In the 1980s, the catalog was licensed by Base in Italy and in the '90s by Germany's ZYX Musicneither of which properly paid Stollman for the use of the catalog. Following the brief lease of some titles by Calibre and Abraxas in Holland and Italy (Abraxas, in fact, was bootlegging ESP until recently), Stollman and a small staff have re-started the label, primarily focusing on reissuing original tapes in 20-bit surround sound with new liners and photographs, audio interviews with the artists and some material never before issued (though a recent solo piano recording of Ellis Marsalis is the first piece of a planned series of new artists).
"The history of this label is as an iconoclastic label that releases new music. I don't really want to repeat 1965, so I don't see any reason why I can't go forward with new music." Yet Stollman recognizes that ESP is certainly one of the most influential record labels in the business: "Now that I'm back, it seems to me that I had something to do with introducing change and innovation to the industry... now, artists are not going to be pushed around by record companies in terms of content and repertoire."
Stollman cites Eremite, Hat Hut, and Boxholder as among the contemporary indies that have supported and expanded upon the ESP ethos of a unified aesthetic and documentary style, presenting new and archival music by unknown and established artists. One thing is for sure, though: in creative music, the label is just as much the artist.