Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Hi…. Projekt no longer prints posters for our new releases; they’re bulky, hard to store and expensive to ship. But I had an idea! With color printers in every office, I’ll make you a downloadable 11×17 poster that you can print yourself. And it’s free! Enjoy! – Sam
1 – Print it on your color printer, or at a local printshop. 2 – Email a photo of the poster at work, at home, etc, and we’ll post on our Facebook Pages.
This vast release takes the listener to different places and spaces on 22 uniquely compelling auditory episodes. Erik’s 2-CD studio album reveals wide-ranging and wide-angled electronic compositions. This monumental statement explores and expands upon the Norwegian musician’s 35 years of musical experience in the electronic and ambient realms.
Please write a customer review of Different Spaces at Amazon or iTunes. Your reviews are very helpful, as they encourage potential customers to make the plunge and purchase Erik’s fantastic new album. Thanks for doing this for us. – Sam
I asked my friends on Facebook what they’d like to see more of on the Projekt email list. One of their suggestions was behind the scenes of running a label. What it takes, what I do, what I’ve learned. So today’s email is about EXPOSURE. If you’d like to reply, please visit this blog on the Projekt site and post your comments.
In 2011, you regularly read this type of exchange: Artist: Spotify doesn’t pay enough Spotify: You get exposure Artist: You can die from exposure
Yes. We all loved repeating that witty retort when Spotify launched and Daniel Ek was trying to convince us that getting paid micropennies was OK because we got exposure. “Exposure? I’ve been doing music for twenty-five years, I’m established. I don’t need exposure. I need to get paid for sales!”
Now, six years later, I’d like to backtrack and kind of agree. We need exposure. All of the artists on Projekt need more people listening to our music. Sure, YOU are aware of Projekt bands, YOU like listening to our music. But in the wide world, we’re unheard of, we’re mostly unknown, and we don’t sell very many records. We need more people listening to our music, so hopefully more of them will purchase something.
When I launch an artist’s album, there’s a spike of attention in the first month. Then interest quickly fades away. Unless the band is touring, or making new videos regularly, or doing something else to keep their name out there, an album is generally forgotten within a few months. In the old days, there was longevity, and albums were still selling half a year later. Now? Not so much.
What’s there to do?
Streaming gives artists ongoing exposure because it’s frictionless. Casual listeners don’t have to pay. They check out music they might not otherwise bother with or get around to.
I believe that “free” should be under the artist/label’s control. We should make the decisions about this. I know we cannot control the amount we get paid by streaming sites, but we can control what is available on streaming.
In that regards, I also begrudgingly agree with Ek: streaming has cut back dramatically on Projekt music pirated and available at illegal locker site. Compared to 2011, I only find 10% as much music on those sites. Why? Because streaming is easy for listeners. Why bother illegally obtaining an album, when there are legal methods to hear the music at no cost?
[Back to the subject of “free” being under the artist’s control.] Have you noticed that Projekt gives away name-your-price downloads at our Bandcamp store? It’s not because I’m crazy (well, not exactly), and partially because I’m feeling generous. The main reason is because people will listen to free music. There were over 800 downloads on Mercury’s Antennae A waking ghost inside when I put it up at name-your-price last month. That’s about 797 more people than would have paid to download the album in the same period. You were probably one of the people who grabbed it. Thanks! I hope you enjoy their music. Mercury’s Antennae have a recent album (Beneath the Serene) that you might enjoy as well.
This is why I give music away, to expose you to great artists on the Projekt label.< I’ll give you an album with the hope that you'll come back and make a purchase of their other albums. Does it work? Meh, hard to say. We sold 5 copies of Beneath the Serene while we were giving away the debut. I would think those purchases were from people who discovered the band via free.
Exposure. Does it work?
Well, it makes more people aware of the music. Does it lead to sales? Maybe. Does anyone get rich off it? Definitely not. It’s part of a building process. It’s promotion / publicity. Back in 1994, I’d buy half page ads in Alternative Press. Did that $500 or $750 (or whatever it cost) pay off with sales? It’s hard to say. Probably a few sales( 50?); but I don’t think any ad did better than breaking even. The more important point was exposure.
Hey, wait! Back two decades ago we paid for exposure. Now we get paid (in micropennies at streaming, or donations at Bandcamp). This is a point I make to artists. Projekt used to pay a lot of money to get artist’s name out, we had to buy ads and give away hundreds and hundreds of promo CDs (that all ended up in the used bins). Now we get paid in micropennies.
