Archive for the ‘Blog from Sam’ Category
By Patrick Ogle
Projekt is poised to release the Alan Elettronico album Electric Mind (Deluxe Edition). This extended version has SCADS of new material. Featured are remixes by Ryan Lum (Love Spirals Downwards), new signee VEiiLA, and ambient icon Erik Wøllo. Alan Elettronico began creating music in 1998. These early efforts include records of the drone ambient variety. He continued to be periodically involved in creating new music while also working as a poet and teacher. Electric Mind (2021) was his first release for Projekt Records and is an eclectic, joyous, electronic throwback that becomes positively addictive the more often you listen.
Electric Mind (Deluxe) Name-Your-Price Download at Bandcamp
This recording sounds like many of the better electronic soundtrack music from the 70s and 80s and, frequently, you can dance to it; is this similarity coincidental?
“Not a coincidence, I spent almost two years trying to capture the original sound of that specific kind of music,” says Elettronico.
He describes the process as a philological effort to reproduce sound libraries of digital synths while keeping the production similar to the standards of that time period.
“Inspiration came from Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, which is based on the same premise. It’s a homage to the music that made me love music,” he says.
This is a joyful effort, it isn’t some dry attempt at reproduction. You will want to dance. It is entirely possible you won’t be able to stop yourself. Although the artist had stopped himself from making music for some time.
“My Projekt Records debut came after a long hiatus. I hadn’t made any music since 2009, while my first and only album released when I worked in the collective named Oem Quartet, was distributed in 2006, and it was a dubstep album for which I provided the melodies,” says Elettronico. “So my debut under Projekt is a lot different from what I used to make. I wanted to explore some kind of music I used to listen to when I was a kid.”
Likewise this is a different sort of release for the label — not generally known for music likely to make you dance. Not all of this record has that vibe but a significant amount of it does. Elettronico’s most listened to recent records give an idea where his mind is musically.
“I am totally in love with Tension, Kylie Minogue’s last album. Production is insane, and songwriting is brilliant: you can enjoy the levity of the pop side, but when you are a producer you can get amazed by how any sound is well crafted,” he says. “Same for Everything But The Girl’s new album, a worthy comeback.”
It might seem curious that an award-winning poet like Elettronico creates music with few words. He doesn’t think it is peculiar at all.
“I don’t think it’s strange, as a poet I have always worked on sounds, and this is the same when I make music,” he says.
He also notes that he hasn’t used his poems for lyrics but that he occasionally uses lyrics on the same topics like the question of identity. But mostly? It is about music.
“I guess that when I make music I want the sounds to speak for me,” says Elettronico.
What does Elettronico hope you, the listener, will get out of his music?
“When it’s about wordless music, the reaction may vary: anyone can see anything in those patterns, and I like that. I particularly enjoy when my music gets people to dance,” says Elettronico. “I don’t mean in shows, people are there to dance and would dance to anything; I mean when they hear it by chance and start bobbing to the rhythm without even realizing. That’s when music gets deep.”
This release has brought Elettronico back into the musical realm, and he doesn’t have plans for another hiatus.
“The Deluxe Edition of Electric Mind has given me the chance to collaborate with a lot of people, fantastic musicians. It was Sam’s idea, and I can’t be more grateful to him and all the Projekt artists who worked on the ambient remixes,” he says. “This experience has convinced me to work on some ambient material I have kept in my archive, not sure what I was going to do with it. I think I’ll give it a chance for the future. For live gigs, I am working with Ekranoplan, one of the artists featured in the remix album, and very active in live sessions around Italy.”
Hi, this is Sam. I've put 69 Projekt CDs on sale. A big chunk of these CDs are recent releases… all of them are great! 1CDs are mostly priced at $7.99. Plus today is Bandcamp Friday, when Bandcamp waives their fee and more money goes into Projekt's pocket. That's good for us and good for the artists. I'm hoping these releases to find a new home with you!
Check out titles from all your favorite artists:
Steve Roach with Tangerine Dream. Steve performed with TD during the "Sessions" encore collaboration portion of their show in Tucson, and then again the next night in San Diego, where the set ran for nearly an hour. Many videos at YouTube including nearly the full show at SD's The Magnolia.
Electronic artists Robert Rich and Steve Roach talk about their experience playing with Tangerine Dream on the western swing of their North American tour. It's a wide-ranging conversation with John Diliberto that streams on the Echoes Podcast (on this webpage). Steve & Robert peform together in Tucson at Steve's Ambient Lounge on Tuesday December 5.
