A week has passed since R&S Records A&R Raj Chaudhuri left the label over founder Renaat Vandepapeliere‘s handling of a dispute with one-time signee Eddington Again. U.K. DJ and producer Forest Drive West has followed suit, announcing that he will no longer work with the Belgian institution.
Eddington Again had apparently tried to cut ties with R&S since 2019 over late royalty statements with incorrect splits. In an email exchange over the matter, he said he also took issue with the label’s perceived silence on matters of racial injustice amid the Black Lives Matter protests stemming from George Floyd‘s death (although Vandepapeliere voiced support for the movement on his own Facebook page). Apparent screen shots suggest that Vandepapeliere remarked that he doesn’t “sign color” and called a prospective signee a “full pure breed black artist” in his replies, among other comments deemed problematic by his electronic music peers.
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In a statement shared via Instagram, Forest Drive West (real name Joe Baker) echoed the sentiments shared by Chaudhuri last week. “I’m disappointed to announce that due to the actions of Renaat Vandepapeliere I will no longer work with R&S,” he wrote.
Baker recounted that Chaudhuri had been his point of entry into R&S Records, and that he had enjoyed his experience working with Chaudhuri and Label Manager Andy Whittaker. He chose to discontinue his relationship with the label nonetheless.
“I was shocked when I saw the language that Renaat used when talking to Eddington Again and was unconvinced by the released statement from R&S,” his statement went on. “When Raj announced his departure, and after speaking with him, it was clear to me that there would be no actions to address Renaat’s positions on Black Lives Matter and diversity on his label.”
Baker debuted on R&S Records in August 2020 with the four-track Terminus EP. The effort added to a recording career which saw the techno and jungle producer release on such labels as Livity Sound, Hidden Hawaii and Rupture London, according to Resident Advisor.
Baker has shared that he will donate all royalties from the Terminus EP to at-risk youth initiative Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust.