Return to Jaguar (thing)

A track from the Knights of the Jaguar EP from The Aztec Mystic.

Jaguar became a huge success in the summer of 1999. This was perhaps due to it blending disco, house and Detroit elements together into something nearly every DJ could play and all audiences would enjoy. A year and a half later you could still hear Jaguar being played in parties, and leaving out DJs' personal favorites that is quite a long life span for this kind of music.

The partygoers were not the only ones interested in the EP, however. Dirk Dreyer, an A&R manager at Sony Music's Dance Division, informed Underground Resistance in December 1999 that his company would soon be releasing a cover version of Jaguar. While no licencing offer was ever made from Sony, mr. Dreyer said he knew for a fact UR would never give their releases for wider distribution. His solution? A tone-to-tone copy of which he wouldn't have to pay the original artist a dime.

The new single was released the same month By Sony Music Germany, with no mention whatsoever about the original recording. After a huge uproar by angry emails and letters, Sony apparently recalled the record.
It was too early for UR to declare victory, though. Sony quietly made a deal with an another record company BMG, to move the two producers responsible for the "cover" version to their "custody" and make it a BMG release.

The vinyl and CD singles featuring terrible sounding (not to mention unauthorized) europop versions of the already legendary Jaguar were released in January 2000, with the producer duo from Frankfurt now calling themselves Type. Despite numerous contacting attempts, protests and petitions, the record was not recalled. As far as I know, neither DJ Rolando nor Underground Resistance have received any restitution from the major companies stealing their work.

On a personal note, I find this whole incident deeply disturbing. A brilliant tune being ripped off just to make loads of $$$ using dirty tactics can not be forgiven.
Boycott Sony Music Europe/US and BMG.

You can find a lot more info, including original correspondence between the labels, on the following page:
http://www.renegaderhythms.com/articles/ur/ur.html

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