Archive for the ‘Blog from Sam’ Category

ARC00118

Aug 19

A free sampler from Black Tape For A Blue Girl

The Collection (pay-as-you-wish) by Black Tape For A Blue Girl

Given (1. the waterfall 2. the illuminating gas) Across a thousand blades (2007) All my lovers Knock three times (skinny kinda mix) Tell me you’ve taken another (‘09) Remnants of a deeper purity Fortune presents gifts not according to the book The turbulence and the torment Again, to drift (for Veronika) Tear love from my mind love it, share it pinterest google

Hi, this is Sam of blacktape. I’m really happy that somewhere along the way you discovered my music. Getting reconnected with so many of you over the last year has been incredible, amazing and inspiring. I put together this collection for you. It contains many of the “hit” songs we’ve recorded over the years, some introspective album tracks, as well as our cover of a Dead Can Dance song.

If you like the music my bandmates and I have created, please… share the link below!

The Collection sells for $5 at iTunes, or get it for free at blacktape’s Bandcamp page. Ten songs spanning twenty-eight years of music. Thanks so much for your interest.

Please share this link with your friends: https://blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com/album/the-collection

Joe-at-Store

Aug 12

One year anniversary

From Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal

We just had our one year anniversary. “Of what?” you ask? Of Joe running the webstore. “Joe?” you ask, now even more perplexed as you lean in toward your monitor. Yeah. You remember? Remember last year at the end of August, I packed up Projekt and drove cross-country? At that point, Joe took over the fulfillment on the Projekt webstore. “Really?” you ask. “I don’t remember this!” Ok… Maybe it’s because I never mentioned it. That must be it. : )

But things have been running wonderfully, haven’t they?

Projekt orders are filled out of Philadelphia’s Digital Ferret record store. Joe has been the full-time manager of the shop for ten years (that’s him in the photo above, note the Remnants of a deeper purity vinyl on the shelf behind him!). Last Summer, as I prepared for buggin’ out of Brooklyn, Shea and I discussed possibilities for the webstore. One idea was for Shea to take it over, get a space and keep it in NYC; but the rents are just too high out there; without the label income, the webstore would have a hard time making ends meet. Besides, Shea had other plans (moose, travel, lattes, sheep, bikes, life!).

I hit upon the idea of out-sourcing. But India was too far away for mail-orders (Ha! No. No! I never actually considered India). When Shea and I discussed possible partners, we realized the best fit would be a similar business with experience filling web-orders. Ideally, it would be a partner that understood this genre; who could keep things moving seamlessly.

Working with Joe made perfect sense. Digital Ferret Records was already a customer for Projekt CDs; and we both stocked similar import titles, sourcing a lot of the releases from our friends at Audioglobe Distribution in Italy. A big up-side to working with Joe was combining our ordering power, he could order more often from Audioglobe, providing faster fulfillment and a wider variety of titles in the Projekt store. This change was an improvement, not just a solution.

Now it’s been a year and everything has been running great.

[ I have to admit that it was odd for me, to part from my mail-order department. I’ve been sticking musical recordings into packages – and then into the mail – for 30 years. It was a change, not having this department under my roof. But now it feels really good, because things work so effortlessly. And since you’re probably wondering… Yes! Shea still works for Projekt. She does behind-the-scenes label promotions stuff, as well as works on the website, tweets, facebookering, etc. Stuff she can do from the international space station, or wherever she’s at this week! ]

I asked Joe if he wanted to add anything to this post, and he emailed back: “I am not really one for words. Music is my passion. The more engulfed in this world I am, the happier I am.”

Shea and I really want to thank Joe for picking up the ball and running with it. And I bet our mail-order customers want to thank you, too. Now they know who to thank. It’s Joe!!

You can leave Joe a comment when you place your next order at Projekt.com.

Bandcamp top-5 of the last 30 days#1 Various: Summer 2014 – electronic & ambient sampler #2 tie: Erik Wollo: Tundra (ep) #2 tie: Steve Roach: The Delicate Forever #4 tie: Loren Nerell / Mark Seelig: Tree of Life #4 tie: Steve Roach / David Kelly: The Long Night

Sam-2014

Aug 11

ProjektList#140811, Sam’s thoughts about music, creativity, Gimme Shelter…

Grab your cup-o-joe, and get into today’s email list from Projekt Record’s Sam Rosenthal…

Last Friday, I went to the movies and caught a 35mm print of the Maysles’ documentary, Gimme Shelter; it’s about the 1969 Rolling Stones tour that ended with the horrific Altamonte free concert. There are so many thoughts still running through my head. Imagine being Mick Jagger: 26 years old, at the height of the Stone’s 60s popularity. What an amazing & scary position to be in. And think of the culture as the 60s drew to a close: “It was also a grim time around the world. The assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, the Tet Offensive, the brutal suppression of the Prague Spring – all of these were recent memories.” (open culture)

Mick was attractive and charasmatic, the Stones were hot! What did people really expect them to do? They were in the middle of a messed up situation, they tried to calm the audience and Angels down, they played their music, they got the hell out of there. Obviously there should have been real security, and a moat between the audience and the stage. But sometimes things are just bad; none of the acts on stage were able to prevent the way that day went down.

That day, almost 45 years ago.

Although I run a goth/electronic/ambient label, I was informed by the late-60s rock-n-roll sensibility. I think in those terms, as far as success, and popularity, and reach. Sadly, it’s a world that is receding into the past. What band is as big as the Beatles or the Stones? Who puts out music that is as meaningful to such a large group of people? Do fans still follow a band’s progress like they did back then, anticipating their next single or album?

Download this great compilation, your soundtrack to today’s elist. It’s a pay-as-you-wish Projekt electronic / ambient sampler. Ninty minutes of fabulous music, available for download or streaming at Bandcamp.

People often tell me that in order to keep Projekt alive, I have to get with the times: I have to run a label based on the modern way the record industry works. This is usually said by people who don’t realize I have been keeping up with the times; I am aware of the industry trends. It doesn’t mean I agree with all of them, or want to follow all of them. It doesn’t mean that all of the trends apply to the music Projekt releases.

Projekt is still here; I run the label for the people who follow the label. Projekt still functions in the world of selling stuff, and money earned off albums that artists have recorded.

The music business today is about giving music away for free to gain “exposure,” to enable touring and merchandising – this is where the big artists make their money. The Stones or U2 or Lady Gaga earn hundreds of millions of dollars touring. The biggest source of income is no longer the recorded album.

Which is sad. Because there are so many classic albums that mean so much to me. Fripp & Eno’s No Pussyfooting never would have existed, if 1973 was only about playing live or singles. Sad.

And yet I am still thinking about albums, and concept albums, and my friends recording in their home studios. That’s what I do, that’s the way I work. The nice thing is that there are fans out there who appreciate the recorded work of Projekt artists. When I check the stats, about 66% of Projekt’s digital income comes from full-album downloads. And physically, the label is almost entirely full-albums.

Projekt’s not a hit-song label. Voltaire is the exception. He has tracks that are massively downloaded individually, rather than as part of an album. But when somebody is interested in Steve Roach or Erik Wollo or Unto Ashes, they generally want the whole album. They want to dive into the work. I think that’s  a legacy of the 60s and 70s perspective on music.

I am told that’s yesterday’s news, and I should get over it. But come on! I love that world.

I’m a rock-n-roller. I want to listen to an artist’s vision: 40 or 60 minutes of their work. I rarely put on single songs. I listen to albums. I know it’s archaic of me; yet it’s the way music exists for me. As a listener and as an artist.

Black Lung: The Great Golden Goal  $15 Die Form: Rayon X Standard CD | $19 Grendel: Soilbleed Redux V.2   $12 Hexperos: Lost in the Great Sea | $20 In Strict Confidence: Lifelines Vol. 1 (91-98) – The Extended Versions $16

In Strict Confidence: Lifelines Vol. 2 (98-04) – The Extended Versions $16 The Klinik: 1984-1991 8-CD Box Set | $90 Lacrimosa: Live in Mexico City  $30 Lustmord: Beyond Re-issue  $15 Lustmord: The Dark Places of the Earth Re-issue  $15 Noisuf-X: Invasion Limited 2-CD  $24 Raison D’etre: Requiem for Abandoned Souls Expanded 2-CD Re-issue | $22 Steve Roach: The Delicate Forever with Bonus CD | $14 (only a few bonus CDs left) Steve Roach: The Desert Collection (Volume One) | $14 Tanzwut: Eselsmesse Limited Edition 2-CD | $25 Various Artists: History of NDW  $22 Erik Wøllo: Tundra EP | $10

I am often told by people (on Facebook) that the album format is dead. They say we should all give up on that and release singles. Or Eps. I know the Cocteau Twins used to do that in the 80s, and I was always excited to hear their new work. Yet, I really loved getting a whole album, so I could drift below the surface and immerse myself in the world they created.

