Archive for November 2018 | Monthly archive page

Nov 25

Cyber 2018

Cyber Overload. Sheesh! I got so many Cybersale emails in the last week. I am sure you’ve been flooded by them as well. My apologies for adding one more to your in box. Then again, I know you’re a fan of Projekt music; you’re on this list because you’ve purchased from our webstore, our Bandcamp page, or you signed up somewhere else over the years. Thanks for your interest. So far this week, 346 of you have taken us up on the Cyberdigital 50% off sale, and 8 of you have taken the Cyerphysical 15% off coupon. I guess that’s a pretty good indicator of how digital has taken over the music business. I was interviewed yesterday for The Future of What podcast (it should go live within a week.) We discussed the changes in the record business. Each podcast features one record label person in a 45-minute interview about the record business. It was great to talk with another label owner about Projekt’s 35+ year history, and the changes we’ve seen over the years. The one thing that doesn’t change is that fans of the music keep the label alive. Giving a bit back with a discount is my way of thanking you for your interest in the cool independent music on Projekt. So for you, a few more days of our cyber specials: 

PROJEKT’S CYBER DIGITAL 50% OFF SALE

Digital-only 50% OFF sale at our Bandcamp store. Sale does not include Merchandise (CDs+LPs+etc). Order refunded if you purchase merch. Use checkout coupon code “cyber18”. Sale ends Friday Nov 30, Noon EST.

PROJEKT’S CYBER PHYSICAL 15% OFF SALE

Get 15% off the entire Projekt webstore, excluding pre-order & new releases. Use checkout coupon code “cyber18”. Sale ends Friday Nov 30, Noon EST.

WEBSTORE: FREE CD & PIN

Every $10+ order placed here at the Projekt webstore gets a free copy of the Projekt 2-CD Holiday compilation Ornamental. (That’s $10 in merchandise, before shipping) Yup! Free CD for you. Every order over $40 also gets the Projekt enamel pin for free. Both of these offers are while supplies last.

If your order total (before postage) doesn’t get to $40, you can purchase the Projekt enamel pin for just $5.

Sale does not apply at Projekt’s European webstore. However they offer fast, inexpensive shipping that might more than make up for the % difference.

Nov 21

38% Off / $10 CD Flash Sale

Items on Five Dollar Friday Sale.

24hr only, 38% Off, $10 CD Flash Sale | Day 3

You’re still buying Forrest Fang’s Scenes from a Ghost Train, so we’ve extended it for a final day, and added Falling You’s Shine plus Lorenzo Montanà’s phase IX. On sale for one day at $10! Sale ends 11am, Pacific Time, Saturday November 23.

24hr only, 38% Off, $10 CD Flash Sale | Day 2

You loved yesterday’s sale on Forrest Fang’s Scenes from a Ghost Train, so we’ve extended it for a day, and added Forrest’s Animism, LYCIA’s A Day in the Stark Corner, and Erik Wollo’s Cinematic. All are on sale for one day for $10!

Have a great Thanksgiving. – Sam 24hr only, 38% Off, $10 CD Flash Sale | Day 1

Aurelio Voltaire’s Heart-Shaped Wound  Forrest Fang’s Scenes from a Ghost Train on sale for one day for $10! Sale ends 11am, Pacific Time, Thurs November 22. Check back tomorrow for the next two CDs on one-day flash sale.

We are taking preOrders on the upcoming Aurelio Voltaire album, What are the Oddz?

Nov 13

here are some things crossing my desk*

something different today from sam: no pictures. just words….

Better days

On Twitter on a link to a review of the new BlackTape album, Andy posted, “Really great work Sam. Sounds like the better days in the past.” I love that people are checking out the new music and hearing the through-line from my earlier work. With that said, I replied, “Future/past. Always better days to come…” That’s how I feel about life: the future is filled with possibilities, and I can rewrite the story, and head toward what I desire. I know that’s not “goth” of me, and I know we sometimes have limitations that are hard to overcome; still, I try not to remain bummed out about life. Even with all of our challenges (political, emotional, societal, economical), there’s always a bit of grass growing through the pavement somewhere, with things to look forward to.

10 qs

Do you remember back in the 90s there was a UK zine named Music From The Empty Quarter? I recently heard from Deadhead, the editor, I think we last talked prior to my ’96 move to Chicago! It’s been a long while, really great to catch up. We’re doing a 10-question interview. I’ve posted the first 4 responses here. Next batch of qs will be answered and posted in a few days.