VEiiLA #1 at Echoes Radio in September. Thanks to Echoes for all the VEiiLA airplay this month. This downtempo dreampop duo is making waves! Grab their Name-Your-Price debut at Projekt's Bandcamp (+ $11.99 CD). "I Had a Dream" was Sounds and Shadows' Song of the Day September 29th. "Do You Hear Me" was heard on DJ AsuraSunil's Sunday Seven mixshow, podcast here.
DELREI has a lengthy review in Italian in Rockit.it, one of Italy's most important underground webzines. Alias Magazine (a supplement of Il Manifesto, an Italian political newspaper) writes: "Lying somewhere between western melodies, blues, Tex-Mex in its various forms and a series of decidedly apt psychedelic lashings, this record of eleven tracks by Alessandro Mercanzin, aka DELREI, is a great surprise. In some passages it's like listening to the most inspired moments of the fascinating Spindrift release from a few years ago. The instrumental character of DELREI's work lends charisma to the whole." Desolation and Radiation is Name-Your-Price at Bandcamp.
♬ The Vou says (in "Mastering The Goth Style And Its 24 Trendiest Substyles") that Black Tape For A Blue Girl is Fairy Goth Style,
♬ I Die You Die has a wonderful review of Unto Ashes' Orchids Grew Here "There’s certainly something funereal about the icy synths and refrain of 'our lovely garden is dying' on 'Orchids Fade,' but as Laird, Bret Helm, and Ericah Hagle all intone the titular phrase, there’s almost a sense of morbid or botanical fascination with the procession of the inevitable. Often combining a wounded frailty with an intimacy which can at times be overwhelming.”
♬ Stars End and Expose have great reviews of Forrest Fang's latest. Stars End's Chuck van Zyl: "Throughout the moody flow of flaring, fading textures and interplanetary ambiance, notes and tones progress in slow motion flight along quietly curving contours – such a subliminal, minimal response to the unknown wants of the cosmos." The Oort Cloud Meditations is Name-Your-Price at Bandcamp.
♬ A Spotify Playlist intro to the music of TheAdelaidean.
♬ Tome to the Weather Machine explores “These Days Fail to Bring Me Near” from Aarktica’s latest. “I love this era of Aarktica’s music. The recently remastered / rediscovered track is brought into the light one more time highlighting the delicate interplay between Jon DeRosa’s arcing, shoegaze influenced guitars, acoustic melody and soothing voice.” Morning One (2023 remaster) is Name-Your-Price at Bandcamp.
♬ Aarktica's "Slept Through Christmas" added to the popular Ambient Soundscapes playlist at Spotify. "These Days Fail to Bring Me Near" played on The Shoegaze Collective on DKFM.
♬ Nine days to go on the Kickstarter for Paulina Fae's Halloween Dreams Playing Cards, a fully-illustrated deck of playing cards for the Halloween enthusiast.
♬ At Bandcamp, Colors vol. 2 is a new release from Lorenzo Montanà.
Projekt New Release This Week:Erik Wøllo Cloud of Strings • Name-Your-Price at Bandcamp. At all streaming sites tomorrow, Friday, including Spotify, YouTube and AppleMusic. After albums primarily created with electronic instruments, Cloud of Strings is a sparkling change of pace. Wøllo masterfully manipulates the acoustic guitar with elevated clouds of dulcet layered sound. It is musical spellwork driven by clear and resonant acoustic melody.
Projekt Webstore Top-5 Physical Sales (30 days) #1 Forrest Fang: The Oort Cloud Meditations #2 Chuck van Zyl: Passages #3 Unto Ashes: Orchids Grew Here #4 Coil: Love's Secret Domain WAREHOUSE VINYL SALE #5 VEiiLA: Sentimental Craving for Beauty
Projekt Top-5 Downloads at Bandcamp (30 days) #1 Forrest Fang: The Oort Cloud Meditations #2 VEiiLA: Sentimental Craving For Beauty #3 Aarktica: Morning One (2023 remaster) #4 Unto Ashes: Orchids Grew Here #5 Solitaire: Plains And Skies (1992)
New Videos from Projekt artists VEiiLA: I had a dream video at YouTube
Forrest Fang: Diaphanes (excerpt) video at YouTube
Upcoming Concerts Friday September 29, Cadott, WI Peter Phippen and Victoria Shoemaker Autumn Equinox in The Magical Woods details
Saturday September 30, Rhinelander, WI Peter Phippen and Victoria Shoemaker Pre-Haunted Rhinelander Tour Opening details.