That’s the way I imagine Projekt fans: I imagine you’re a lot like me. You anticipate hearing where your favorite artist is going to take you. What new experience will they bring? That’s what music means to me. Yeah.

And that’s what I do in my band, Black Tape For A Blue Girl. I work on a set of songs that capture where I am at; I capture a certain moment in time. Alas, it takes me longer and longer between albums; I get distracted by all my obligations at Projekt. But I try to give myself time alone, to focus on music. This weekend, I created the basis for two new songs. When I begin, I don’t have a melody or lyric in mind. I turn on the synths, or get out the guitar, and I layer sounds together. I let it evolve. There’s some sort of ineffable process. I don’t know why this instrument needs to be turned up, or why I chose that chain of effects to process a sound, or why I think, “it needs something stringy here.” But I just know it needs to happen; that’s the creative process. You can’t explain it.

I have a number of new tracks evolving (separate from the June’14 studio access release, which you can still download for free here). These are song-oriented pieces; some sound like they are going to be dark-instrumentals, with violins on top.

There are two pieces to this concept in my mind. One is “time” and the other is “return.” I have an idea to return to the mood and sound of this lush garden or remnants of a deeper purity. To work in that vein, but with modern tools. I am intrigued. The “time” component has to do with all of us changing, growing, evolving. What has happened to us since those albums were released? It was almost 20 years ago!< I'll be in NYC in October, and I plan to go into a studio to record with my band. We will work on the pieces I've begun here in Portland; I'm excited to hear what we come up with. If I'm happy with the progress, I plan to Kickstart a new album for 2015 release. Yeah, I know. Six years after 10 Neurotics! Forever. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans” as John Lennon said.

See, that’s the way I think. All these quotes, and moments, and events from rock-n-roll history. They have shaped my brain. Shaped my identity. And shaped who I am as a musician.

Projekt is 31 years old this month. Most of my life has been shaped by rock-n-roll!

And who thought I would quote Taylor Swift, but here goes:

Arrows Through the Heart There are always going to be those artists who break through on an emotional level and end up in people’s lives forever. The way I see it, fans view music the way they view their relationships. Some music is just for fun, a passing fling (the ones they dance to at clubs and parties for a month while the song is a huge radio hit, that they will soon forget they ever danced to). Some songs and albums represent seasons of our lives, like relationships that we hold dear in our memories but had their time and place in the past.

However, some artists will be like finding “the one.” We will cherish every album they put out until they retire and we will play their music for our children and grandchildren. As an artist, this is the dream bond we hope to establish with our fans.

10 Projekt Cds for $15.

Purchase Here. Projekt has tons of overstock CDs in our storage space: wonderful music that longs to be heard! Help us clean up the place, and receive hours of enjoyment at the same time! $25 gets you 10 random Projekt CDs: a surprise selection of amazing Projekt music. This offer is limited, order your box today!

I know there are Projekt artists that you cherish, that will stay with you all your life.  Those of you who read this list and order from our store have probably found “the one.” And I really appreciate that it’s an artist I’ve released on Projekt. You are the people who support our creativity and truly value that we’re still out there on the edge, making new music.

Three weeks ago, Projekt released Steve Roach’s The Delicate Forever. The first 500 customers (at steveroach.com and projekt) received a bonus album, The Delicate Beyond. Steve and I brainstormed many different ideas for how to release that second disc, and what felt really good was giving it away with initial orders. We appreciate your support of Steve’s music, and your dedication to his creativity.

For artists, the number of loyal fans have decreased over the years. Yet speaking from my own experience with Blacktape, those of you who have stuck with me are more devoted than ever. I’ve learned this doing a few Kickstarters. Back in the late 80s and early 90s, I’d connect with people via snail mail. Letters. Then when the internet came along, communication dropped off (strangely enough). Doing Kickstarters has rekindled this relationship. You tell me about the joy you get from the work I create. It really is a big thing for me.

I have to be honest. Back in the day, recording a song was a relief valve. It was a way to deal with personal angst (“For you will burn your wings upon the sun,” for example!). Over the years, I changed. I got more comfortable with myself. And being a dad has been a wonderful opportunity to connect with somebody, to love somebody completely, and be more than my own personal collection of angst and drama.

I still make music, but it serves a different purpose.

All along, the song itself was not the source of my satisfaction. What I was excited about was connecting with listeners: having my communication received. In other words, I don’t think I’d keep making music, if nobody heard it. It just wouldn’t fulfill me to make a song, and put it in a drawer. The completion of the communication is what I like.

For that reason, I should get over this concern I have about my music being out there for free. I will admit that I’m a contradiction in this regards. I grew up in the 70s, and came up through the 80s music scene when we sold cassettes and LPs. On into the 90s, Blacktape (and Projekt) sold a lot of music. Blacktape has sold over 120,000 units! These things (sales) indicate “success” to me as an artist. It meant my communication was being received. Nowadays, so much music is heard, but there is no real way to measure that ‘success.’

Maybe I just need to get over it?

I have to really think into this. Am I attempting to justify the change I don’t like? Or can I let go of the past and the old way of doing things? Can I move on with the way things are? As Buddhists say: Suffering is not accepting reality for what it is.

“People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy, and Liberation

I’ll admit that it fu¢ks with my head. Can I work with the way things are? My views of the past are sometimes productive, but sometimes they get in the way. There is only now.

I have a number of musician friends who – thought they won’t say it publicly – have given up on making music. They feel like a very personal part of themselves is taken for granted, or worse: stolen from them. They just aren’t happy anymore with what is going on, as well as the reality that they cannot break even making their art. It’s a great loss. It’s sad that they are chosing to quiet their voice out of disappointment.

For me, I know I have a dillema about this. I could use a therapist who talks us musicians off the ledge. Somebody who helps us see what we’re gaining in the new music industry. We’ve been raised with certain mileposts. Things have changed. That is clear.

Back to the Stones.

I never expected to write another “Gimme Shelter,” or play a free concert for 300,000 people. But I have grown up on rock, and music is my world. I do what I do because it’s part of me.

It’s really great that you enjoy it, and you allow me to live my non-mainstream life, via it. That’s pretty cool, people. Thank you again.

Sam

 

Agonoize: Apokalypse Limited 2-CD Berlin-based inferno of hard beats, brutal shouts and thudding bass. $23 Android Lust: The Dividing (10th anniversary 2-LP Vinyl edition) Limited edition on clear vinyl. $25 Ataraxia: Wind At Mount Elo Modern Classical/Neofolk masterpiece by the Italian project. $18 Cocksure: TVMALSV Bridging the gap between waxtrax! era industrial and future sounds of mass corruption. $14 Deine Lakaien: Acoustic II $25 Deine Lakaien: Farewell/Where the Winds Don’t Blow CDS First taster for the new album Crystal Palace. $11 Deine Lakaien: Crystal Palace Limited Box A return to the sonic atmospheres of the early days (1986-1990). $49 Deine Lakaien: Crystal Palace Limited Digipak +3 Bonus Tracks $25 Funker Vogt: Survivor 3-CD Box Collector’s Edition with bonus material and rare, unreleased tracks. $26 Heimataerde: Kaltwaerts Limited 2-CD BOX A unique mix of electro-sounds and medieval atmosphere. $85 Heimataerde: Kaltwaerts Limited 2-CD $23 Heimataerde: Kaltwaerts $19 In Slaughter Natives: Cannula Coma Legio The band delves into more obscure ambient territories. $14 KMFDM: We Are Live album features favorites new and old. $14 Lustmord: Kraków October 22 2010 Live limited edition. $24 Pride and Fall: Turn the Lights On EP Remix contest EP with exclusive b-side. $15 Project Pitchfork: Blood 2-CD + Book An interlocked, carefully conceive, powerful dark electro album. $59 Project Pitchfork: Blood $20 Prude: The Dark Age of Consent Wild mix of 70’s NYC punk/glam with a harsh, damaged electronic edge. $14 Sequential Access: Sex Addict Anonymous 13 tracks of pure golden era electro-industrial. $14 Sopor Aeternus: Mitternacht CD/Book All-new album with 36-page book. $55 Sopor Aeternus: Mitternacht 2-LP $90 Staubkind: Alles Was Ich Bin Limited 4-CD Box Berlin-based group walks the tightrope between cinematic rock anthems and fragile ballads. $53 Staubkind: Alles Was Ich Bin Limited 2-CD $23 The Birthday Massacre: Violet LP Limited Ediition purple vinyl. $19 The Lonely Soul Experience: Path of Blood Blutengel’s Chris Pohl takes us into opulent fantasy-worlds. $19 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Holdrejtek Medieval-influenced ethereal vocals, violin, acoustic and percussion. $23 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Mohalepte 2-CD Re-issue Bonus cd includes three previously unreleased songs! $25 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Of Dreams Forgotten And Fables Untold Re-issue $22 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Rego Rejtem Re-issue $22 Various Artists: Amphi Festival 2014 Who’s who of the electro and gothic scene. $15

 

 

Link-a-doodle-doo

Kurt Sutter Calls Out Google: Stop Profiting from Piracy Read it at Variety | This is really good, and worth reading. And sharing. “Google is in the process of systematically destroying our artistic future, and more importantly, the future of our children and grandchildren. They’re spending tens of millions of dollars each year on eroding creative copyright laws.”

