Archive for August 2016 | Monthly archive page

PRO00334d

Aug 29

Projekt top-10 / The Rope t-shirts now shipping

                   From Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal                    August has been a busy month at the Projekt webstore. Joe’s sending lots of your packages out the door. Thanks for your orders and your interest in our new batch of releases. Scroll down for the top sellers from the last 6 weeks.

   

#1

Steve Roach: Shadow of Time / This Place to Be 2-pack with bonus third disc.

“Three profound sonic environments born from deep intuition for the power of sound, refined by years of technical mastery.” – Stephen Hill, Hearts of Space                         Order CDs for $25 | Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes or Spotted Peccary High Res.

#2

Black tape for a blue girl: These fleeting moments

Deluxe-CD, limited edition of 500. “Gently lit by the existential gleam of a dying sun” – Soundscape Magazine. Picking up Blacktape’s classic 90s darkwave, ethereal sound; original vocalist Oscar returns on their 30th anniversary. Order limited edition CD for $20 || Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes.

#3

Erik Wollo: Star’s End 2015 (Silent Currents 4)

Limited edition of 300. “During these late-night sonic excursions, time, for the musician, seems longer and wider. Each vignette builds slowly, performed with perfect assurance, flowing beautifully across this hour-long realization.” -Chuck van Zyl/ Star’s End blog.                         Order CD for $16 || Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes or Spotted Peccary High Res.

#4

Black tape for a blue girl: The Rope Tshirt

Back in print for 2016, available in S – XXL. Printed in North Carolina on American-made American Apparel #2001 fitted shirts. See image below.                         order t-shirt for $19    

#5

Erik Wollo & Byron Metcalf: Earth Luminous

An elegant album weaving melodic, vibrant soundscapes with subtle, grounding rhythms. Byron’s tight-to-the-grid substratum pulse serves as a conduit to Erik’s lush, emotive and expansive atmospheres.                         Order CD for $14 || Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes or Spotted Peccary High Res.

#6 Steve Roach: Shadow of Time Order CD for $14 #7 Klaus Schulze & Pete Namlook: Dark Side Of The Moog Vol. 9-11 (5CD Box) Order for $3 #8 Lycia:Quiet Moments (LAST COPIES!) Order CD for $14 #9 10 Projekt CDs for $25 (2014) Order box for $25                    #10 Erik Wollo:Silent Currents (Live at Star’s End) 2-CD (50% Off) Order for $10                                                 Black Tape For A Blue Girl The Rope t-shirts lined up by size and ready to stuff into pre-Order customers’ packages. Joe does the Projekt webstore fulfilment out of his Digital Underground retail store in Philadelphia. Stop by when in town. OrderThe Rope t-shirt for $19  

                                    

Musings-Harley

Aug 14

My two-year plan

My two-year plan From Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Sam Rosenthal

I like creating short headlines in my brain; a string of words that represent a larger concept. Then I can repeat the headline to myself (rather than having to think out every little aspect of the concept) when I want to remember what the hell I am doing!

My new headline is “Two-year plan:” I want to create a lot of Black tape for a blue girl music in the next two years. But before I talk about the future, let me step back into the past.

The core of the recording of These Fleeting Moments began in June of 2014 when I laid down my electronics for “six thirteen.” Friday’s release date marked two years & two months from start to finish on the album.

To recap recent albums: 2002 (14 years ago) The Scavenger Bride 2004 (12 years ago) Halo Star 2008 (8 years ago) Revue Noir side-project 2009 (7 years ago) 10 Neurotics 2016 These Fleeting Moments (additional instrumental albums in there as well, full list here)

The last Blacktape album, 10 Neurotics, came out seven years ago. That was way too long ago! I have plenty of reasonable explanations for why it took so long. I wrote my novel Rye. I worked with Nicki Jaine in a side-project, I made the “Marmalade Cat” video and Tenderotics remix album. I toured to promoteRye. I moved to Oregon. I recorded some instrumental albums. I’m raising my son half of every week.

But there’s another bigger part of the delay; it had to do with enthusiasm. At the beginning of this decade I got down on the idea of making my music, as the recording industry entered financial free fall. I would ask myself, “What’s the point of creating art that nobody wants to hear?” I was just burnt out on it all. Though I’ll admit now that the problem was a mistake in perception. It’s not that nobody wants to hear music, it’s that only a select group of loyal people want to pay for music / support the creation of art.