Saturday September 30, Athens, GA Aurelio Voltaire at The Labe at Ciné! Ticketing
Tuesday October 3, Tucson AZ Linda Kohanov, Dean De Benedictis (Surface 10) at Steve Roach's Ambient Lounge. Ticketing
Saturday October 7, Hamtramck, MI Aurelio Voltaire at Smalls Bar! Ticketing
Saturday November 4, Tucson, AZ: Steve Roach The 34th All Souls Procession weekend, Steve headlines. Facebook
Tuesday December 5, Tucson, AZ: Steve Roach and Robert Rich Together and solo at Steve Roach's Ambient Lounge. Ticketing
Joe is cleaning the warehouse shelves, gathering all the onesie and twosie items and putting them on clearance. Gotta make room in the storeroom! Visit our Giant Vinyl Warehouse Sale and our equally giant CD (and everything else) Warehouse Sale. Lottsa treasure in there!
Hi, Sam from Projekt here. I have a captivating new signee to welcome to the label, VEiiLA! This Russian-by-way-of-Armenia duo creates an alluring blend of downtempo and dreampop infused with late-night sensuality. Today we bring you the digital single “Can’t Forgive Myself” b/w “Another Day” on their Bandcamp page. Watch VEiiLA perform both songs live at The Boo Cafe (Vanadzor, Armenia) on on YouTube. This single advances their Sentimental Craving For Beauty album — available September 8 on digital and as a limited edition (of 500) CD. The album will be Echoes Radio’s September CD of the Month, but that’s a story for another day. Today, I invite you to stream or download VEiiLA’s single at Bandcamp. It streaming at Spotify, YouTube, iTunes, etc.
Some comments from Facebook:
LisaMary Wichowski-Hill: Like the sound of the two released a lot. Very faithful to the traditions of the genre while still sounding fresh. Will certainly be adding it when full digi hits
Carlos Sobral: Congratulations for adding this duo to Projekt’s fantastic catalogue. I can’t wait to hear the album.
Mått Røwe: HELLUVA signing!!!! I love them!
Eric Benjamin: Sam, great band. Wow. First listen and I’m seduced.
Nova Kitty is sitting between my arms as I compile today’s eList. It’s the morning of the eve of my much-needed 4-week vacation. 4 weeks in which I stop working at Projekt so I can begin working on the Kickstarter for my Terrace of Memories collaboration with vidnaObmana, and I’ll get around to other oft-neglected Black Tape For A Blue Girl tasks. Before I go, I wanted to catch you up on Projekt activity. Shea and I have been quite busy (me in Portland / Shea in Los Angeles); there’s been a bunch of interest in our recent releases, and we’ve been setting up new releases out into the fall. In case you missed the announcement earlier this week, Projekt will launch all of our 2023 releases at Bandcamp as Name-Your-Price. It’s going to be a lot of amazing music! I can’t wait to tell you about it when I get back in August. For today…. here’s some cool press on our cool recent releases… Stay Cool, Sam (and Nova)
🐚 Attrition have UK, Belgium, Germany & Italy shows soon, Details. 🐚 Forrest Fang’s unreleased track, “Busywork,” appeared this month on a 4-CD international compilation of electronic music, Touched By Music 2, supporting the UK charity, Macmillan Cancer Support. The box set, also available in digital form, is available through Touched Music’s Bandcamp 🐚 The world premiere of multidisciplinary work BÁRBAROS at the Adelaide Festival Centre, of which Sean Williams (theadelaidean) was co-creator and lead composer, was both well-attended and -reviewed. Critics praised the music as “absorbing” (Adelaide Advertiser), “relentless” (Stage Whispers), “ominous” (InReview), and a “psychological king hit” (Barefoot Review). Stream an excerpt from theadelaidean’s score here. 🐚 Steve Roach’s “Structures from Silence” was added to Spotify’s Ambient X Takeover playlist which is taken over by Italian electronic artist Caterina Barbieri. 🐚 “Honoring Projekt Records’ Darkwave Dynasty with Goldmine.” Alternative Press wrote an article about Goldmine writing about Projekt.
A bunch of Press about DELREI’s Desolation and Radiation It’s name-Your Price at Bandcamp. 🎸 Italy’s Radiocoop writes: Instrumental album, with enveloping and evocative melodies that draw from the Italian Spaghetti Western cinematography of the Sixties, with Morricone in the lead as an inspiring beacon. Alongside, the languid tex mex atmospheres of Chris Isaak but also Calexico or the “Paris, Texas” model Ry Cooder. The sounds are refined and researched and always strictly pertinent to the artistic world of reference. Optimal. 🎸 Journey Into The Melancholic Abyss: Discover Delrei’s Haunting Post-Nuclear Soundscapes at Evol Radio. 🎸 A review from Belgium’s Luminous Dash, excerpt: In short, Desolation and Radiation is an absolute winner and a must for anyone who likes it a bit darker. DELREI may have written and played the surprise of the year. 🎸 Album release announcement by Marc Urselli at Chain DLK. 🎸 Album release announcement at MK Ultra Magazine 🎸 The song “Get Lost Blues” is in radio rotation at Italy’s Antenna Web. 🎸 Delrei Drives Down a Lost Highway in the Video for the Gothic Cowboy Tune “Get Lost Blues” at Post-Punk.