Tricky trademark question! Read it at Telegraph.co.uk | Wikimedia, the non-profit organisation behind Wikipedia, has refused a photographer’s repeated requests to stop distributing his most famous shot for free – because a monkey pressed the shutter button and should own the copyright

Stephen Colbert Gives Life Advice to Young Girls Watch it at Time.com 

Clintons Support de Blasio’s Push to Bring Democratic Convention to Brooklyn Read it at N.Y. Times | Well, don’t actually read it. I just wanted to point out this high quality, NYC snarksmanship: Asked about Mr. Rendell’s comments on Wednesday, Mr. Ragone replied, “Can you quote me shrugging?”

The Brazilian Bus Magnate Who’s Buying Up All the World’s Vinyl Records Read it at N.Y. Times

Your Favorite Songs, Abridged Read it at NPR.org | When they say “twice the music,” though, they actually mean half the song. That is, this station plays songs that have been heavily edited: long opening riffs, instrumental breaks, even a chorus or two might disappear. The goal, the station’s representatives say, is to keep listeners from getting bored.

 

Steve Roach: The Delicate Forever

“The title for this release is more than adequate, as the atmosphere it creates is so fragile and otherworldly that it feels as if it might shatter to little pieces at the slightest touch. . . . A concept so unreachable that it resembles a desert mirage.” – Santa Sangre Magazine

Purchase the CD $14 | stream or digital download at Projekt’s bandcamp store | 24/96 High Res at Spotted Peccary | purchase a download at iTunes .

Summer 2014 – Projekt electronic & ambient sampler

(pay-as-you-wish) Available at Bandcamp.

If you’d like to share this eList with friends, you can link to: http://www.projekt.com/store/?p=5798

Sam<

PROMO43

Aug 07

Free electronic / ambient sampler at Bandcamp

Free sampler at Bandcamp

Summer 2014 Electronic & Ambient Sampler Stream or download at our Bandcamp store. Projekt has been very active with a number of amazing new albums in the electronic and ambient genres. I created this sampler to give you an overview of these albums; see which ones excite you! Ninty minutes of music from Steve Roach, Erik Wøllo, Steve Roach / Kelly David, Mercury’s Antennae, Loren Nerell / Mark Seelig, Byron Metcalf / Mark Seelig and Sam Rosenthal.

Please share this link with your friends: http://projektrecords.bandcamp.com/album/summer-2014

Copyright © 2014 Projekt, All rights reserved. Cover image by Kentleigh (a.k.a. rebel28) Projekt Records; 732 South 4th Street; Philadelphia, PA 19147

Aug 04

ProjektList#140804, Sam’s thoughts (continued). News, links + griping about the record industry .

Grab your cup-o-joe, and dive into today’s email list from Projekt Record’s Sam Rosenthal…

Good morning! I want to start right off by saying Projekt is doing fine, my life is pretty great. Some people translated all the griping on last week’s list as some coded message that we’ve reach the end of days ’round these parts. Nope, not the case at all. I have a nice life thanks to all of you! I work for myself in a really lovely house from 1907, with my cat by my side. My son is here half the week, and I take breaks to make him lunch and be talked at about Minecraft. Almost every day I get on the phone with one of my favorite artists: Steve Roach! We’re always brainstorming great new things for you, working on album covers and promotions that keep the music flowing. I get to work with many other talented artists; and I just finished the bi-annually royalty payment mailing! I guestimate Projekt has paid $500,000 in royalties over the last 30 years. It’s a pretty sweet, gig, all things considered.

Please understand that grumbling about the state of the music industry is only one aspect of running Projekt. I’d speculate that thinking about this ¢rap occupies only 5 – 10% of my time! There is a lot of great stuff going on here; otherwise, I would have stopped doing this a loooooong time ago. – Sam

Download this great compilation, your soundtrack to today’s elist. It’s a pay-as-you-wish Projekt electronic / ambient sampler. Ninty minutes of fabulous music, available for download or streaming at Bandcamp.

 

Previously, on the Projekt eList…

On last week’s list (read here) I discussed the changes at Facebook that mean you’ll no longer see posts from the bands and artists you “liked;” and offered a chart of just how little income Projekt’s earn via Spotify. The most important bit of information (to get you up to speed for today’s list) is this:

At Spotify, on 6 months of Black Tape For A Blue Girl sales, the average per stream payment was $.00523 (before my distributor’s fees)…. If you average 13 tracks per album, and an earning of $155.39 for 2285 albums, that’s 6.80¢ per album. Hmmmmmmmmm? A cup of coffee or a beer is worth $4; an album is worth under 7¢ ?

This is the point that a lot of us artists find hard to believe. Today’s generation of “music fans” find it okee-dokey that an album is only worth 1.75% of what a beer costs at a baseball game!

and now a brief commercial interruption, before we begin… Available for pre-order at Projekt:

Android Lust: The Dividing 10th Anniversary 2-LP | $25

Expected Early August. EMOTIONAL INDUSTRIAL. 10th Anniversary edition of Android Lust’s critically acclaimed sophomore album, The Dividing. Released only digitally and as a limited edition clear vinyl, this version features brand new remixes from Collide, Gregory Stewart (Z Marr/Combichrist), I, Parasite, Inertial and R010R. Spiritual Front: Vladimir Central Ltd Ed Vinyl 12″ | $35 Expected Late August. A superlimited edition of 200 hand-numbered and signed (by Simone) copies. Special screenprinted vinyl (print on Side A, music on Side B). Including an insert and sticker and containing two new, exclusive songs.

 

picking up where list#140728 left off…

Now, I am sure you are not one of the people arguing that music should be (almost) free; I know that you support artists with your hard-earned dollars and your purchases of Projekt releases. But for the rest of these people: seriously?! Albums don’t just magically appear out of thin air. It takes a lot of time and effort for all of us to create this work. And while most of us love doing it, we certainly don’t mind being compensated for our effort. Voltaire crowd-funded nearly $54,000 at indiegogo for Raised by Bats, and he spent it all (and more) making the album! Artists pour hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into their creations.

When people consume these albums at a rate of 7¢ per unit, how can an artist ever hope to recoup their costs, let alone earn enough to live off? This is where the internet and streaming has brought us.

This is not healthy for society. Our society consumes a lot of art. Somehow, people have to decide that art is worth supporting. If nobody was listening to music, then I’d agree that we shouldn’t be paid. But clearly the music is being listened to… People want to hear music and watch movies and play games. Yet many don’t want to pay a living wage for it.

Most artists earn less than fast food employees.

And let me just say, Don’t give credence to the “but you make your money touring” meme. That’s an excuse to let somebody else pay the bill. Yes, U2 grossed $750million on their last tour. But — surprise surprise — Bono didn’t share any of that with us. Black Tape For A Blue Girl loses money when we tour. Most Projekt bands lose money when they tour. A few (Voltaire, Steve Roach) make a profit. But the idea that most artists make a living touring? That is a false meme, designed to muddy the waters.

Where does Projekt’s digital income come from?

I pulled a report for one year of Projekt’s digital sales via our distributor, eOne.     #1 – 58% of Projekt’s digital income is from iTunes    #2 – 18% Amazon    #3 – 7% emusic    #4 – 5% Spotify (average = $.00485 per stream, 206 streams earns a dollar)    #5 – 4% Google Play    #6 – 3% YouTube (average = $.00089 per video played, 1123 plays equals a dollar)

Please note that this doesn’t include Bandcamp; their income does not come to us via eOne, because Projekt works direct with them, Bandcamp would be #2 on this chart, ahead of Amazon! Thanks so much for supporting Projekt directly; I really appreciate that! BC take a 12% fee, vs. the 33% that goes to iTunes+eOne. It’s better for Projekt and the artist when you buy at Bandcamp.

I’ve changed my mind (again) about Streaming music

Back in September 2011, I was completely anti-Spotify. No way! I didn’t want Projekt music up there! But then in late 2012, I saw the writing on the wall. “Everyone” was migrating to streaming, and many label owners told me that Spotify was their third biggest source of digital income, with no decline in their iTunes sales. It was extra found money, they said. It wouldn’t cannibalize download sales, they said. I figured I needed to play the game for a while, at least long enough to get good data to make a decision. I put up about 75% of Projekt’s music at streaming sites in early 2013. I didn’t announce this, I wanted to see what would happen organically. Would people discover the music? Would it find a whole bunch of lost Projekt fans? And would sales increase? I didn’t include every album. I really can’t get behind giving away the music that’s still selling at iTunes and Amazon and Bandcamp.

I know, I know. I’m a capitalist. I like money coming in so I can share it with my artists/friends.

