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Company foresees significant growth with multi-label signings and deal extensions

New labels include Salsoul Records, Underground Railroad Company, MoRisen, Shaman Work, Canvas Records, Collateral Damage Entertainment and Gotham Records

Extended deals with Putumayo World Music, Bar/None Records, Signature Sounds, DPTV Media, AnimEigo, Babygrande

(Port Washington, New York) May 17, 2005 – KOCH Entertainment Distribution, the leading independent distributor of music and DVD, announced today the signing of seven exclusive distribution deals. Newly-signed labels include Salsoul Records, Underground Railroad Company, MoRisen, Shaman Work, Canvas Records, Collateral Damage Entertainment and Gotham Records. KOCH has also finalized long-term extensions of its distribution relationship with Putumayo World Music, Bar/None Records, Signature Sounds, DPTV Media, AnimEigo and Babygrande Records. KOCH Entertainment currently holds the largest market share amongst truly independent music and video companies and foresees substantial future growth.

"We have always looked for opportunities to work with labels run by entrepreneurs with vision," says Michael Rosenberg, President of KOCH Entertainment Distribution. "We are very pleased to welcome these new labels to the KOCH family as well as the legendary Salsoul catalog. We also look forward to continuing our relationships with DPTV Media, Signature Sounds, Bar/None, Putumayo, AnimEigo and Babygrande. We have an exciting roster of releases lined-up that will significantly increase our presence at retail and continue to keep us ahead of the competition. We’ve been growing our business for eighteen years now, and we will continue that growth."

Effective immediately, KOCH has signed new distribution deals with the following labels:

Salsoul Records: Celebrating its 30th Anniversary, Disco label Salsoul Records was founded in 1975 by the three Cayre Brothers - Joe, Ken & Stanley. Salsoul Records was the first label to release 12" Disco Mix singles to the public. Self-distributed since its inception, this is the first distribution deal the label has signed with a national distribution company. Forthcoming releases will include reissues of classic Salsoul titles from artists such as Grandmaster Flash, Loleatta Holloway and the Salsoul Orchestra, with a roster of new titles to be announced soon.

"We look forward to working with KOCH as our first national distributor in the history of the company," says Glenn LaRusso, General Manager of Salsoul Records. "Their expertise in sales and marketing will help us revitalize the sales of our label as we reintroduce Salsoul in today’s marketplace."

Underground Railroad Company: Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Underground Railroad Company is a new Video & Music company founded by accomplished actor, writer, producer, and director James Bond III that is dedicated to providing a voice to independent filmmakers and musicians. The label has produced an exclusive roster of films for theatrical and DVD release. These titles will include "AWake", a ‘who done it’ inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s classic film Rope, a kid caper flick "Raheem and Rashad’s Most Excellent Adventure" and more. Forthcoming music releases include titles by R&B group Phinal Phase and soundtrack titles coinciding with film/DVD releases. Underground Railroad Company joins the ranks of a few and unique KOCH-distributed labels who specialize in developing both film and music properties.

"I’m excited about this endeavor with KOCH Entertainment and I applaud both their accomplishments as a premier major independent force and insightful ability to embrace my company," says James Bond III, President and Founder of Underground Railroad Company.

MoRisen: Founded in 2001 by music industry veteran Chuck Morrison, MoRisen Records has quickly outgrown its North Carolina reputation by receiving national attention for its ability to attract and develop a strong roster of bands and deliver raw alternative rock into the hands of music fans everywhere. With a solid business infrastructure in place and a thirst to create undeniable brand identities for its bands, MoRisen is poised to propel the North Carolina music scene into the national spotlight and get back to producing quality, guitar-driven pop that has long been missing from the industry. Forthcoming releases will include titles by The Talk, Marat, a MoRisen compilation and more.

"KOCH has a strong, 18 year history of being the largest independent music distributor in North America.  They also work with some of the best Indie labels in the country," said MoRisen Records owner and founder Chuck Morrison. "I wanted to work with a distributor with credibility who knows how to get music to the fans.  It just made sense that KOCH was the best fit for MoRisen and it’s a testament to the strength of the roster to have KOCH as our distributor."