People love hearing music, they just also love free.

But to make a long story short, contact (via Kickstarter and this Patreon) with people who are dedicated to my art picked me back up. I’ve been in touch with so many of you who love my music and want to see me make more of it. That’s very inspiring.

That gives me back my enthusiasm for making art.

How people hear music

The big change in the music industry in the last five years (aside from plummeting sales) is the growth of streaming. Most casual-listeners-of-music stream tracks these days. Back in 1996, Remnants of a deeper purity sold 16,000 CDs! There were a lot more fans of this genre, a lot more casual listeners. As there wasn’t a simple way to hear this type of music, purchasing was the way to go. While it would be wonderful if all 16,000 of those people still wanted to support my art, I am realistic: they don’t. I understand. I can’t turn back the clock, or tilt at windmills.

From Buddhism, I learn, “The first cause of suffering is not knowing the true nature of Reality. The second cause of suffering is grasping or holding onto what is illusory or insubstantial.” And the thing that leads to the cessation of suffering? Letting go of illusion. Seeing reality for what it is.

People want music. Lots of music. Only some of you want to pay for it (thank you!), and at the moment streaming is what a lot of the people want. That’s reality.

Streaming is an immediate format. It’s like a river, there’s always music rushing by. This led me to realize that I need to create more music, to keep everything flowing. I don’t want to go seven years between Black Tape For A Blue Girl albums. I need to create music regularly, because I’m an artist, and making music is what I do.

The people who are reading this pay attention to what I create, I appreciate that. But we all know about the average attention span of most consumers of media these days: very short.

Like I said, I don’t think seven years until I release more new music is the way to go. Or even every two years. People love hearing new music. This is my idea, the core of the Two-year plan:

I want to create an EP’s worth of music every 6 months and a new album every 18 months.Some of the EP tracks will be on the album, some will not.

Looking at it retroactively, the Bike Shop EP was the first attempt at this concept. It has 4 songs. Only “bike shop/absolute zero” appears in the same exact form onThese fleeting moments. The track “She’s gone” evolved into what you hear on the album. Two are only on the Bike Shop release. I think this is very cool.

Part of what makes this possible is the way the record industry has evolved. It used to be very restricted. Everything was suppose to be focused around THE ALBUM RELEASE. Don’t compete with the album. Don’t distract. Focus two years of energy on one thing. But that’s not the way people ‘consume’ music, these days.

Another thing. Not every bit of music needs a physical release that gets into “stores.” Digital might turn out to be the first priority with the EPs, though I am thinking of something for collectors, too. Perhaps special numbered limited edition CDs. 100? 200? Not sure yet.

I want to make a lot of music. I want to tell you all about this, so you hold me to it! I think it’s worth having an optimistic goal to aim for.

What’s that quote?

“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. ” – Michelangelo

So yeah! I want to create a lot of new music. Write a lot of new lyrics. Give you lots of interesting new things to listen to. That’s all part of my Two-year plan.

Thanks for supporting me in making this possible.

Sam

Black Tape For A Blue Girl releases & reissues These fleeting moments Deluxe-CD, limited edition of 500 order CD for $20 Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes. Remnants of a deeper purity 20th anniversary reissue order 2-CD for $15 Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes. The Rope Tshirt Back in print for 2016 pre-order t-shirt for $19 the Bike Shop\12″ Limited edition vinyl release order 12″ for $7 (No digital, only Vinyl!)

Projekt’s August releases Steve Roach: Shadow of Time / This Place to Be 2-pack with bonus third disc. Order CDs for $25 Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes or Spotted Peccary High Res. Erik Wollo: Star’s End 2015 (Silent Currents 4) Limited edition of 300. Order CD for $16 Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes or Spotted Peccary High Res.
NPRTech

Aug 08

Sam interviewed on NPR’s All things considered & an editorial

Sam Rosenthal — of the band Black Tape For A Blue Girl and owner of Projekt Records — was interviewed by NPR’s Laura Sydell about the DMCA. Read the article & listen at NPR’s All Tech Considered.

Here are a few paragraphs that covers what it’s about.

…Artists say that aspects of the law that were written in the late 1990s make it too easy for tech companies to ignore rampant piracy on their sites and put too much responsibility on the artists themselves to find the illegal music files.

It may be hard to feel sorry for high-profile artists like Taylor Swift — but you might feel bad for Sam Rosenthal, who runs a small independent label, Projekt Records. He’s been making a living as a musician and producer of electronic music for 30 years. Over the past decade, he says he’s struggled to keep his business alive.