I like paying to keep a roof over my head, and that guacamole I love so much!

2013 turned out to be the year that streaming won the war. Projekt’s digital sales dropped 30% year-over-year as people migrated to free platforms. The first 1/2 of 2014 saw a non-stop series of articles about the record industry taking a big hit in 2013. Why? Streaming. People are growing to like free music.

Hell, I like streaming!

I listen to a ton of music on rdio; albums that I never would have bought otherwise (in one two day period, I listened to the first seven Bob Dylan albums. Another evening, the first four from Depeche Mode. A few nights ago, two early Tangerine Dream albums I’ve never owned but have been curious about). I also stream albums I already own. I was given a free rdio subscription (because I’m in the biz!), but I recently paid for a renewal, rather than mooch another free extension. I use the service a lot, I want to pay…

What I pay will never properly compensate artists for the music I listen to. I know this.

And yet, even with the drop in income at Projekt, I was starting to lean towards an “Oh, why not?” attitude about tracks at streaming sites. If you can’t beat them join them. But last week, I went ape shit and freaked! Why? Tethered downloads! I realized “streaming” is a false term (thank you Fianna Jones and Todd Loomis for pointing this out). When people subscribe to Spotify, those streamed tracks can be downloaded to the listener’s device, and carried with them when they are not online (tethered downloads remain available, as long as they pay their subscription rates).

I’m an idiot, I didn’t realize that. This means “streaming” is absolutely replacing the sales of “digital downloads,” as they serve the same purpose. People can pay $10 for one album at iTunes, or $10 for every album available at Spotify, and they can carry it with them.

Shea commented: A tethered download is essentially a free download with an expiration date. It’s irresistible – what a great deal! It works in the airplane (since you already stored it)! It works in the car in the middle of nowhere. It works on the subway! Complete garbage!

Last week, I changed my streaming instructions with eOne. I left 17% of the label for streaming, essentially one album per artist (plus the entire Voltaire catalog).

Brian John Mitchell of QRD Records commented: “Spotify earnings go up in percentage pretty regularly for me as the overall digital earnings go down. Sigh….”

Yes, big sigh!

Yet another (mostly false) meme swirling around the internet is that streaming leads to sales. I know there are Projekt fans who tell me this is true for them; but they are a minority. For those who try before they buy, I left some music up for “exposure” purposes.

But let me ask this, “If streaming actually leads to sales, why aren’t sales up, instead of down?” Nobody has been able to refute this.

I also ask, “If streaming leads to sales, why doesn’t Spotify have a link to Amazon, with an affliate code so they earn a micropenny with every sale?” Answer: because they know streaming doesn’t led to sales in any meaningful way.

Exposure. If you want to hear music from Projekt’s latest releases, we have bandcamp embeds on all the album pages of the site. And you can hear full tracks from Projekt’s artists at bandcamp.

Spotify Hits 10 Million Paid Users. Now Can It Make Money? read at Bloomberg

Agonoize: Apokalypse Limited 2-CD Berlin-based inferno of hard beats, brutal shouts and thudding bass. $23 Android Lust: The Dividing (10th anniversary 2-LP Vinyl edition) Limited edition on clear vinyl. $25 Ataraxia: Wind At Mount Elo Modern Classical/Neofolk masterpiece by the Italian project. $18 Cocksure: TVMALSV Bridging the gap between waxtrax! era industrial and future sounds of mass corruption. $14 Deine Lakaien: Acoustic II $25 Deine Lakaien: Farewell/Where the Winds Don’t Blow CDS First taster for the new album Crystal Palace. $11 Deine Lakaien: Crystal Palace Limited Box A return to the sonic atmospheres of the early days (1986-1990). $49 Deine Lakaien: Crystal Palace Limited Digipak +3 Bonus Tracks $25 Funker Vogt: Survivor 3-CD Box Collector’s Edition with bonus material and rare, unreleased tracks. $26 Heimataerde: Kaltwaerts Limited 2-CD BOX A unique mix of electro-sounds and medieval atmosphere. $85 Heimataerde: Kaltwaerts Limited 2-CD $23 Heimataerde: Kaltwaerts $19 In Slaughter Natives: Cannula Coma Legio The band delves into more obscure ambient territories. $14 KMFDM: We Are Live album features favorites new and old. $14 Lustmord: Kraków October 22 2010 Live limited edition. $24 Pride and Fall: Turn the Lights On EP Remix contest EP with exclusive b-side. $15 Project Pitchfork: Blood 2-CD + Book An interlocked, carefully conceive, powerful dark electro album. $59 Project Pitchfork: Blood $20 Prude: The Dark Age of Consent Wild mix of 70’s NYC punk/glam with a harsh, damaged electronic edge. $14 Sequential Access: Sex Addict Anonymous 13 tracks of pure golden era electro-industrial. $14 Sopor Aeternus: Mitternacht CD/Book All-new album with 36-page book. $55 Sopor Aeternus: Mitternacht 2-LP $90 Staubkind: Alles Was Ich Bin Limited 4-CD Box Berlin-based group walks the tightrope between cinematic rock anthems and fragile ballads. $53 Staubkind: Alles Was Ich Bin Limited 2-CD $23 The Birthday Massacre: Violet LP Limited Ediition purple vinyl. $19 The Lonely Soul Experience: Path of Blood Blutengel’s Chris Pohl takes us into opulent fantasy-worlds. $19 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Holdrejtek Medieval-influenced ethereal vocals, violin, acoustic and percussion. $23 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Mohalepte 2-CD Re-issue Bonus cd includes three previously unreleased songs! $25 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Of Dreams Forgotten And Fables Untold Re-issue $22 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Rego Rejtem Re-issue $22 Various Artists: Amphi Festival 2014 Who’s who of the electro and gothic scene. $15

On Facebook, Fianna Jones wrote: I disagree with you here, Sam. I think that over the lifetime of a song, paying per listen will generate higher revenue than paying to own. I could buy an album once, say for $15.00. After costs, that probably nets Projekt and the artist $3.00-$5.00 in unit profit. I may listen to that album 100 times over the course of the years which I own it. But you’ll never see another cent of revenue on that unit. If I use a service like Spotify, you see revenue every single time I listen to that song, even if I only listen to it for 10 seconds on shuffle. Best rate I can find as an average, Premium subscribers generate .0175 cents per play. So, if I listen to that album (the complete album, so say 10 songs) 100 times over the course of listening to that album on Spotify, I’ll generate $17.50 in revenue, with much lower distribution costs.

I replied: I understand this concept, but sorry, that $.0175 number is OFF! $.00485 per stream is the average for Projekt. 100 streams = 48.5¢. If you listen to a 10 song album x 100 times (1000 streams) you will generate $4.85. I think the math only works for an artist who gets 1,000,000 plays on a track ($4850). It doesn’t add up for fringe musicians.

David Daydodge (and others) wrote: Thank you. Streaming should be illegal until there are fair compensation laws in effect.

I replied: Someday, THE TRUTH will come out. Why are the major labels agreeing to this low royalty rate? The speculation is (a) they got a big upfront payment they don’t pay the artists (b) they have some sort of rigged accounting system, so they don’t pay artists until their # of plays pass a certain threshhold (c) they probably got stock which they will sell at the Spotify IPO.

I was talking about a different problem with the V.P. at eOne, our distributor. He said, “Sam, you’re right. This situation is fu¢ked up. But the whole record business is fu¢ked up. You’re trying to apply logic to the wild west.” And that comment is equally true here. I am making an ethical decision about Projekt artists’ music, even though I know it is mostly a pointless gesture.

On Facebook, Erik A. Ingmanndsen asked: If you feel it’s a pointless gesture (which I don’t) then why do it ??< I replied: Why follow through on a pointless gesture? Because it’s the right thing to do, ethically.

Scott Cortez (of Lovesliescrushing) commented: Yes, take music back and put it in the hands of musicians. Why does everyone feel entitled to take from musicians? No one expects people at Starbucks to give them coffee, a contractor to build your house, a doctor to operate, a portrait painter to paint your picture, or a writer to write shit for you for free or to pay these people fractions of pennies.

Loren Nerell shared this interesting Salon article. “More musicians are taking aim at the rates paid by Spotify and Pandora, and warning whole genres are in danger.”

I realize each artist has their own experience of what works for them; no two stories are the same. I like including comments from other people in the music industry, so you know it’s not just Projekt feeling this squeeze. Let’s read what another small label has to say:

Brian John Mitchell writes: For Silber Records, since Spotify launched I have taken a significant drop in digital earnings & if I could sell every CD in the basement at a loss I would do it, just to clear the space in my house.

My experience with bands I tour with (post rock, drone, metal, punk, slowcore, noise (I’m a little diverse)) is that physical sales at gigs are tough. It’s also worth noting that the rise of festivals modeled after CMJ/SXSW in every city with 100K people in it has made things even worse for young bands.

I do know some people who have generated some success over the past five years & I’m super happy for them. I wish I could say that they didn’t have family members shelling out ten grand per release to finance that success.