Canvas Records: Canvas Records was founded in 2004 by business executive Ray J. Davis and musician Chris Walker.  Canvas Records is headquartered in Houston, TX with a satellite office just outside New York City. The mission of Canvas Records is not only to release great music and create equitable partnerships with its artists, but to also support various philanthropic efforts – a third of the proceeds from sales of Canvas Records releases will be donated to the American Diabetes Association. Davis and Walker have allied themselves with veteran music industry executive Stuart Pressman to helm the development and direction of Canvas Records properties. Initial releases from Canvas include this summer’s mainstream adult contemporary CD, I Know It’s Love, from label partner Chris Walker.  Early fall will bring the debut release from Lyric, a pop-gospel trio.

"Discussing, negotiating, and consummating the Canvas Records distribution partnership with KOCH was an exceptional process. Their professionalism, state of the art facility, and systems are bar none. The personal attention of their entire staff allows a sense of extreme confidence with their ability to process and deliver Canvas Records’ mission statement and philanthropic causes," said Stuart Pressman, General Manager of Canvas Records.

Shaman Work: Founded in 2004, Los Angeles and Atlanta-based Shaman Work is one of the leading labels specializing in urban genres: hip-hop, soul, various afro styles and jazz. Forthcoming titles include releases by Metal Fingers, C.L. Smooth, Shaman Work Presents and much more.

"As Shaman Work and affiliated companies continue to grow and mature, we felt a need to alliance our efforts with the strongest name in independent distribution - KOCH Entertainment.  We're very excited about this new relationship and the energy surrounding the partnership," said Chris Craft, CEO of Shaman Work Recordings, Inc. 

Collateral Damage Entertainment: Collateral Damage Entertainment was formed in 2002 by principal partners, Perry Tell, a former member of the major label band Figures on a Beach, and Jeff Woods, a prominent real estate developer in the San Francisco Bay Area. The label is currently working on several productions which will be ready for release in the 2nd half of 2005 and early 2006. The first project to be released in July is Natalise, a female Pop/Hip Hop artist from the SF Bay Area. Additional releases are pending for Fireking, Fierce Tibetan Gods, and several others currently in production.

"Our strategy (and our entire business) is reliant on our ability to bring great music to market," says Perry Tell, Partner - Collateral Damage Entertainment. "Our relationship with KOCH Entertainment enables us to take our company to the next level. We can now offer greater value to our artists and that gives us a competitive edge.  As a label, we have to choose our partners carefully, because everything we do reflects back on our business. We are pleased to choose KOCH as our partner."

Gotham Records: Founded in 1994, Gotham Records is a New York City-based independent record label that specializes in rock. With a diverse roster including modern rock, hard rock, Americana, ska and pop, the label acts as a consultant to top A&R representatives, often bridging the gap between major labels and rising talent. Some of Gotham Records’ successes include releases by Liquid Gang, The Loose Nuts, Flybanger, Supafuzz, Tom Gillam, Fear The Clown, The Booda Velvets, Agatha Crawl Midline and Tony Justice. Gotham’s newest signing is the L.A. – based hard rock band, SLANT. Following recent performances with Powerman 5000 and Adema, the band is about to embark on their West Coast tour in support of their debut album, "A Thin Line" which will be released at the end of June, and contains the hit single "Broken Wings".

"Having run Gotham Records for over a decade, I have always admired KOCH’s ability to maintain their high position within the distribution world, while remaining fully independent," says Patrick Arn, President of Gotham Records. "KOCH is a real pro-active company and we have no doubt that this will be a successful alliance."

KOCH has extended distribution deals with the following labels:

Putumayo World Music: In the past ten years, Putumayo World Music has become known primarily for its upbeat and melodic compilations of great international music characterized by the company's motto: "guaranteed to make you feel good!" Putumayo’s CD covers feature the distinctive art of Nicola Heindl, whose colorful, folkloric style represents one of Putumayo's goals: to connect the traditional to the contemporary. By combining appealing music and visuals with creative retail marketing, Putumayo has developed a unique brand identity - a rarity in today's artist-based music industry. Key releases include French Café, Acoustic Brazil and the forthcoming Italian Café.

