Archive for the ‘Blog from Sam’ Category
Trance To The Sun, legends of Dark Psychedelia, have returned to the recording studio. An excellent new album is underway! You can help fund the album at Kickstarter. Pop over and watch a video interview with Ashkelon Sain and Ingrid Luna Blue as well as hear a new song… Trance To The Sun reached their goal in 2 days, but there are still great ways to get involved. Many of the pledge levels include immediate access to demos as well as advance downloads of new material.
You can get involved in the process!
As Steve was prepping for his October L.A. dome concerts (tickets available here), he uncovered this amazing recording. This special digital-only Live EP contains Steve Roach & Jorge Reyes performing in Tucson. First time heard since the May 27, 2000, concert. Unearthed and posted exclusively at Bandcamp for everyone to enjoy.
Interview with Mike VanPortfleet conducted August 2013.
Sam: The new Lycia album, Quiet Moments is out this week. I read that it’s been 12 years since LYCIA had a new album out? Is that accurate? What made you decide to record a new album?
Mike: Well, we had the Fifth Sun digital EP out in 2010, but in regards to a fully realized full length that goes back to 2002 and Tripping Back Into The Broken Days, so that would be 11 years. But even that is a little fuzzy because right up to the pressing time we had planned to used the Estraya name as opposed to Lycia. I sort of see Quiet Moments as picking up from where Estrella left-off back in 1998. As always with me and Lycia, everything is a bit blurry and even questions that would seem to have clear answers don’t. Even though Lycia was pretty low profile throughout the 2000s I was always messing around in the studio. After helping Tara with a solo show back in 2008 it sort of lit the fire again, and that led to us working on Fifth Sun. After that I immediately began working on Quiet Moments, which also involved me finishing some songs that were started back in the mid 2000s.
Sam: The return of LYCIA began when Handmade Birds released a Vinyl edition of your 1996 album Cold. What were your thoughts on Cold, hearing it all these years later?
Mike: Cold was Lycia’s high point in my opinion. Everything fell right into place at the right time. To me it’s a special release. Listening to it again during the preparation for the Cold LP brought back a lot of memories from those initial Ohio years. Which was good and bad at the same time. Those days were Lycia’s best so it’s nice to remember, but sad that they are so far away.
Sam: Is there anything you miss about the 90s, and all the road-work Lycia did?
Mike: I miss the way 1995 was. We were pushing forward and so many things happened. The ’95 tours were filled with such hope and excitement. Later tours I felt a bit jaded.
Sam: A lot of past LYCIA albums has a mood of nostalgia, loss, sadness, & hope. Is that still in your lyrics?
Mike: It is still very present and still very important. In fact that description would be a perfect one for Quiet Moments. If I had to describe each individual song on Quiet Moments with one word, I could use the four you just stated, and have an answer for each song. I would say that Quiet Moments is the most nostalgic release I’ve ever done. It is the most personal by far.
Sam: How are you a different person than back in the late 80s, when you were mailing me the “dreaded white cassettes” with LYCIA demos on them?
Mike: A good yet very hard question. I’d like to think that my musical vision is the same. I think it is, but obviously the way that I make music now is light years away from the way that John and I worked back then. Despite the different tools I think the end result creates a very similar mood though. I see it that way. Lifestyle though I’m a million miles away. So is my perception of things around me. But who wouldn’t be? That was 25 years ago. Oh, the dreaded white cassettes. What an idiot I was using those horrible cheap tapes. If I would have used quality cassettes back then there would at least be a chance for me to restore hours of never released music. But that will never happen.
Sam: Final question. You said Quiet Moments is sort of like a follow-up to Estrella. How do you think old-school fans will like this album?
Mike: In terms of the Lycia timeline and how it feels to me, I see Quiet Moments as a continuation of our 90s work. Estrella was the last in that line. But really I see Quiet Moments as a follow-up, in regards to mood and style, to A Day In The Stark Corner. They are the two most personal releases for me. They both have ambient and noise experimenting. In both cases I layered sound beyond what I thought I initially could. I see them a sister releases. I didn’t go into the recording with this in mind, though I did want to reconnect with the slow motion atmospheric side of Lycia’s sound again. I’m thinking that the old school people, the ones that were into Ionia and A Day In The Stark Corner, will like Quiet Moments. Well, I’m hoping they like it. For years I’ve received e-mails (and before that letters) asking for a return to that style. Well here it is.
From Ryan Lum:
For a dormant band, there’s strangely 3 Love Spirals Downwards news items for everyone:
1st, I remade the Ardor instrumental “Mirrors a Still Sky,” a new re-recording that I did in the studio this year. It’s on the Love Spirals Downwards youTube channel. I guess for that matter, the fact the we have a youTube channel may be news in itself
And 3rd, You probably heard about Suzanne performing some Love Spirals Downwards songs in Portland on August 17th at Brickbat Mansion. Facebook page.