As the recent comments have said, all of this is anecdotal & I want to have a positive attitude I guess I must because yesterday I announced that I’m planning 20 releases on Silber in the next few months. At this point for me the music industry is still more fun & rewarding than video games, but maybe less fun rewarding than landscaping….

What about our friends in Greece? 

Hello Sam, My name is Dimitris and I live in Greece. I have to tell you that I really support your struggle for a better Projekt Records. I am not a fan of streaming services and like to buy the physical medium cds or LPs. Soooo I would like to buy some of Projekt records without to pay the double price for shipping from USA. Are there any solutions appart from buying from a record store (I couldn’t find many of your records (or in a reasonable price) here) or paying amazon etc?

Regards, Dimitris    

From Sebastian at my European distributor, Audioglobe: Unfortunately I don’t know which city in Greece you live in, but please note, that following shops in Greece buy PROJEKT titles from us and if they don’t have the title you are looking for, they will order if for you:

ATHENS: DARKCELL Records ZULU Records LE DISQUE NOIR DARKSIDE Records

THESSALONIKI: LOTUS Records

Link-a-doodle-doo

Michelle Shocked Releases Silent Album, Names Songs After Music Execs I assumed this article was an Onion joke, but it’s at Rolling Stone. Sorry, this won’t make up for that homophobic rant. Not cool, Michelle.

Much less offensive is the 20th anniversary show from Thanatos; available for free for a limited time at Bandcamp. Patrick is joined by William Faith, Tim Larsen, and Eric Polcyn as they perform a set which includes ten songs from This Endless Night Inside. When Pat runs out of free download codes, there will be a charge, so grab yours now. Or stream it for free, whenevs.

Projekt reviews at Sonic Curiosity: Loren Nerell & Mark Seelig: Tree of life Forrest Fang: The Wolf at the Ruins Byron Metcalf / Mark Seelig: Intention Alio Die & Sylvi Alli: Amidst the Circling Spires Erik Wollo: Timelines & Tundra

Last month, I forgot to mention Voltaire’s July Nooseletter. You can watch it at youTube. Voltaire says, “You’ll hear about the Raised by Bats Indiegogo campaign (what went right and what went wrong), the upcoming Legend of Candy Claws book! Find out what movies I will and won’t be in in the near future… and I unveil my secret project with the talented illustrator, Abigail Larson! Hint: it involves vampires, werewolves, demons and every guest artist on the Raised by Bats album!”

Watch Jean Michel Jarre perfrom Oxygene live, at Synthopia!

Why Is Iced Coffee in NYC Getting So Ridiculously Expensive? Ice ain’t free, ya know. Read at the Gothamist. And then tell me why ice + beans are worth $4.50, and an album is worth 7¢. Ok, wait? I made that point already, right? : )

<– Florian with his big Moog! This website has a good introduction to the many great albums of Germany’s Popul Vuh. Or, if you have no time for eyeball-read-read, this video for “Hüter der Schwelle” is a real standout! It’s an unusual Popul Vuh track that sounds a bit like an instrumental version of the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs!” (Granted, the track is from years later than the photo, and there’s no Moog in it…)

Eric Wøllo: Tundra ep

Limited to 200, our webstore has 25 copies still available, and then it will be sold out. Place your order today for $10 at Projekt, The Tundra EP finds Erik Wøllo creating fascinating atmospheric and rhythmic instrumental electronic music. This 30-minute 5-song ep features all new, previously unreleased tracks that showcase Erik’s ability to incorporate new and fresh elements into his music while remaining true to his unique style. On “Tundra,” “The Native Chant” and “Swirling Lights” the use of throat singing samples and vocals from Arctic indigenous people add a human, earthy element to the electronics.

Streaming & digital download at Projekt’s bandcamp store. Or purchase a download at iTunes.

Alternate Reality

I watched a documentary a few nights ago. In it, a major label band’s manager asked: What might have happened if the record labels had worked with Napster, before fans discovered the pleasures of stealing music?

Here is my extension on his idea: What if instead of suing Napster in 2000, the majors said, “Let’s turn Napster into a legit download store. We’ll give Fanning money, we’ll promote his site….” They could even have bought Napster, and turned it into what iTunes became a few years later. They could have done this, before all of the trouble began. Would it have stopped illegal downloads? No, probably not. But it might have provided a good groundwork for people purchasing music legally.

Sigh. Major labels = heads up a$$.

I message this Alternate Reality to David Lowery of The Trichordist Blog. He replied: True story: Immediately after the Napster ruling, Pfanning and Chris Castle put together something called SNOCAP which would have sat atop the piracy universe of limewire, grokster etc etc, and legitimized each transfer. They cleared it with all labels and publishers. But none of the ISPs or file sharing services would go along.

Ooops. And I was blaming the major labels for being stupid, when… surprise surprise… the problem was the tech industry. Why wouldn’t they go along? Because they like making money off something they didn’t pay to create.

This is where the problem really lies (and The Trichordist does a great job of documenting it with every post). The real reason Congress doesn’t act to stop piracy and/or get artists a fair royalty rate is because the tech industry is against fixing this problem. They make so much money the way things are, they are afeared that a fix will harm their income stream. Status Quo. Google feeds ads to all these sites. The locker sites sell premium subscriptions. Amazon wants you to subscribe to Prime (and forces labels to give our music away as part of the incentives). Why would they want to change any of this?

America has morphed into RoboCopland. We’re all serfs in the fiefdom of the corporations.

Summer 2014 – Projekt electronic & ambient sampler (pay-as-you-wish) Available at Bandcamp.

You like free stuff? We got free stuff!

Projekt’s new elist is an insightful read on how streaming has affected a great #Goth #electronic #ambient label. http://www.projekt.com/store/?p=5707 #ProjektRecords

Share a variation of the text above on your twitter feed (be sure to include the hashtag). On Tuesday, Shea will pick three lucky duckys (from those who shared), and give you a download album of your choice from the Projekt Bandcamp store. It’s easy! Snap Snap! Spread the word. Thanks.

Well. That was a lengthy look at the backstory of running a record label. I hope you found some interesting thoughts in here.

A few of you asked me to create a (non-Facebook) place where you could share comments about the eList. Your command is my wish! I’ve activated the Comments section on this Blog Post. It requires my moderation (unless you have a customer profile and are signed in, then your comments should post instaneous). I’ll check in regularly. Looking forward to reading your thoughts…

Sam

Spot-6months

Jul 28

The Projekt List: Sam’s thoughts. News, links, and griping about the record business.

Facebook + Spotify. M’eh!

Listening to Swans: White Light From The Mouth of Infinity

Hi. Welcome to the Projektlist. Some of you recently joined in response to a message I sent you on Facebook… Welcome! I’ve been making this list more robust, with insight into my experience in the music business, art, and whatever else comes to mind.

In that personal message, I griped that Facebook has a new policy that is rendering the site useless for artists and labels. According to this article, “Increasingly Facebook is saying that you should assume a day will come when the organic reach (of a post) is zero.” That’s right. They don’t want you to see posts from the pages of all those artists and bands and filmmakers you friended, unless we pay to promote (and the cost is between $40 – $150 — per post!!!) That means soon you will only see ads for GM and Taco Bell. Part of the plan is to have videos that auto-play, so when you go to check your messages, you will be subjected to squawky commercials. Just like the commercials on many youtube videos.

Boo, Facebook!

Facebook is growing more and more useless for me; at least I have a bright future to look forward to, one without Facebook in my life.

A small number of people (ok, three!) were quite angry at me for sending a business message to their Facebook inbox. Honestly, I’ve always used my Facebook profile for business, so it didn’t occur to me that this would be a problem. I did want to share one response, because it is an interesting opposing point of view:

AP wrote: Facebook has slowly become more and more about people advertising at each other and less about human interaction between friends. I can’t wait for FB to start charging businesses to make the sorts of “advert-posts” they’ve been allowed to post for free up until now. I think that step will significantly clean up our news feeds and bring them back to the kind of human, social, friend interactions that the site used to be focused on. I think you’re a good guy and I’m interested to hear how your life is going, but I don’t really know what “Projekt” is and I hate to say it but I don’t really care. I’m connected to friends on here because I want to find out when they start and end relationships and when they get married and have kids and how their day was and what’s going on with their lives, not because I want to be a captive target audience for free advertising. I wish you all the luck with your business, but I’m not interested in being on the mailing list. Also, please don’t private message me ads for it. Thank you.

It’s nice to know that my tidy interpretation of the world is not the only version of reality. While I see Facebook’s anti-organic strategy as really horrible, others see it as incredibly positive. I am not a fan of social networking sites for “personal” reasons. I would not be on Facebook for fun, and I get annoyed with myself when I find I spent half an hour on Facebook following links and doing nothing at all. It’s really addictive! Our brain is being rewired by technology and turning our attention span to $hit! Man! I have work to do. Why am I watching these cat videos? We know goats are the future!