"We are pleased to announce the extension of our distribution agreement with KOCH Entertainment through 2007.  Over the years, they have grown, improved their sales force and information systems to the point where we feel they offer a state of the art infrastructure that rivals the majors along with the benefits of having an independent structure and outlook," Dan Storper, Founder/CEO of Putumayo World Music.

Bar None Records: Bar None Records, currently located near the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel (Jersey side), has been releasing adventurous pop music recordings since 1986. They introduced They Might Be Giants and Freedy Johnston to the world, re-discovered the music of Esquivel! and had a big hit with Edwyn Collins "A Girl Like You." Over the years Bar/None has worked with Yo La Tengo, 10,000 Maniacs and Of Montreal. Recent successes include The Langley School Music Project, Mason Jennings, Mosquitos and Puffy Ami Yumi. Currently the label has gained great attention with the release of "Petra Haden Sings: The Who Sell Out," an accapella re-creation of The Who classic that has Pete Townsend raving. Bar/ None is always looking for artists with great songs that are not afraid to take a daring approach to their music.

"We were one of the first pop music labels to work with KOCH ten plus years ago. Since we originally joined forces, Bar None has seen KOCH Entertainment Distribution grow at a fantastic clip; from a classical distributor to a hip/hop powerhouse currently operating out of their fifth upgraded warehouse facility," says Glenn Morrow CEO of Bar None Records. "They've always been incredibly innovative and responsive to the changing times. We're excited to be part of their future as a KOCH distributed label."

DPTV Media: Detroit, Michigan based DPTV Media was formed in the fall of 2002 with the goal of providing the retail community with music and video products that are companions to Detroit Public Television’s programs broadcast on PBS member stations throughout the U.S.  Forthcoming releases include the DVD release of Daniel O’Donnell’s "Branson Encore" and titles by Dionne Warwick and Foster & Allen.

"We are glad to be continuing our relationship with KOCH as our distributor," says Diane Bliss, VP of Fundraising Programs at DPTV Media. "The first two years have shown us that KOCH truly lives up to their reputation of being the # 1 Independent distributor and we are glad to be part of that success."

Signature Sounds: Signature Sounds Recordings was formed by Jim Olsen and Mark Thayer in 1995 to promote the burgeoning acoustic music scene in and around Northampton, MA. Since our inception, we've released over 50 albums of singer-songwriter, Americana and modern folk music. Forthcoming titles include a new studio album from Amy Rigby and a Signature Sounds 10th Anniversary Concert DVD that features a majority of the label’s artists.

"We are quite pleased to continue our relationship with KOCH Entertainment.  We’ve been with KOCH for over nine years now, and they’ve helped us grow our label considerably in that time.  We’re proud to be working with the best independent distributor in the business," Jim Olsen President of Signature Sounds.

AnimEigo Inc: Founded in 1989, AnimEigo Inc is the oldest surviving Anime (Japanese Animation) company and is the prime source of Anime, Samurai Cinema and Robotic Combat DVDs.  Forthcoming releases include three newly-acquired titles of Samurai Cinema including "Demon Spies" from the author of the top-selling series Lone Wolf and Cub and two titles starring the legendary Toshiro Mifune ("Seven Samurai", "Yojimbo") titled "Samurai Banners" and "Red Lion" (www.animeigo.com).

"Since we partnered with KOCH in 2003, they have helped dramatically expand AnimEigo’s sales channels," says Natsumi Ueki, COO/President of AnimEigo Inc.  "AnimEigo's Samurai Cinema titles in particular showed remarkable growth and KOCH greatly contributed to the boom of that genre on DVD. We have built a strong alliance with KOCH and we are excited to further extend our prosperous relationship with them."

Babygrande: Founded by Chuck Wilson, former Director of A&R at Priority Records, Babygrande has risen to become a fixture in the independent hip-hop arena. Forthcoming releases include titles by GZA of Wu-Tang, Dipset's Purple City, Canibus, Jedi Mind Tricks, Immortal Technique and Jean Grae.

"KOCH has helped me build Babygrande from the ground up. I look forward to continued prosperity in both music and film with them," says Chuck Wilson, CEO of Babygrande.

For more information please contact James Scileppi at (516) 484-1000 Ext. 243 or email james.scileppi@kochent.com.


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