And thanks for the new Steve Roach CD; always a pleasure to get something new from Steve. Ryan
“When desolate cityscape post-punk merged with the melancholic lyrical and theatrical pull of gothic rock in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, darkwave took form. Drawing in synth-heavy hypnotic pop and industrial chills, darkwave’s often whispered, crestfallen sound first began to take shape in a series of overlapping electronic and rock scenes that were particularly strong in European independent music circles. The resulting bands (whether favoring industrial, pop, shoegaze, or rock leanings) were frequently shrouded in a fitting sense of pitch-black subcultural and musical mystery, and in North America, Projekt Records was one of the first labels to promote the resulting surge of darkwave artists. Founded in 1983 by Sam Rosenthal, Projekt concentrated on releasing dream-pop, neoclassical, ambient, gothic rock and shoegaze bands, and Rosenthal’s own group, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, was an early exponent of darkwave’s hallmark mournful cabaret. ” – popmatters.comhere.
S U M M E R 2 0 1 3 P A R T O N E | For years and years, I’ve been thinking about redesigning the Projekt website; over the last six months (with the help of behind-the-scenes-guy Gregory), we did it! The new Projekt.com site is live and looks great; and the ordering process is very smooth.
On the new site, you can create a user account. No more re-entering your information every time you order. The user account gives you access to a portal where you can see all your past orders, as well as keep track of your current order in progress. You get an email receipt when your payment is received, and another when you order ships. We can add notes or questions to the portal, so there’s an easy place to see our communication about your order.
All orders are processed by PayPal, which gives you increased security for your personal info.
Last week, a few customers beta-tested the store, placing successful orders. There was a bit of confusion about paying with a credit card; hopefully I can clear that up.
When paying with Visa, MC, Discover or AmEx, it isn’t obvious at PayPal where you enter your credit card info. Once you are on the PayPal page, click the yellow arrow next to “Don’t have a PayPal account.” This opens a new page, where you enter your information. You do not have to open a PayPal account to use your credit card.
If you have any suggestions for improvement, please email me. Keep in mind I am still updating the album pages to fix formatting issues that came over in the import from the old store. If you see a broken link, or a missing image, I am working on that. You don’t need to point those out. These issues do not affect your ability to place orders.
Projekt.com will be integrated with Bandcamp, which serves as our audio player. I will be adding more audio files every week. We like Bandcamp because it offers a variety of file formats (including FLAC – higher resolution than MP3s); the other reason we like Bandcamp is because Projekt (and thus the artists) get a larger percentage of your payment (vs. at iTunes or Amazon). Feel free to buy at your favorite store, of course. No matter where you buy, we appreciate that you purchase music! Thanks so much.
There are other exciting things coming this summer. The new website is part one. More announcements soon.
And, of course, Projekt has great new music! August 13 is the street date for Projekt’s next two 2-CD releases. Pre-order them today, to arrive at your door by street date.
Thanks so much for your support and interest over the years.
Lovesliescrushing review from BLURT Magazine
BY MICHAEL TOLAND
It’s been a decade since guitarist Scott Cortez and singer Melissa Arpin-Duimstra last recorded together as Loveliescrushing, but Ghost Colored Halo shows they haven’t lost a step. Indeed, if anything, the band’s tenth album indicates an evolution in sound.
After years of being the dreamiest of dream-poppers, Loveliescrushing moves from the outer edges of the mist deep into the fog itself. Eschewing verses, choruses, hooks and lyrics, the duo dives straight into the ethereal, channeling the purest of sonic impulses through its amp and microphone. Cortez wields no weapon but his guitar, allowing echoing loops and ambient washes to color the oxygen. Arpin-Duimstra responds with phantom keening, often floating so high in the atmosphere it’s impossible to distinguish her larynx from Cortez’s six strings.
With Ghost Colored Halo, Loveliescrushing passes from dream pop directly into the dream.
Physical CD. Only 50 copies left. $13.98 at Projekt
Download. $8 at Bandcamp
Steve Roach iTunes $2 off Sale
Well! Here's something exciting for Projekt. Our new digital distributor arranged a Steve Roach iTunes $2 Off Sale. 20 titles on sale for 2 weeks. What a great chance to stock up on releases you missed; or grab some you have on CD buried in a box somewhere in the basement. Whatever the reason, now is a great time to buy Steve Roach at iTunes!
