Rough Trade Records GmbH


Rough Trade Records GmbH (often abbreviated to Rough Trade Rec. GmbH or Rough Trade Records) was a German manufacturer and distributor for labels such as Rough Trade, Factory, 4AD and others. Legally operating under this name from 29 September 1983 to 27 July 1999.

Rough Trade Records GmbH and the embedded Rough Trade Distribution were established on 17 June 1983 (registered in September) in the city of Herne by the UK label Rough Trade, as a joint venture with local distributor DPR (Dahlke Panschek Rüppik GbR) and Kos Trading Warenhandelsgesellschaft GmbH.

The original Rough Trade Records GmbH catalogue numbering system is as follows:
7" singles have RTD followed by a number starting with 0 (e.g. RTD 07),
12"s have RTD and a number starting with 0 and a T as suffix (e.g. RTD 06 T),
LPs have RTD plus number but no leading 0 (e.g. RTD 60),
CDs start with RTDCD or RTD CD, followed by a number (e.g. RTDCD 100 or RTD CD 90). The European CD editions, however, have RTD Number, followed by CD (e.g. RTD 72 CD).

Often there are other numbers found, e.g. M1-100, L2-25, CD1-244, S1-3001, etc. and often they are even bigger than the actual cat#.
These codes can be added as cat#, i.e. Distributed By - Rough Trade Records GmbH - L1-349 (see this example). To make the number appear on this page, please place Distributed By before all other Rough Trade Records GmbH roles.
These codes were given up in October 1990 and replaced by an 8 digit coding "123.4567.8". By that time Rough Trade (UK) had finally installed their new (but apparently bad and expensive) computer system.

In the wake of the bankruptcy of the distributor 'The Cartel' in 1991, Rough Trade UK was also forced to file for bankruptcy. The German affiliate however survived and was taken over by Pinnacle and carried on thanks to lucrative ongoing and new distribution deals in the dance and electronic music genres, notably with Warp, Domino, 4AD and other labels from the UK and elsewhere. Rough Trade Records GmbH became the rights owner, while Rough Trade Distribution remained as distributor. For the label activities, the label Our Choice was established.

In 1996 Rough Trade Records GmbH and Rough Trade Distribution were bought by the Zomba Music Group, coinciding with their take-over of Pinnacle Publishing.

In July 1999 Rough Trade Records GmbH was renamed Zomba Records GmbH and Rough Trade Distribution became Zomba Distribution - A Division of Zomba Records GmbH. See Zomba Records for releases under that name.
The old catalogue numbering (starting with RTD) was however continued under the new name, Zomba releases hence starting with the letters RTD, followed by 8 numbers with two dots (this system was already introduced in late 1990 though). All additional numbers on regular releases should be ignored, since they are price codes.

Additional information:
Even though the company Rough Trade Records GmbH was renamed in 1999, the name Rough Trade continued to exist.
In 2002, Zomba was sold to BMG and Zomba Distribution GmbH was merged with Rough Trade BV (Benelux) and Pinnacle to form the "European Independent Distribution Pool" under the roof of BMG distributor Arvato as Rough Trade Arvato.

In 2004, after the merger of BMG and Sony into Sony BMG, the name Rough Trade Distribution was reactivated as registered company "Rough Trade Distribution GmbH". The owner was Lambourne Productions GmbH, Gütersloh as part of Zomba Record Holdings B.V.

In 2008, Rough Trade Distribution was again sold, this time to Groove Attack Productions to join forces in global music market struggle, with an ongoing cooperation with Arvato Services, being responsible for logistics and Sonopress being the pressing plant.

Corporate chronology:
Registered: 23 June 1981 as 'Kos Trading Warenhandelsgesellschaft GmbH' in Herne-Wanne (company number HRB 1284)
Name change: 29 September 1983 to Rough Trade Records Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung - this page
Re-registered: 9 November 1984 in Herne (company number HRB 459)
Re-registered: 21 August 1991 as Rough Trade Records GmbH in Herne-Wanne (company number HRB 1584) - this page
Name change: 27 July 1999 to Zomba Records GmbH

Sublabels:Ink Deutschland, Rough Technology, Rough Trade Deutschland, Rough Trade Distribution, Roughmix
Contact Info:

Siepenstr. 10
D - 4690 Herne 1
Tel.: 02323-4755
Fax: 02323-4759
TTX: (17-)23 23 303

Former address from around 1991:
Rough Trade Records GmbH
Eickeler Str. 25
4690 Herne 2 , ,


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