🐚Aarktica added to many Spotify playlists. Here are highlights: “Gymnopedie No. 1” on Ambient Soundscapes, “Arcturan Transmission” on Slow Music Movement’s Slow Psyche, “Elegaic” on Nordic Atmospheres, “Golden Hour at Pyramid House” on Pure Ambient and Zen Chill and Ambient Daily. While Last Day Leaf writes about the recent Paeans album, “As you delve into this epic and melancholic composition, reminiscent of Labradford’s magnetic album Mi Media Naranja (Kranky, 1997), prepare for a profound and introspective musical journey.”
Frederick Key Smith, Ph.D., Musicologist, writes: I’ve been a fan of Jeff Greinke’s music for several decades now and am always excited when he releases a new album – not to hear more of what he’s been doing, but to hear what direction his music is now going. I say this because every single one of his albums is different, each in its own unique style. Such is certainly the case with A Thousand Year Flood, which I feel safe saying is the most meditative, reflective, and introspective of his over two dozen albums. It is rather minimalistic, featuring slowly-drifting piano melodies accompanied by strings and ambient electroacoustic treatments. At times the strings provide harmonic support, while at other times sedate screeches in the violins mix with droning cellos to create a haunting, lonely, almost dreamlike atmosphere. The occasional inclusion of deep clarinet embellishments on some tracks adds additional texture to an already rich and dark tapestry. But as words are rarely enough to describe an album, it’s often safe to turn to its cover art. Such is certainly the case here, where the grey monochromatic photograph of a rough lonely road heading into a forbiddingly dark storm describes perfectly the music’s mood – we’re not in the storm yet, but it is approaching. Or, rather, we are approaching it. CD also available from Amazon, if you want to pop it into your prime order.
I did a joint interview with Patrick Ogle and host Matt Muchowsk on Lumpen Radio. Listen to the full episode on Mixcloud. Pat was Projekt’s promo director in the classic 1995-1999 era; it was fun to hear his memories of Projekt, the artists, and what-ever-all-else we talked about.
Here’s exciting news: Shea and I decided that all 2023 Projekt releases will launch as Name-Your-Price downloads at Projekt’s Bandcamp! Crazy! Unheard of! How can you do this?!?! While crunching the sales data on our 2023 releases to date, I discovered that through the generosity of donations from loyal fans (that’s you!) our Name-Your-Price releases do more business (income and downloads) then when I assign a price.
I know! It’s counterintuitive. We’re in the upside down. This is music business 2023!
Friday July 14 is Bastille Day, celebrating a major event in the French Revolution when a bunch of music fans stormed and seized control of the medieval armoury and overthrew the carts of capitalism (maybe I have some of my facts wrong? 🤔). We hope you will join us in celebrating our revolution by exploring the lovely new releases Projekt offers and chip in a little something when you can. Projekt splits your donation 50/50 with the artist; it actually adds up to money! How? ’cause you’re good people, and you support art!
Like you, we feel the lingering upward creep of prices — musical gear expenses and personal expenses — so we understand that not everyone can chip in when they download our music. That’s ok… it does all seem to work out in the end. Do what you can!
Here’s our pièce de résistance for the week: Round Trip was the 2nd cassette released on Projekt (1984) and my first solo album. It’s digitally remastered and Name-Your-Price right now on Bandcamp. On the 14th it will stream at Spotify, Apple Music and everywhere else. Watch this video I recently edited (using stock footage + some of my own shoots) for the synthwave track “Looking Glass.”
We can’t thank you enough for your support!