Projekt200 | 3CD $15

“Projekt200 is more than a retrospective; it’s a work of art in its own right, a chronicle of Projekt’s journey from cult ethereal/ambient label to darkwave powerhouse.” – ReGen Magazine. Released over a decade ago in an edition of 2500, this is a beautiful 3CD collection of Projekt music. One disc of the early years, one disc of then-current artists, & one disc of ambient music. Alas, it was released right when CDs were dying at retail and people didn’t experience this lovely look at the PROJEKT roster (and it was certainly priced to high, because that’s the kinda thing you did back then when retail stores were clawing away a big chunk of the sales price). I have copies I’m selling at below my cost so people can hear and see this wonderful release.

LYCIA from Idie:youDie

“Speaking of Projekt, we somehow had no idea Lycia was dropping a new album last Friday, and now that we do know, it’s basically all we want to listen to. We loved 2015’s A Line that Connects (seriously, it was one of our top 10 records that year), and what we’re hearing from In Flickers is promising indeed: the group’s patented lush, shoegazey darkwave, enhanced with some upbeat drum programming and synthwork that we wouldn’t have expected but is hitting the spot.” Purchase CD or LP. 

Black Tape For A Blue Girl from Infrared Magazine<

“(To touch the milky way) is engaging, inviting, patient, melancholy and emotionally seductive. To say this is the best album of the year is not fair. The year is not up. This album is the reason I hate the digital age. I have to own this cd. If you are a fan of the band, that last statement is for you also. This is not a music file on a phone or a fucking stolen link. This is artwork, this is a band giving their passion and a passion I will play many times before I go to bed tonight. I love this cd so much, this band has yet to fail me. ” Purchase CD or LP.

Crossing my desk. I know, I know. What an outmoded metaphor. 🙂

Get ready for a new release this Friday!

Nov 13

10qs (with Sam)

10 questions for Sam from an old acquaintance who remembers fondly working together and truly regrets losing contact for so long. Pleases me beyond words to find you and Projekt still releasing material of outstanding quality. 

These ten questions from deadhead of forallandnone.com (ex Music From The Empty Quarter) will be posted in three installments. We’ll start with some Projekt-related questions where deadhead asks…

1 The obvious starting point after all these years is how the devil are you and what’s been happening in your life since we were last in touch in 1995 (when we were all full of energy and young!)? Being a daddy with a well established and highly regarded record label must be wonderful!

Sam: Well, right! The first thought that entered my mind when you asked “what has been happening,” is that I have a son who is now 16. That’s far more interesting to me, vs. the highly regarded label or the music, honestly. Having a kid is a wonderful, humbling, self-revealing process. I guess anything can turn out to be a teacher; learning how to be a parent, and how to be comfortable with myself so I can be a good parent, is a process I didn’t expect to experience as part of fatherhood, but I am very happy for it.

As far as Projekt, at the end of 1995 the label had 62 releases, and now I am working on release 357. I’ve been busy putting out a lot of music on Projekt, and not quite alot of my own work, over the years. When we were in touch, it was before BlackTape’s Remnants of a deeper purity was released. That was the band’s 6th album and To touch the milky way is our 12th. It took 10 years to create the first half of the discography, and 22 years for the second half. Definitely having a kid in 2002 and putting my focus on him slowed things down. Now I live in Portland Oregon and my son’s a junior in High School; I have more time to make music. And less stress about money, because Portland is a great and reasonably priced place to live.

2 How has the running of Projekt changed since back then?

Sam: In 1995 I was in Los Angeles with around 4 employees, at the peak in 1998 in Chicago there were 11 or 12 employees, and now it’s just me working out of my house. That’s the way it was in ’93 when we first connected. It’s pretty nice not having to deal with managing a large staff. Shea helps out a bit with web-related stuff, and Joe runs the webstore out of Philadelphia. I have purposefully made my life simpler, by not trying to be a big label anymore. Being a realistically small label that afford me enough time to make my own art is a much better place to be.

Over the years, there have been 86 artists on Projekt, and there are over 400 releases still in print (a bunch of those are on the digital side label). And anyway, I’ve realized something I didn’t notice in the 90s: the top-5 artists generate about 85% of the income, anyway. Now I can work smarter, and focus on the success, which makes a lot of sense in the current record industry.

3 Do you actively seek new artists or just concentrate on your firmly established acts?

Sam: I’m no longer seeking new artists for Projekt. It’s not economically feasible to do what the label used to do: sign new bands, start new careers. It was great, a lot of great music came out in those decades. But nowadays I’m just working with the top-7 or 8 acts. That keeps me plenty busy.

4 With such a large back catalogue of quality material has it made sense to reissue and possibly update titles, especially with the resurgence of vinyl and Record Store Day?