Unfortunately, it’s harder than ever to make a living in the music industry, and seeing those miniscule trickles of cash is frustrating when comparable-sized artists used to sell thousands of albums.
These are new (and insane) times.
It took five years, but I see the logic behind things we were once opposed to. I’m not stuck in a 1997 or 2007 perspective, I’m looking at now and seeing what works for Projekt. The label has to do what we can, to be heard.
We have to try new ideas.
Funny, because that was the argument I used to have with people (from San Francisco) about eight years ago. They said I was a dinosaur who didn’t understand the new economy. I said, “Give me examples of how this is suppose to be profitable.” Well, I don’t know if we’ve proven it to be profitable, but we have seen that it is part of the way a band gets heard in 2017.
Projekt’s two new releases for March 17th:
Lorenzo Montana: phase IX Purchase the CD (limited edition of 300) for $14 at Projekt. Bandcamp download code included in the package with your order. Stream & download at Bandcamp. Italian soundcomposer Lorenzo Montana’s first American solo-release; these electronic, ambient mindscapes form nine phases of a trip of the psyche focusing on the floating / experimental side of his work. He’s collaborated with Alio Die on Holographic Codex (Projekt, 2015), and released 15 albums to date, including the 5-CD Labyrinth collaboration series with Pete Namlook (founder of Germany’s Fax label).
Erik Wøllo: Different Spaces Purchase the 2-CD for $17 at Projekt. Bandcamp download code included in the package with your order. Stream & download at Bandcamp. High Res Studio Master at Spotted Peccary.A diverse and sweeping tapestry revealing wide-ranging and wide-angled electronic compositions. The music traverses the different spaces that occupy an artist’s creative thoughts across mesmerizing landscapes of distinctive panoramas, rhythmic realms, and engaging, engulfing atmospheres.
The 30th anniversary edition of this electronic classic is back in print, reissued on CD in digipak with original artwork. To celebrate, the CD is on sale for just $10 through midnight on Monday January 30th! At Projekt’s Bandcamp page, you can grab the deluxe digital download for name-your-price, through midnight on Monday January 30th. It includes The Early Years rarities tracks.
Projekt’s Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale is on! Sale ends 11:59 PM; Tuesday November 29th.
We’re giving away a free copy of the 2011 Steve Roach / Erik Wollo collaborative CD, The Road Eternal with every order over $50 (total before shipping). While supplies last!
Eight Projekt titles are on sale at iTunes through October 27, 2016.
PJK-ED-318 As Lonely As Dave Bowman Monolith PJA-ED-138 Erik Wøllo Star’s End 2015 (Silent Currents 4) PJK-CD-328 Erik Wøllo & Byron Metcalf Earth Luminous PJK-CD-103 Forrest Fang Gongland PJK-CD-231 Mark Seelig Disciple PJK-CD-099 Steve Roach Midnight Moon PJK-CD-060 Steve Roach & vidnaObmana Well of Souls PJA-CD-15 vidnaObmana Twilight of PerceptionTwo pay-what-you-can downloads at Bandcamp: Various Artists: Victor Frankenstein (music for a dark evening) Pay-what-you-can at Bandcamp.< Black Tape For A Blue Girl: The Collection Pay-what-you-can at Bandcamp. Mercury Antennae have an in-depth interview in the online zine Raw Alternative. A review of Loren Nerell’s The Venerable Dark Cloud in Italian at OndaRock. A review of Steve Roach & Robert Logan’s Biosonic/Second Nature in Italian at Darkroom Magazine Sam Rosenthal interviewed about the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album and Projekt records at Chain DLK Democracy: Season Finale. Finally, I can vote for Hillary! (images at Facebook) Don’t believe that hoax that Trump is not on the ballot in Oregon. From Star Trek TOS “Spectre Of The Gun:” SPOCK: Physical reality is consistent with universal laws. Where the laws do not operate, there is no reality. All of this is unreal. We judge reality by the response of our senses. Once we are convinced of the reality of a given situation, we abide by its rules. Mortiis’ 5-year-old son saw the cover of the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album and thought the standup bass had fallen from the sky, and cracked open with the girl inside.
I like creating short headlines in my brain; a string of words that represent a larger concept. Then I can repeat the headline to myself (rather than having to think out every little aspect of the concept) when I want to remember what the hell I am doing!
