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Label Watch: Tinder Records

World music, if not exactly a boom of great commercial proportions, has been steadily gaining in popularity during the ’90s, a situation which has fueled the formation of a host of new world-oriented labels. One of the notable new companies serving the scene is Tinder Records, based in the Bay Area. Having just passed the five-year milestone in 1999, a cautious optimism hovers around the operation.

It started out auspiciously seven years ago, when Sandrine DiRienzo and her partner, Didier Pilon, ran a distribution company specializing in African music. As DiRienzo explains, in the early years, they were “importing African and French music, until we realized there was a need in those areas to develop some artists. The French companies [we were working with] didn’t want to do too much promotion or anything, so we decided to do it ourselves.”

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