Anyhow. It’s easy enough to unfriend me on Facebook. And if you’re sick of this email list, by all means use the “manage my subscription” tool on the bottom to unsubscribe yourself. You’re busy, I get it. I am not offended, and would rather not bother you, especially if you don’t know what Projekt is…

So somebody (on Facebook, naturally) replied in a thread, “Instead of focusing on the cool suggestions people are offering here, you… have given up on trying. So, the problem must be you. I respect your work, and the few real life conversations we’ve had were brief but good – but this attitude sucks, mister.”

This made me realize a few things. (1) People think they know you based on what you post on Facebook. I use it to promote, and gripe – one small part of who I am. I don’t post my real life on Facebook; it’s a buffer against being a public person. (2) People make their own assumptions and apply it to you. Have I given up? If I had, Projekt would have gone out of business years ago, (3) People think that posting variations on “Streaming leads to sales” and “Bands make a living going on tour” is helpful advice to somebody who has been surviving in this business for 30+ years. While these memes might be true for some artists, it is not true for most of us. I have not seen much evidence of streaming leading to sales on a significant level (I have heard individual examples of one sale now and then that results from streaming); and aside from Voltaire and Steve Roach, nobody on Projekt makes a profit on the road. There isn’t a “one size fits all” solution.

Ooooooh, wait, I got off my point. My point being….. I gripe on Facebook. It’s one of my characters over there: The guy at the record label who gripes and stands up for Artists’ rights. I guess maybe this guy missed the previous episodes of the show.

I must tell you that I am very grateful and appreciative of your support. Your love and hard-earned dollars & euros pay the bills over here. I realize that.

When I gripe about these things, it’s because many of you are interested in the inner working of the industry, and I have perspective on what it’s like. And what is it like?

it is like M’eh!  

So, let’s look at Spotify for a minute

Here’s a screenshot of Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Spotify sales report for the first 6 months of the year.

The average per stream payment is $.00523 (before my distributor’s fees). The horizontal columns are albums (“the container”). The number on the right is the combined number of streams for all tracks on that album.  If you average 13 tracks per album, this is 2287 albums streamed. $155.39 for 2287 albums. That’s 6.79¢ per album. Hmmmmmmmmm? A cup of coffee or a beer is worth $4; an album is worth under 7¢ ?

The most-streamed releases on Projekt have many more streams than this. While many albums have fewer. In fact, 65% of Projekt’s releases at Spotify had under 1000 streams per; while the best-streamed was around 92,000 (bringing in $.00446 per stream)

M’eh.

Now a little commercial interruption. The ranking of the top-10 sellers since we revamped the webstore just under a year ago. Steve Roach’s July release – The Delicate Forever – moved up to the #2 spot!

#1 Lycia: Quiet Moments CD $14 #2  Steve Roach: The Delicate Forever (+ Bonus Disc) CD $14 (still a few bonus discs left) #3  Mercury’s Antennae: A Waking Ghost Inside CD $14 #4  Various Artists: PROJEKT200 ~ SALE 3-CD $14 #5  All my faith lost… Redefine my pure faith (Sold out!) | Bandcamp digital download $6 #6  Steve Roach: Structures From Silence (30th anniversary Remastered edition) 3-CD $18 #7  Stratosphere With Dirk Serries: In A Place Of Mutual Understanding CD $14 #8  Erik Wøllo: Tundra EP $10   (this one will be sold out pretty soon, buy now) #9  VARIOUS: Possibilities of Circumstance – SALE CD $5 #10  Forrest Fang: The Wolf At The Ruins / Migration 2-CD $17

Whoa! There’s still a whole bunch more eList that I’ve written; but this is already pretty long, and I’m sure your coffee break ended five minutes ago. I’m going to snip the rest, and continue next week. Here’s a teaser:

I’ve changed my mind (again) about Streaming music Even with the drop in income at Projekt, I was starting to lean towards an “Oh, why not?” attitude about tracks at streaming sites. If you can’t beat them join them. But this week, I went ape $hit and freaked! Why? Tethered Streams! I realized “streaming” is a false term (thank you Fianna Jones and Todd Loomis for this). When people subscribe to Spotify, those streamed tracks can be downloaded to the listener’s device, and carried with them when they are not online (“tethered,” as long as they pay their subscription rates). I’m an idiot, I didn’t realize that. This means streams are absolutely replacing the sales of “digital downloads,” as they serve the same purpose. SORRY, I AM NOT GOING TO HAND PEOPLE THE KNIFE TO HOLD AGAINST PROJEKT ARTIST’S THROAT. I’m taking most of Projekt’s music back down from streaming.

Please support Projekt’s artists at bandcamp.

If you want to comment on any of this, visit my Facebook page , where there are plenty of threads about these topics.

Do you want a QR code on your headstone? -Read the article at NPR.org

YouTube star sued for copyright to the tune of $150,000 per song – Read at engadget | I see both sides of this. On one hand, Google’s argument would be that the label is getting paid their < $.00089 per video played, so they are technically compensated. Yet the artist’s argument is that the usage – like in a film or tv show – should be negotiated and fairly compensated. When does YouTube become like a network TV show? Is it the number of views the video gets? (Next week, I’ll document that $.00089 figure)

AARC Class Action Lawsuit against Ford& GM – Read at arcroyalties Really? The problem in the music industry is the hard drive in your Ford and GM automobile? Seriously, THIS is who they think they should be suing!?

Joe Biden is the last real eccentric, and he knows it, and he plays it to the hilt because it is so much of what he is. Tattered and worn and old as it is. Joe Biden’s freak flag still flies high and proud. – Read at Esquire.com

In Pink Floyd’s “Have A Cigar,” a record label exec says to the band, “You gotta get an album out, You owe it to the people. We’re so happy we can hardly count.” Great line! : )

I learned me at Wikipedia: The Endless River is the upcoming fifteenth studio album by British rock band Pink Floyd. Produced by David Gilmour, Martin Glover, Andy Jackson and Phil Manzanera, the album is set to be released in October 2014. Described as a “swan song” for Wright,The Endless River is mostly an instrumental album consisting primarily of ambient music. The album is based on unreleased material the band produced with Wright during sessions for The Division Bellin 1994, and was originally recorded under the tentative title The Big Spliff.

Paulina Cassidy review at Hypnagogue. Order the CD for $14 / Download for $9

“Fifteen atmospheric pieces that straddle the boundaries of ambient and dream pop wait for you here, with soft vocals chanting beneath heavy layers of echo and effect. Sugar Wingshiver is another excellent release from this unique artist. Take this journey.”

Two new albums added to Bandcamp: Steve Roach’s Immersion: One and Steve Roach’s Immersion: Two

pIMG_1738

Jul 21

The ProjektList July 21 2014 (thoughts, humor, and some music too. & Tapirs)

Witty Headline Goes Here

Another day, another band struggles to get their music heard. If you order a pie from Lonesome’s Pizza here in Portland, you might get a one-of-a-kind pizza box including a local band’s CD. Why? Because, few people want to buy music, but many people want to buy pizza!

Steve Roach and I were talking, and he mentioned a new Jon Hassell 3-CD box set version of City: Works of Fiction. It’s a reissue of a 1990 album with 2 bonus discs. I check in at rdio, and it’s up for streaming.

I don’t understand why labels think it’s a smart idea to put their releases up for free streaming immediately. Seems really suicidal. Why would I go and buy this CD when I can hear it for free, whenever I want?

I appreciate your support of Projekt, and I appreciate that many of you still buy our releases (CDs or downloads). You guys are fantastic, because you allow the music to continue by supporting our work.

I know people love free streaming music. I totally understand, I like it to. But Projekt is a “business;” meaning I am trying to earn a living at this. And paying my artists royalties for their creations is part of that business (in fact, I am in the middle of dispersing royalties, in which Shea and I prepare the spread sheets, and then I mail out checks to Projekt’s artists).

Giving away what we’re trying to sell seems like a bad business model to me. And yet so many labels feel it’s what they have to do. I disagree. I don’t put most new Projekt albums on streaming sites (or Amazon prime). I’d like to see Projekt artists earning something for their work.

Naturally, you can listen to samples of the Projekt releases at our website, via bandcamp embeds. But giving away the entire album at release date? Not so exciting to me.

A few weeks ago, Amazon added “free streaming” to their $99-per-year prime service. Effectively giving away the music that they have been selling for decades. Then last week they added a service where you can read all the Kindle books you want for $9.99 a month. As an artist, I don’t like either of these. They might be wonderful for consumers, but yet again the artist is expected to give away their creation so the big corporations can make more money. All Amazon want is to sell their prime service; in that sense, they are a lot like the locker sites that want to sell you a premium download subscription.

Creative artists are the chum they use to bait customers into buying their premiums. The fact that the artist earns $.007 per stream is somehow acceptable in their world.