Sam: Record Store Day, bah! Screw them! Just a bunch of hipster wankers deciding what they think is cool. No thanks. Yes, yes! I say that because they rejected Remnants of a deeper purity a few years ago, so I’m being a sore sport (laughs). But yeah, sure, it would be nice to reissue more things on vinyl. The problem is the cost. Most albums were created for CD format, they can’t fit on a single LP. That means making a 2-LP set, and then it’s got to be nice and classy. And boom! I’m investing $5000-$8000 into a release. That’s a big risk. For me, personally, I Kickstart BlackTape vinyl releases. This way I know I have enough people interested in the album to make sense doing the vinyl.

Stay tuned for Part two, with more questions about Black Tape For A Blue Girl…

part two

5 Black Tape For A Blue Girl, your own project being such an integral part of the label, does it provide you personally with an essential creative outlet?

Sam: Yes. BlackTape is the creative outlet that matters to me. I love the acts I work with at Projekt and I love their music, in the end running the label is the day job, and making my own music is the way I express myself. I’ve been making a lot of music the last few years, though I always feel I should be making more. The new album is finished, and I’m really excited that it’s getting out to everyone now, and I am taking a bit more time to read the reviews, and savor the comments from people who are writing me, to enjoy this part of the release as well.

6 The process for each BTAFBG release must be extremely stimulating; writing, playing, photography/artwork, having total control of the whole project? How do you decide on which vocalists and additional musicians will work with you on specific works?

Sam: I look at it like I’m a film director: I have the script, I have an idea in my head of the character and how they should tell that story, and then I look for who best fits that roll. That said, I like working with the same people album to album when it makes sense. Sometimes there’s a drastic change in style and the band is all new, and sometimes people continue on. It’s really about what makes sense for the album I am working on.

On To touch the milky way, I think Michael pushed himself out of his safe spot, and took on some songs that he wasn’t entirely sure about when I first sent them to him; but it worked out wonderfully, I always thought he could do it. I had imagined that sort of monochromatic color for the melodies, they’re subtle. And Michael does that subtle really well. So once he dived in, he was golden!

7 It must be costly recording and producing Black Tape material, do Kickstarter campaigns provide the necessary funding?

Sam: The recording & producing itself is not costly, because I record at home. I don’t have to pay a studio for those hundreds and hundreds of hours of studio time. However what is costly is my time. I need to be sitting in that chair for those hundreds and hundreds of hours, and time is money that I am not earning working at Projekt. My patron area brings in some income that goes towards the recording, in so far as buying plane tickets, paying the musicians, fixing gear. But to actually create the deluxe packaging I envision for Blacktape, I crowdfund through Kickstarter. I have to tell you that it’s really rewarding to know there’s these people out there who like what I do enough to contribute money up front so that I can make the album. Their trust is really wonderful. I’ve run 10 Kickstarters so far. Contrary to what people say, crowdfunding is not seeing diminishing interest. Each one I’ve launched has new people backing the projects, as well as regular supporters. I love it!

Stay tuned for Part three, with more questions about Projekt, streaming & the future of the music industry…

Nov 06

Movies in the Dark email list

From Projekt Records’ Sam Rosenthal.

MOVIES IN THE DARK is a film series presented at the lovely & historic Clinton Street Theatre, in Portland Oregon. It’s a funky little theater on the Inner SE, for retro and cult flicks, cheap prices and the long-running Rocky Horror Picture Show. Movies in the Dark is an opportunity to hang out with your goth friends, in a non-club environment. There’s beer, and popcorn, and movies!

Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal introduces the film. A link to the next movie is pinned to the top of Projekt’s facebook page

A landmark of cinema history, CST is one of the oldest operating movie houses in the US. Locally owned, locally operated and loved worldwide, CST brings the SE Portland community a plethora of indie and rep films that deserve to be seen on a big screen. Quirky, irreverant, sometimes overly sincere, it’s not your father’s multi-plex movie-going experience. Beyond its regular movie schedule, CST also hosts theater, music and other live performances–always affordable and open to all ages. Brilliant!

Join the email list below, to receive announcements on future Movies in the Dark. You will not be bombarded with messages; one email when a film is announced, and one email in the days leading up to the movie. No spam. Not a ton of messages!

This is a double-opt-in list. The form below is step-1. You will receive an email that asks you to confirm your subscription (step-2). If you don’t see that email in a minute or two, check your junk or spam boxes.

Sign up below:

Sam

About the inspiration for the series: Personally, I don’t want to go out to a goth club at 1am for a drink. But I’d love to catch a film with all my darkwave friends! That sounds like a lot of fun…

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the next film showing at the Clinton Street Theater: