlin, and he works to even the playing field for (large, successful) independent labels! Dubbed the fifth major and helmed by Chris Caldas, Merlin will represent the companies in digital licensing deals. He's already made friends with SNOCAP -- which is not a new club drug endorsed by those crazy Ministry of Sound kids. It's actually the company that represents MySpace, and the deal will give Merlin artists access to partnerships with the social networking site and other, less important Snocap partners.

Label reps leaving MidemNet were quoted as singing:

Fuckin' Merlin, he's our hero,

Gonna take the majors down to zero,

He's our rosters magnified,

And he's fighting on the indie side!

Hear what Merlin has to say:

"THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL LICENSING AND OTHER BUSINESS SHIT IS YOURS!!!"

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