Shea jokingly asks, “When will things I really consume figure out this model??  How about $10 a month for all-you-can-drink cortados? Or $40 a month for unlimited sushi?  Seriously! Why is it ok to squeeze more and more out of creative/artistic content?”

To which I replied, “Right! Why is it that only intellectual property has discovered the benefits of giving away your product for free? Come on vinyl pressing plants, headphone manufacturers, restaurants and baggy jeans. ‘Profit’ is so last century.”< Shea replied, with noticeable enthusiasm, "What timing!  TGI Friday’s has introduced Endless Appetizers for only $10.” Werner Herzog could have written this line:

6:59 p.m. The (mozzarella) sticks are inevitable, though. Like death, they will find me. 

Werner Herzog in Burden of Dreams Speaking of the jungle: (YouTube clip) “Kinski always says it’s full of erotic elements. I don’t see it so much erotic. I see it more full of obscenity. It’s just – Nature here is vile and base. I wouldn’t see anything erotical here. I would see fornication and asphyxiation and choking and fighting for survival and… growing and… just rotting away.”

Tomorrow!!! SomaFM and Projekt present the internet radio premiere of Steve Roach’s The Delicate Forever on SomaFm’s Drone Zone. Tuesday July 22 at Noon Pacific Time, 3pm Eastern, 8pm (20:00) GMT. Tune in at http://SomaFM.com/dronezone/

How Coffee Fueled the Civil War – Read at NYTimes.com< After studying the Civil War extensively in school - ugh - this is the most interesting aspect of the war. And I guess all wars. Who controls the coffee? True facts about the Tapir – Watch at YouTube.com “Well, I never thought silly hobbies were appropriate for a grown Tapir, but I do have one trick.” And Bear clapped, “Let’s see it!” he said. “All right, oh! Oh my. Holy… is that!?!”

Tundra Excerpts by Erik Wollo – Watch at YouTube.com A two-minute cross selection of tracks from the Tundra ep

“Well Spring” by Steve Roach – Watch at at YouTube.com Beautiful moving video paintings by Steve Matson, 5 minutes long

Go the Fu€k To Sleep – Read by Werner Herzog at YouTube.com “The tiger reclines in the simmering jungle, the sparrow has silenced her cheep…”

Projekt’s July 22nd releases in stores tomorrow…

PRO00305

Jul 11

Order Steve Roach’s two new CDs & Erik Wollo’s ltd ep

Pre-Orders, shipping the week of July 14 

Steve Roach: The Delicate Beyond CD $14 or Bandcamp Download $10 or 24/96k High Res Studio Master Download | A reverie of gentle and etheric ambient sound meditations that awaken complex and resonant states of emotional and psychological perspectives. The nuanced, minimal electronics interplay with a masterful use of musical space, breath, silence, and rich textural colors in a subtle dynamic flow. Nurturing the senses in inexplicable ways, these sound paintings become an evocative environment for activating a state of rarefied reflections. While supplies last, physical CD orders get a free bonus-CD, the 74-minute The Delicate Beyond.

Steve Roach: The Desert Collection (volume one) CD $14 or Bandcamp Download $10 | Steve writes, “This release started as a collection of desert-themed tracks sequenced for summer road trips between Arizona and California. Sometimes the trip is in dark of night, cloaked from the heat; while other trips are in the broad searing rays of the summer sun. Drawing from over thee decades of desert music, this magical blend creates a set that places one directly into the dramatic and emotive, immersive southwest landscapes. When I hit play on this soundtrack on the way out of Gila Bend heading west recently, thermometer at 105, an hour before sunset, the sky was bleeding orange and red. The first track on The Desert Collection emerged and so did the chills and wet eyes as I was feeling those non-motorized western travelers from not so long ago — like me — looking to ‘go west…’ On board the ‘Ghost Train,’ indeed.”

Erik Wøllo: Tundra (ep) CD $10 or Bandcamp Download $5 | Another in Projekt’s recent collection of extremely limited physical releases. We made 200 copies, Projekt has 130 of these available. If you want one, buy today! The Tundra EP finds Erik Wøllo creating fascinating atmospheric and rhythmic instrumental electronic music. This 30-minute 5-song ep features all new, previously unreleased tracks that showcase Erik’s ability to incorporate new and fresh elements while remaining true to his unique style. A strong emphasis on sequenced rhythmic passages and grooves mixes with spacious deep ambient soundscapes and melodic themes provided by electric guitars and various synthesizers. On “Tundra,” “The Native Chant” and “Swirling Lights” the use of throat singing samples and vocals from Arctic indigenous people add a human, earthy element to the electronics.

On sale at a special low price, as a nice pairing with the titles above:

Various Artists: Possibilities of Circumstance CD $5 or Bandcamp Download $7 | An international gathering of electronic and ambient artists featuring seven previously unreleased tracks. Steve Roach, Erik Wollo, Larry Fast / Synergy, Robert Rich, others…

Tigerselfie2

Jul 07

The Projekt List, get inside Sam’s head. All new content format! With some music, too!

Hello….. This ProjektList was sent at 11:05 this morning. If you are not on the ProjektList, sign-up with the sign-up form on the right side of the page. This is the short-link, if you want to share: http://www.projekt.com/store/?p=5436

Sam writes: Some of you have been receiving the Projekt list for years, if not decades! Do you remember back in the late 90s, when the ProjektList was filled with my thoughts, and ramblings on things that interested me, plus political perspective (oh those days of discussing why Al Gore would be better for the country than George Bush. Yall were so young and naive back then!!!). Some of you loved my thoughts and comments mixed with the music, some of you hated my thoughts and comments mixed with the music. When Facebook came along, it seemed like that would be a place to post the non-music-related stuff, to get it off the ProjektList. But I have found that we have reached a two-fold dead-end with that. (1) Facebook sucks these days, nobody sees posts anymore (more about that below) and (2) when I look at the data about which parts of the ProjektList you are interested in (’cause dude! I see the data of which link-y are getting the most click-y) I notice you are clicking over to the dumb videos, and what I bought my son for his birthday, and non-music-stuff. Oh? Not a lot of people are following through to the music that we’re selling in the webstore.

What?

The ProjektList is serving as a filter for fun stuff to distract you from your day?!?

Ok. I can do that. Perhaps the solution to this problem is to return the elist to where it began: something more like a blog with bits of entertainment, stuff that is catching my eye, with just the right mix of music and internet-based-dumbness.

You know: the stuff that we all use to make our days a little less tedious.

For example, last week, I went to Movie Madness, a DVD store here in Portland OR. Yep! A real-life rent-a-DVD store. I discovered that there are more CLASH DVDs than I can count on two hands, and I’ve only seen two of the last 30 Best Foreign Film Oscar winners.

I also saw “Rosebud,” the sled from Citizen Kane. Who knew it was green with yellow text? Here’s a pix of me with the lion statue from the Kane Xanadu set.

Oh my! The real world. It’s out there.

Why have I been spending my time on youTube, watching videos of cats knocking other cats down stairs!

I want to live!

That said, we all love cats… but maybe goats are the future! Shea hit upon this trend a while back, sending me this video. And now Slate confirms what Shea has known: Goats are the new Cats.

Speaking of Goats, the Belmont Goats are moving. Apparently their two block-long / one block-wide field has gotten too valuable. They are being shipped off to the suburbs (well, 92nd Ave); I bet somebody will build another 5 story condo on their spot. Sounds like what happened to 4th Avenue in Brooklyn. Well, minus the goats.

The days of thriving Facebook pages are coming to an end quickly

Why does Facebook suck? Let me count the ways! We were discussing this on my FB page this weekend. If you are an artist, band or small business, and have been wondering what the heck is wrong with your page these days, the two videos on this link are essential viewing to understand why Facebook has become useless.

“Facebook has this ongoing incentive to restrict more and more the organic reach of posts, in order to force people to pay to promote them. And I think that really changes the ethos of the site.”

What I have heard is that only 3% of the people who like the Projekt Records FB page see my posts. This means all those bands and labels you “liked?” Well, you’re no longer seeing their updates in your feed! Facebook is rigged to keep you from seeing the posts you wanted to see. Why? They want us to pay… for every post. And we’re not talking something reasonable like $10 a month. We’re talking between $30 and $150…. a POST!!! I’m so fed up with Facebook.

As an experiment, I tried doing a paid post on my personal page (where it’s cheaper than a business page). It cost $7. You know what happened? My post got 8 likes. Back in the day (ie: two months ago), most posts got 30 – 100 likes. Not anymore. It’s pay-to-play at Facebook now.< Those videos also explain all the fake profiles making friend requests. I was talking about this last month; I knew it was some sort of scam. Facebook is jamming us with fakes, to water down our reach even more. Did you know that Facebook has more than 83 million fake profiles!?!?

Also of interest, the Facebook “transmission of anger” mood manipulation experiment. They skewed what some people saw in their feeds, to see how they reacted. Thank you, big brother. Hmmmm? Let me think about this for a minute. Do I want my social networking site messing with my head?