Here are some of the releases included: All is Now, Destination Beyond, Dreamtime Return, Empetus, Immersion: One, the Serpent's Lair (with Byron Metcalf), Stream of Thought (with Erik Wollo), Structures from Silence, Trance Spirits (with Jefferey Fayman & Robert Fripp), Traveler…
Look through Steve's vast catalog, to find more selections
#1 WEEP: Alate Purchase CD at Projekt $13.98| Download at iTunes $9.99 Merging Doc Hammer’s husky croon, post-punk guitars and catchy 80’s bass-lines/synths, WEEP creates a dark yet satisfyingly upbeat pop album painted by WEEP’s passion and unflinching take on contemporary music.
#2 Autumn’s Grey Solace: Divinian Purchase CD Projekt $13.98 | Download at iTunes $9.99 | Bandcamp $10 Their seventh album, a must-have for fans of darkwave, shoegaze, ethereal wave, and dreampop. Erin’s voice is layered and striking. Free Autumn’s Grey Solace “best of” with orders at Projekt
#3 Voltaire: The Devil’s Bris Deluxe Signed Purchase CD Projekt $13.98 | Download at iTunes $9.99 It’s the 13th Anniversary edition of The Devil’s Bris ~ The Devil?s Bar Mitzvah! New deluxe digipak edition contains the 8-page lyric book, a sticker, and a signed art card (please note that Voltaire’s signature is on the art card, not on the cover). Voltaire’s 1998 debut with “When You’re Evil.”
#4 Various Artists & Jill Tracy: 2012 Holiday Twin Pack Purchase 3-CDs Projekt $19.98 | Download at iTunes $9.99 The Ornamental 2-CD compilation along with Jill Tracy’s Silver Smoke, Star of Night (In the Shadow of Christmas).
#5 Unto Ashes: Burials Foretold Purchase CD Projekt $13.98 | Download at iTunes $9.99 Among the vanguard of apocalyptic folk and neo-Medieval music, Unto Ashes create a breathtaking listening experience that is at once mystical, melancholic and quite simply magnificent.
#6 Emilie Autumn: Fight Like a Girl Purchase CD Projekt $13.98 Beautiful, bizarre, and brazen sonic seductress Emilie Autumn wants you to fight alongside her on this much overdue and eagerly expected follow-up album to her groundbreaking debut, Opheliac.
#7 Falling You: Adore (featuring Love Spirals Downwards, This Ascension, and Claire Voyant) Purchase CD Projekt $13.98 Adore finds Falling You exploring a more optimistic, rock-oriented motif. Though the ethereal / ambient base is still there, the music ranges from ambient, to jangly shoegaze, to melodic space-rock, to dream-pop and finally back to ambient.
#8 Autumn’s Grey Solace: Ablaze ~ SALE $5 Purchase CD Projekt $13.98 | Download at iTunes $9.99 2008 release. “Whereas other bands pile on the doom and gloom to an almost suffocating degree, Autumn’s Grey Solace lets the music breathe. They possess a shimmering beauty that shines through the shadows. A fragile beauty, perhaps, but a beauty nonetheless.” – Liar Society
#9 Arcana: As Bright as a Thousand Suns Purchase CD Projekt $13.98 Their 7th full-length album. As Bright as a Thousand Suns is a sincere and sapience filled opus from a mature collective, ten diverse songs of thoughts and emotions on one album of pure splendour.
To say thanks! for your interest and support, I’ve uploaded another Black Tape For A Blue Girl album for you to download for free at Bandcamp. This is Blacktape’s second album, from 1987, Mesmerized by the Sirens.
It’s been at least a decade since I’ve listened to Mesmerized. As I was preparing the page today, I streamed it beginning to end. As Rain would say, eyebrow raised, “Fascinating, captain!”
I was twenty-one when I recorded Mesmerized. Listening to it earlier today, I thought: “Huh? What kind of bizarre twenty-one year old writes an album like that!” It’s emotional, torn, confused, happy (in moments), dark, dense, beautiful, complex and advanced! If someone sent me a link to this album, and an email, “Hey Mister, check out my demo, what do you think?” I’d be damn impressed! That’s not ego talking, it’s looking back through more than half-a-lifetime of experience, and hearing what’s here! Of course, I hear the 4AD influence, and the Brian Eno influence; but think about it in the context of 1987 (Top-100 of 1987, here ! This was the year Dead Can Dance released Within the Realm of a Dying Sun).
Mesmerized is a very fluid, cohesive and rewarding listen.
For the free download, I added two related bonus tracks. A cover of “Jamais Pars” by my other band, Thanatos; and a cover of “Seireenien Lumoama” created with Bleeding Like Mine. Nice stuff!
On the bandcamp page, you can stream Mesmerized by the Sirens for free, or you can download it for free, and when you download you can even leave a little something. And rest assured we’ll be buying some of that yummy tomato & basil soup at the bodega, and I’ll be thinking of you!
Read the full blog here.