My new headline is “Two-year plan:” I want to create a lot of Black tape for a blue girl music in the next two years. But before I talk about the future, let me step back into the past.
The core of the recording of These Fleeting Moments began in June of 2014 when I laid down my electronics for “six thirteen.” Friday’s release date marked two years & two months from start to finish on the album.
To recap recent albums: 2002 (14 years ago) The Scavenger Bride 2004 (12 years ago) Halo Star 2008 (8 years ago) Revue Noir side-project 2009 (7 years ago) 10 Neurotics 2016 These Fleeting Moments (additional instrumental albums in there as well, full list here)
The last Blacktape album, 10 Neurotics, came out seven years ago. That was way too long ago! I have plenty of reasonable explanations for why it took so long. I wrote my novel Rye. I worked with Nicki Jaine in a side-project, I made the “Marmalade Cat” video and Tenderotics remix album. I toured to promoteRye. I moved to Oregon. I recorded some instrumental albums. I’m raising my son half of every week.
But there’s another bigger part of the delay; it had to do with enthusiasm. At the beginning of this decade I got down on the idea of making my music, as the recording industry entered financial free fall. I would ask myself, “What’s the point of creating art that nobody wants to hear?” I was just burnt out on it all. Though I’ll admit now that the problem was a mistake in perception. It’s not that nobody wants to hear music, it’s that only a select group of loyal people want to pay for music / support the creation of art.
People love hearing music, they just also love free.
But to make a long story short, contact (via Kickstarter and this Patreon) with people who are dedicated to my art picked me back up. I’ve been in touch with so many of you who love my music and want to see me make more of it. That’s very inspiring.
That gives me back my enthusiasm for making art.How people hear music
The big change in the music industry in the last five years (aside from plummeting sales) is the growth of streaming. Most casual-listeners-of-music stream tracks these days. Back in 1996, Remnants of a deeper purity sold 16,000 CDs! There were a lot more fans of this genre, a lot more casual listeners. As there wasn’t a simple way to hear this type of music, purchasing was the way to go. While it would be wonderful if all 16,000 of those people still wanted to support my art, I am realistic: they don’t. I understand. I can’t turn back the clock, or tilt at windmills.
From Buddhism, I learn, “The first cause of suffering is not knowing the true nature of Reality. The second cause of suffering is grasping or holding onto what is illusory or insubstantial.” And the thing that leads to the cessation of suffering? Letting go of illusion. Seeing reality for what it is.
People want music. Lots of music. Only some of you want to pay for it (thank you!), and at the moment streaming is what a lot of the people want. That’s reality.
Streaming is an immediate format. It’s like a river, there’s always music rushing by. This led me to realize that I need to create more music, to keep everything flowing. I don’t want to go seven years between Black Tape For A Blue Girl albums. I need to create music regularly, because I’m an artist, and making music is what I do.
The people who are reading this pay attention to what I create, I appreciate that. But we all know about the average attention span of most consumers of media these days: very short.
Like I said, I don’t think seven years until I release more new music is the way to go. Or even every two years. People love hearing new music. This is my idea, the core of the Two-year plan:
I want to create an EP’s worth of music every 6 months and a new album every 18 months.Some of the EP tracks will be on the album, some will not.
Looking at it retroactively, the Bike Shop EP was the first attempt at this concept. It has 4 songs. Only “bike shop/absolute zero” appears in the same exact form onThese fleeting moments. The track “She’s gone” evolved into what you hear on the album. Two are only on the Bike Shop release. I think this is very cool.
Part of what makes this possible is the way the record industry has evolved. It used to be very restricted. Everything was suppose to be focused around THE ALBUM RELEASE. Don’t compete with the album. Don’t distract. Focus two years of energy on one thing. But that’s not the way people ‘consume’ music, these days.
Another thing. Not every bit of music needs a physical release that gets into “stores.” Digital might turn out to be the first priority with the EPs, though I am thinking of something for collectors, too. Perhaps special numbered limited edition CDs. 100? 200? Not sure yet.
I want to make a lot of music. I want to tell you all about this, so you hold me to it! I think it’s worth having an optimistic goal to aim for.
What’s that quote?
“The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark. ” – Michelangelo
So yeah! I want to create a lot of new music. Write a lot of new lyrics. Give you lots of interesting new things to listen to. That’s all part of my Two-year plan.