No.

And let’s ask the question, Is Facebook breeding loneliness?

” The problem is multi-fold. The time we spend socializing online not only discourages face-to-face communication, but it also undermines our confidence at engaging in real conversations with real people about the real problems and issues that thread through our lives. Indeed, social networking provides a means of escape, an easy out on having to confront those parts of our lives we wish were different; more glamorous, and less mundane. “

Supreme Court Rules JCPenney Allowed to Sacrifice Employees to Appease Cthulhu

Read all about it here

More comments and thoughts after this commercial break…

Pre-order these great releases from across the darkwave genre. More titles here.

Raison D’etre: Requiem for Abandoned Souls Expanded 2-CD Re-issue | $25 Expected Mid July. Contains the original disc with a bonus track and a second disc with material from various live performances from 2003 and 2004. The music becomes a pulsating, throbbing entity that comes sobbing out of your speakers only to lament the crumbling states of whatever you are stressed about at that moment. Tanzwut: Eselsmesse Limited Edition 2-CD | $25 Expected Late July. Hailed as a cult band and innovators of the genre, Tanzwut is one of the exceptional bands of the gothic/medieval scene; their outstanding skills allow them to compose and perform both as rock act and medieval band.

Titles available for pre-order:

Agonoize: Apokalypse Limited 2-CD Berlin-based inferno of hard beats, brutal shouts and thudding bass. $23 Android Lust: The Dividing 10th Anniversary 2-LP Features brand new remixes from Collide, Gregory Stewart (Z Marr/Combichrist), I, Parasite, Inertial and R010R. $25 Black Lung: The Great Golden Goal Motivational pieces specifically designed for workspace and gym. $15 Cocksure: TVMALSV Bridging the gap between waxtrax! era industrial and future sounds of mass corruption. $14 Deine Lakaien: Acoustic II $25 Deine Lakaien: Farewell/Where the Winds Don’t Blow CDS First taster for the new album Crystal Palace. $11 Deine Lakaien: Crystal Palace Limited Box A return to the sonic atmospheres of the early days (1986-1990). $49 Deine Lakaien: Crystal Palace Limited Digipak +3 Bonus Tracks $25 Die Form: Rayon X Limited 2-CD New album from cult French multimedia-fetish-art-project. $27 Die Form: Rayon X Limited 2-CD + Large Shirt $110 Die Form: Rayon X Limited 2-CD + XL Shirt $110 Die Form: Rayon X $19 Die Form: Rayon X LP $22 Funker Vogt: Survivor 3-CD Box Collector’s Edition with bonus material and rare, unreleased tracks. $26 Grendel: Soilbleed Redux V.2 Remastered re-issue with bonus tracks. $12 Hexperos: Lost in the Great Sea The sound of ancient instruments played by brilliant musicians. $20 In Slaughter Natives: Cannula Coma Legio The band delves into more obscure ambient territories. $14 In Strict Confidence: Lifelines Vol. 1 (91-98) – The Extended Versions Extended versions of the original tracks. $16 In Strict Confidence: Lifelines Vol. 2 (98-04) – The Extended Versions $16 KMFDM: We Are Live album features favorites new and old. $14 Lacrimosa: Live in Mexico City Live album with bonus DVD. $30 Lustmord: Beyond Re-issue One full hour of frightening and addictive darkest ambient. $15 Lustmord: Kraków October 22 2010 Live limited edition. $24 Lustmord: The Dark Places of the Earth Re-issue The pinnacle of dark ambient. $15 Noisuf-X: Invasion Limited 2-CD NOISUF-X dominates the dancefloors of the global club scene. $24 Pride and Fall: Turn the Lights On EP Remix contest EP with exclusive b-side. $15 Prude: The Dark Age of Consent Wild mix of 70’s NYC punk/glam with a harsh, damaged electronic edge. $14 Rome: A Passage to Rhodesia Limited Edition DVD/2-CD/Book Unites instant dark folk classics with ambient collages in the best industrial and experimental traditions. $165 Sequential Access: Sex Addict Anonymous 13 tracks of pure golden era electro-industrial. $14 Sopor Aeternus: Mitternacht CD/Book All-new album with 36-page book. $55 Sopor Aeternus: Mitternacht 2-LP $90 Staubkind: Alles Was Ich Bin Limited 4-CD Box Berlin-based group walks the tightrope between cinematic rock anthems and fragile ballads. $53 Staubkind: Alles Was Ich Bin Limited 2-CD $23 The Birthday Massacre: Violet LP Limited Ediition purple vinyl. $19 The Klinik: 1984-1991 8-CD Box The most comprehensive anthology of the band’s music ever released. $90 The Lonely Soul Experience: Path of Blood Blutengel’s Chris Pohl takes us into opulent fantasy-worlds. $19 Various Artists: Amphi Festival 2014 Who’s who of the electro and gothic scene. $15 Various Artists: History of NDW A MUST-HAVE for all fans of German electro hits of the 80s. $22

 

Animal Magnetism: Tigers Roam Wild on Dating Sites. Hoping for Roaring Success, Singles Post Photos With Big Cats Read the article at the Wall Street Journal

I really want to make “poorly photoshopped photo with tiger in foreground” into a succesful internet meme. Who will help me go there? Change your profile photo to include the wikipedia tiger and message me with your link. And use #tigerselfie

Projekt Records Music tidbits

Download free music from Black Tape For A Blue Girl at Bandcamp. Italian coverage at Ondarock.

Textura listens to Metcalf/Seelig’s Intention & Nerell/Seelig’s Tree of Life. Read the review. Buy both CDs for $23 at Projekt.

Fantastic Aurelio Voltaire interview in the new issue of Gothic Beauty Magazine. Download your copy today.

Lovesliescrushing’s 1993 debut Bloweyelashwish added to Bandcamp. A brilliant slice of 90s shoegaze music. For sale for $7. And don’t forget the sale code below.

Steve Roach & Erik Wollo are both in Echoes’ the Best of 2014, so far.

And here it is, the moment you’ve all been waiting for…. The King of Goth, Peter Murphy, said in Rolling Stone Magazine: “I keep asking, ‘My God, how did I get that high? How do I get that high again, and how do I sustain it for an hour?'”

After his meth bust, should Peter Murphy really be talking about getting “high” ?

derp.

Too soon?

You can stream the whole Lion album at the RS link above.

Where’s that Bagel recipe? Sorry. Ran out of time & room…. next Monday.

The new Projekt eList needs your help!

Sam and Shea really love snark! The Projekt virtual office is full of snide remarks on all sorts of topics; nothing is off-limits and yes, that includes some snarky things about the music industry and even the music we sell. But we need your help! We don’t produce nearly enough snark. Do you have some sarcastic comment about music? Send it our way via Twitter (use hashtag #ProjektRecords so we can find your tweet). If we use it, you’ll get a free download code for a Projekt album!

You can also give us a heads up on the latest distracting goat/cat/tiger profile pic trend, videos we have to see, articles we have to read, and unmentionable things we won’t be able to print because of the draconian hand of our email service provider. If your link is exciting and gets used, we’ll reward that with a free download code, too.

And please message me directly with questions, complaints, thoughts on the new format, and anything else you think would make the elist more exciting for everyone.

Sam

 

Cover-StudioAccess01

Jun 23

Get studio access with black tape for a blue girl

On Studio Access June ’14, ethereal/darkwave act Black Tape for a Blue Girl offers a new track-in-progress plus four hours of soundscapes. It’s available at Bandcamp for free, or name-your-price. Share the video link and/or Bandcamp link.

black tape for a blue girl grants studio access

Legendary America darkwave act Black tape for a blue girl has been releasing albums since 1986: 10 studio discs of their original take on ethereal, minimalism, goth rock, darkwave, and neoclassical. Today, founder, songwriter and keyboardist Sam Rosenthal announces the band is providing free digital studio access to new songs in progress.

“My friend was over a few days ago,” Sam comments, “and she asked me what music I’d been working on. I played her a new track and she said she wanted a copy so she could listen to it while she was programming. I was wondering to myself if I should share it, because it’s still a work in progress. And yet, I kind of want to share it so fans can hear where I’m at, as I work on new material. I find the stages along the way to be quite interesting! You can listen to my music like you’re in the studio while I’m creating it.”

Sam continues, “Tori, a fan of the band, emailed in response to this idea, ‘For me, hearing the underlying sounds that make up a Blacktape track is kind of like seeing brushstrokes in a painting.’ I would add, that you are seeing the brushstrokes before the painter adds the characters to the foreground.”

“Six: Thirteen” is available for free download through the Blacktape’s Bandcamp site, along with two half-hour “stretch” versions and two hour-and-a-half soundscape tracks titled “Isotope.” Fans can choose to pay for the tracks or acquire them free.

A fascinating chance to be in on the creative process with one of the scene’s original acts.

Watch the one-minute video at YouTube

Download 4+ hours of new soundscapes & the track in progress. It’s free at Bandcamp.