For the past few weeks we’ve been receiving inquiries on a daily basis, asking why Clone Distribution has ended its collaboration with Trip Recordings and Nina Kraviz. Even Time magazine asked whether we’d have an official statement about it, which until now we did not. Clone Records however doesn’t have anything to hide, so with all due respect for the discretion a label/distribution-relation requires, I don’t mind to clarify.
In the past, even after the annexation of the Crimea, Nina Kraviz has put forward several outings which can be taken as pro-Putin. Moreover she has clearly been flirting with CCCP/USSR-sentiments on several occasions, while the USSR was a regime that has stood for the oppression of minorities, has marginalised the LGBTQ+ communities, a regime which murdered millions of people! On Nina’s latest, upcoming compilation-album “All His Decisions” also a number of signs of USSR-flattery are to be found. This is raising questions that, in the light of the current Russian aggression, cannot be ignored.
As many people noticed Nina Kraviz has gone quiet on social media once the war in the Ukraine started. Of course it is her right to keep quiet as she chooses, but as a business partner we want to know what’s going on and what standpoint we should expect her to take on the situation. She however ignored personal requests to talk, moreover having her label manager giving unsatifying answers and poor excuses for not speaking out and not wanting to communicate in general. The communications with her label manager I considered rather manipulative, and her stances were being put forward in vague Putin-esque expressions like “she want’s peace” or “Of course she is against War”, wilfully lacking any meaningful conditions (Does she want Ukraine to surrender to put the war to a stop? Does she want Peace under Putin’s terms?). Other Russian artists, many unlike Nina living in Russia, have spoken out in the first days of the war, and some even now. (Please note that in the first days of the war there was no law which did forbid to speak about “war”). It is a disappointment therefore that she, publicly or privately, hasn’t made known that she doesn’t support the Russian violence, or has shown any sign of empathy with the victims thereof.
By refusing to choose sides, and by not speaking out, Nina enables herself to continue her lifestyle and her life as a performing artist as if nothing is happening, while the looting, the raping, the murdering and the destruction of a country by her countrymen continues. This is in stark contrast to other situations, when she has shown herself to be a opinionated person, always willing to have a conversation. Let me be very clear about the fact that it is her right to do so. She is free to stay silent, and of course she is allowed to keep her political views to herself and to live her life as she wishes. She may well have her personal reasons to justify that behavior, but as a business partner Clone Records is equally free to not conveniently accept those reasons.
While she is still touring the world and enjoying all the benefits of the freedom in the Western world, she chooses not to live under Putin’s oppression, yet she is using Putin’s law as an excuse not to speak out and remain silent. Therefore the way Nina Kraviz chooses to stay silent can be considered to be out of opportunism, hypocrisy and a abuse of freedom, thereby going against the values on which house and techno music and their respective cultures are built. The cultures and communities from which Nina did build her career. We see this silence as a sign of double standards and of disinterest, and we consider it a symptom of a toxic positivity and a toxic ignorance in the techno scene that Clone Record chooses not to represent. The house and techno scene are supposed to stand up for minorities, for the less privileged and the oppressed and for freedom of expression. It is built by minorities and oppressed people, and we should not allow ourselves to forget just that.
Nina Kraviz is too big to fail. There are enough people who dont know or who don’t care. Or because they are priviliged enough to say “Its about the music” or who just see the money and status which comes with her fame. I’m not worried about her career, I’m worried about the toxic behaviour which rottens the scene and the culture which gave us the music which we celebrate everyday, I worry about the values of the house and techno culture.
While many festivals and clubs conveniently accept her right to remain silent, we in our opinion have all the reasons to end the collaboration, even if she would distance herself from past USSR flattery in a near future and even if she would take distance from her Pro-Putin outings at some point. We won’t be waiting for a sign of empathy with the victims of Russia’s aggression while the murdering and raping continues. We cannot wait and hope for a statement, a personal message or actions showing that she stands for the same morals in which the house and techno scenes are rooted, while we already have several signs that she doesn’t. Simply put, this is not the moral behavior and energy we want to represent or be associated with.
I hope this sufficiently clarifies and explains my personal stance as well as the standpoint and actions taken by Clone Records/Clone Distribution. Everyone should make their own decisions, I am not calling out to cancel anybody. Make your own decisions on what kind of energy you allow in your life!