“It involves continuously finding more ways to save and downsizing. And trying to keep ahead of the decline basically,” Rosenthal says. “I had 11 people working for me in the ’90s and now I have two part-time people working for me.”

and then later:

“Google could solve this problem — 90 percent of this problem — with one switch,” Rosenthal says. “And if they were really on the side of the creators they would do something about that.”

The Steve Roach music played during the piece is “The Feeling Expands” from the album Spiral Meditations. Stream and purchase a download at Bandcamp. Or purchase the CD from Projekt.

To contact Sam, email sr.projekt-at-gmail.com

There were two things I realized while doing this interview.

1) Projekt is more than this silly little thing I do for a living. It’s not just my job, it’s actually a small business, that has served a purpose in the financial ecosystem of many lives. And – unbeknown to most – over the last 20 years Projekt has brought in and spent over $7,500,000! Very little of that stuck to me, mind you. It went out to the artists, and the manufacturing plants, and rent, and salaries, and shipping supplies, and the promotion Projekt has done.

Projekt is one of those “small businesses” you always hear politicians patriotically talking about. I once employed eleven people, many full time, paid a decent salary, and even covered health insurance for some of them for a while. I’ve written checks to artists for a lot of royalties over the years. But so much of that was rapidly destroyed by the changes in the music industry.

Think about $7,500,000. That’s a lot of cash that Projekt has swirled around the economy; especially when you consider that Projekt is a teeny-tiny little label that 99.9% of the people who listen to NPR have never heard of.

2) I really *do* blame the tech industry for the destruction that has befallen artists: musicians, filmmakers, video game makers, porn makers. We’ve all become the content that consumers want for free; the content the tech industry wants to provide for free, without having to pay anything for it.

When I said “Google could solve this problem,” I wasn’t actually talking about Google talking the files down, which is the way the article frames it. What I specifically meant was that Google knows exactly who the bad actors are. Google’s Transparency Report is a running tally of DMCA complaints filed with Google, for sites that post links and post illegal content. There were over eighty-eight million (88,171,520) reports filed in the last month! 4shared.com has over 3 million in the last month and fourty-two million since they started keeping track.

Guess what?

I highly doubt 4shared is doing something legitimate.

Google could flip a switch and block 4shared from their search engines across the world. Problem solved.

I know. Some will cry censorship. And others will cry, “Yeah, but what if Google gets complaints about my website and block it?” Well listen, you’re not getting 3 million DMCA complaints a month, are you? (If you are, you’re doing something wrong). Google could establish a threshold. How about, “If your site gets 250,000 complaints in a month, you have to clean up your act and reduce that number by 99%. If you get the same or more the next month, and then the next month, Bam! You’re off the Google search engine.”

Cry censorship, but that’s not what this is. This is blocking bad actors who continue with unethical activities that kill other businesses. Like I said, I used to have 11 employees. Now I have one, and two part-time helpers. All these tech companies are screwing the artists you love as well as the people who work in the artistic industries. And you know why? Because tech companies (and the illegal hosting sites) are making money from doing this. Nobody in the tech world wants to change; not when they’re getting rich off of us.

But something has to change.

Google and the other tech companies could solve problems without the government rewriting the DMCA. While the major labels are renegotiating just how screwed they’ll allow themseves to be by youTube, why don’t they hold out until Google makes some changes to search?

Seems like a deal that should be struck.

Left, unsaid

There was something that didn’t make it into the interview.

When I mentioned this self-curating of the bad actors, Laura said something like, “Well the tech companies would say this is infringing on the free flow of information…” And I shot back, “Well of course they would say that, because saying that is in their best financial interest.”

What they are not saying is it would infringe on their freedom to make money off the work of artists and creators. Google pays nothing – but gets rich – off other people’s content when they share these links to illegal content and sell ad space around it. Has Google paid an advance to an artist to create music? Has Google funded an artists’ tours? Their videos? No. They don’t support creativity.

Yet they certainly love making money off creator’s labor!

Honestly, I feel this is an old fight that I have personally moved on from. I know artists have lost and tech companies have won. I can’t keep re-arguing an ethically correct (but real-world unsuccessful) argument. I am finding new ways to continue making a living, keeping Projekt in business, earning income for the artists who work with me, while following my vision for what Projekt should be.