Thanks for supporting me in making this possible.
SamBlack Tape For A Blue Girl releases & reissues These fleeting moments Deluxe-CD, limited edition of 500 order CD for $20 Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes. Remnants of a deeper purity 20th anniversary reissue order 2-CD for $15 Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes. The Rope Tshirt Back in print for 2016 pre-order t-shirt for $19 the Bike Shop\12″ Limited edition vinyl release order 12″ for $7 (No digital, only Vinyl!) Projekt’s August releases Steve Roach: Shadow of Time / This Place to Be 2-pack with bonus third disc. Order CDs for $25 Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes or Spotted Peccary High Res. Erik Wollo: Star’s End 2015 (Silent Currents 4) Limited edition of 300. Order CD for $16 Digital: Bandcamp or iTunes or Spotted Peccary High Res.
Forrest Fang’s The Sleepwalker’s Ocean (2-CD) is the #1 seller (of the past 30 days) in the Projekt webstore. This very cool hypnotic deep-ambient exploration CD is limited to 300 physical copies. It’s also available for download at Bandcamp.
kjb wrote “OK, I took the bait. The list of instruments on The Sleepwalker’s Ocean ranged from typical to Mediterranean-like names, but I had to look up what a Marxolin is. Great thing about Projekt music is all the literary references and oddities contained therein.”
I asked Forrest to tell us more about the Marxolin:
The Marxolin is anan instrument which appears occasionally on my albums, including my latest one, “The Sleepwalker’s Ocean.” The Marxolin was a zither-like folk instrument created in the early 20th Century by inventor Henry Marx, and was manufactured through his company, The Marxochime Colony, in Troy, Michigan. The instrument was marketed to farmers by travelling salesmen who trumpeted its ease of use, but I find it hard to imagine that anyone had an easy time playing them. Ideally, the chords are to be played with little hammers while a bow plays the melody on individual strings. Not easy to do, as I have found. I’ve always had a weakness for unusual musical instruments, beginning with a plastic hose from a vacuum cleaner I had while in college. I picked up my Marxolin when an online retailer was liquidating the few instruments remaining in the Marxochime warehouse. Above is a picture of it on my living room floor. Mine was probably a late model. You can hear me play the hammers from the Marxolin on “Gone To Ground” from the new album. Thanks for your interest.
The Sleepwalker’s Ocean is a hypnotic deep-ambient exploration through the fantastical, elusive realm of the subconscious. Disc 2 is a first for Fang: a 54-minute electronic landscape that explores an interior world of elusive and impressionistic thoughts and images. Embracing the American minimalists and ambient soundscape artists, Fang blends electronics with acoustic instruments within a framework influenced by traditional Asian music. Purchase a copy today.
The following was part of the post the weekend of January 8th. The promotion has ended. Thanks to the 600 people who downloaded.
One of the fun things about running Projekt Records is introducing people to great music; hearing is believing! With that in mind, through Sunday evening I’ve made Forrest’s 2000 release, Gongland, a name-your-price download. Gongland was his first CD on Projekt (though he released 7 albums before it); you should hear it.
Download this weekend at Bandcamp.
“On Gongland, Fang produces soundscapes suffused with peace and a sense of floating and drifting beauty that are wondrous to explore.” – Alternate Music Press (Ben Kettlewell)
Download Gongland for $7 at Bandcamp.
1 Lycia: A Line That Connects CD (out of print) 2 Erik Wøllo: Echotides (ep) 3 Alio Die & Lorenzo Montanà: Holographic Codex CD 4 Erik Wollo: Blue Radiance CD 5 Dirk Serries & Stratophere: 2-pack CDs 6 Steve Roach: Etheric Imprints CD 7 Lycia: Quiet Moments CD 8 Forrest Fang: Letters To The Farthest Star CD 9 Steve Roach: Skeleton 2-Pack CDs 10 Mirabilis: Here and the Hereafter CD (with 2 bonus CDs)Projekt Webstore Top-5 for the previous 30 days:
1 Forrest Fang: The Sleepwalker’s Ocean 2-CD 2 Steve Roach: Vortex 2-Pack 2-CD 3 Steve Roach: Emotions Revealed CD 4 Steve Roach & Mark Seelig: Nightbloom (50% OFF) CD 5 Steve Roach: immersion : three (50% OFF) 3-CD