I am resigned to the fact that the tech companies will keep making money off creators, while screwing me and my friends.

But I do thank those of you who support artists with your purchases. You’re the good guys.

Sam

From Facebook:

August releases on Projekt from Sam Rosenthal:

Picking up Blacktape’s classic 90s darkwave, ethereal, darkAmbient sound; original vocalist Oscar Herrera returns on their 30th anniversary.

Black Tape For A Blue Girl: These fleeting moments

Deluxe-CD, limited edition of 500, order CD for $20 Deluxe packaging: CD in a 7″ x 5″ landscape-shaped dvd-sized digipak with internal pocket holding the 12-page booklet. Matte varnish. Thick stock. Signed by Sam.

These fleeting moments

Black Tape For A Blue Girl returns to their evocative ethereal, neoclassical, darkAmbient, gothic roots with an album exploring the existential predicaments of time’s passage, choices questioned, and loves lost. Original vocalist Oscar Herrera rejoins the band after a 17-year absence. His darkly dramatic vocals are complemented by Dani Herrera’s emotional and heartfelt voice, Nick Shadow’s visceral viola, Brian Viglione’s (The Dresden Dolls) driving drums, and band-founder Sam Rosenthal’s pensive electronics and revelatory songwriting. These fleeting moments, their 11th studio release, is 70 minutes of powerful, gorgeously yearning tracks born from the same place as their 90s classics Remnants of a Deeper Purity and A Chaos of Desire.

Read the full album description and order your CD

PRO00331-3

Aug 01

Black Tape For A Blue Girl – limited deluxe CD & The Rope shirt

We’re taking pre-orders on two new Black Tape For A Blue Girl items:

Picking up Blacktape’s classic 90s darkwave, ethereal, darkAmbient sound; original vocalist Oscar Herrera returns on their 30th anniversary.

Black Tape For A Blue Girl: These fleeting moments

Deluxe-CD, limited edition of 500, pre-order CD for $20 Deluxe packaging: CD in a 7″ x 5″ landscape-shaped dvd-sized digipak with internal pocket holding the 12-page booklet. Matte varnish. Thick stock.

A message from Blacktape fan Sean, in Scotland: Sam – you do not disappoint! The album is just simply stunning. Beautiful, powerful, melancholy… incredible. Having Oscar back really links it to the past and, although certainly a more “classic” sounding BlackTape album than 10 Neurotics, there is still the continuing evolution of the music and vision – no backwards movement here! Anyhow, I just had to say that!

            

These fleeting moments

Black Tape For A Blue Girl returns to their evocative ethereal, neoclassical, darkAmbient, gothic roots with an album exploring the existential predicaments of time’s passage, choices questioned, and loves lost. Original vocalist Oscar Herrera rejoins the band after a 17-year absence. His darkly dramatic vocals are complemented by Dani Herrera’s emotional and heartfelt voice, Nick Shadow’s visceral viola, Brian Viglione’s (The Dresden Dolls) driving drums, and band-founder Sam Rosenthal’s pensive electronics and revelatory songwriting. These fleeting moments, their 11th studio release, is 70 minutes of powerful, gorgeously yearning tracks born from the same place as their 90s classics Remnants of a Deeper Purity and A Chaos of Desire.

Read the full album description and pre-order your CD on the Projekt website                

Black Tape For A Blue Girl: The Rope Tshirt

Classic shirt design back in print for 2016. pre-order shirt for $19. Printed in America on American Apparel #2001. Sizes S – XXXL< We're taking pre-orders on a new printing of the classic Rope-face shirt. Place your order now to reserve the size you’d like. This is the first time the shirt has been printed on all sizes, but we’ll only be ordering the larger and smaller sizes based on your requests.

The order will be placed with our printer on Friday August 5.

                Please note that if you order the CD and the Shirt at the same time, the CD will not be shipped until the shirts arrive later this month. If you want the CD now, then please order it seperately.

                                                                                                                                                          Mercury’s Antennae live in August:                                        Reno NV August 25 | Website                            Santa Cruz CA August 26 | Facebook event page                            Oakland CA August 27 | Facebook event page                            Facebook page for the entire tour.                                              

                   

                                       

                 

               

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                The History of Projekt Part 1 : < a href="http://www.uandumusic.com/new-articlesreviews/">Part 2 These are short, five-minute reads on the origin of Projekt. Part 3 & 4 coming soon.