😘 Sam (and Shea)
Current Name-Your-Price titles:Sam Rosenthal: Round Trip (1984) • Bandcamp Genres: Minimal Wave, Electronic, Synthwave, Vaporwave. Influenced by John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream soundtracks, Soft Cell minimal synth, and sweeping romantic Jean-Michel Jarre electronics, Round Trip is future Black Tape For A Blue Girl founder Sam Rosenthal’s first foray into electronic music. DELREI: Desolation and Radiation • Bandcamp Post-Punk.com writes: “Bathed in mysterious, electric guitar twangs and spectral tunes dusted with age, DELREI conducts a Spaghetti Western symphony of the post-apocalyptic West. We hear echoes of the iconic compositions of Ennio Morricone, the brooding rock ‘n’ roll vibe of Chris Isaak, the atmospheric melodies of Angelo Badalamenti, the eerie dreamworld of David Lynch (particularly Wild At Heart and Lost Highway,) and the expressive guitar strings of James Wilsey.” Area: Radio Caroline (2023 remaster) • Bandcamp The Chicago Reader’s GOSSIP WOLF column writes: “In the late 1980s, Urbana-Champaign trio Area crafted glistening goth-tinged pop; in retrospect, the work of vocalist Lynn Canfield and multi-instrumentalists Henry Frayne and Steve Jones seems like an obvious precursor to contemporary dream pop and shoegaze. Thanks to a recent placement of the album’s track ‘Head Above Water’ on the Hulu show Cruel Summer, plenty of new fans should be finding their way to Area soon!” Nova Cat Purring Sounds: StellarPurr • Bandcamp Genres: Meditation, relaxation, ASMR, healing, new age. Goldmine writes: “On their second collaboration, Nova Cat and Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Sam Rosenthal take the purrs to deep space… a symphony for contented kitty and darkly cinematic deep space drifting, through which Nova Cat might be the engines that take you where you’re going. Or might be whatever is waiting when you get there.”
1 Sale applies to everything in Projekt’s Bandcamp PHYSICAL ITEMS tab except the first two items:
2 Sale does not include these recent releases: Jeff Greinke A THOUSAND YEAR FLOOD and Steve Roach MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES 4CD edition
3 Use code “ julysale “ during checkout
4 Last I heard, discount codes still don’t work on the mobile app; you need to use the web browser to redeem codes. That’s something Bandcamp really needs to fix 😊. Let us know in the comments here if the code worked for you at mobile.
5 Sale ends at Noon (West Coast USA Time Zone) Wednesday July 5, 2023.
Here’s something fun for your Sunday! It’s Sam’s new collaboration with his kitty Nova. Download the album name-your-price or stream at Bandcamp, stream the album at Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, etc, watch the video for “Interstellar Purr (with Ambient Music)” at YouTube.
Genres: Meditation, relaxation, ASMR, healing, new age
On their second collaboration, Nova Cat and Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Sam Rosenthal take the purrs to deep space. The first track is Nova’s raspy purr on its own, the ideal accompaniment to sleep, study and healing work. On the lengthy additional tracks (10:30 and 26:34 respectively), the purrs are processed and accompanied by Rosenthal’s deep space ambient music. Sonically, it’s a bit like a super-mellow version of his As Lonely As Dave Bowman project with purrs keeping the stellar motor humming.
Cat purrs relax and stimulate the brain through their rhythmic repetitions. With close-miking recordings and subtle harmonic EQs, the experience is intimate and comforting.
Nova Cat is a 18-year-old (88 in human years) American Shorthair Tuxedo Cat with a distinctive raspy purr attributed to an health issue. Along with her collaborator Sam Rosenthal, she created these close-miked recordings utilizing subtle harmonic EQ shaped for relaxation and brain stimulation through rhythmic repetitions. Following lengthy negotiations upon the release of her 2022 debut, Nova Cat reluctantly agreed to Rosenthal’s addition of ambient music to two tracks on her sophomore effort.
Sam was interviewed by I’ve Pet That Cat, a Twitter profile from a kid named Nigel who shares cats. The interview was used as source for the 280-character tweet. Here’s the full thing:
Q: How did you get your cat? Sam: I adopted Nova from the Oregon Human Society here in Portland. She was 14, she’s now 18. I adopt older kitties because they need love and a good home too. My partner Mercy and I make up stories about what her life was like before we met her. Who she lived with, what it was like at their house, things like that.
Q: What is your cat’s personality? Sam: Nova is very sweet. In fact she’s sitting between my arms purring, as I type this. She loves sitting on the couch in the living room, watching the world go by.
Q: What makes your cat happy? Sam: The aforementioned couch, and sitting in the sun.
Q: Do you have any funny stories about your cat? Sam: At night before bed I give Nova her thyroid medicine by rubbing it in her ear. After that, we play a game where I slide treats across the kitchen floor and she chases them. Often she sits in one spot and stops the treats with her paw like a soccer player.
Q: What is your favorite thing about your cat? Sam: She’s a sweetie. She loves having a nice home at her age.
Q: How did you decide to record Nova’s purrs? Sam: After Nova’s medical issue was addressed her purr grew more raspy and loud. My partner and I love hearing her purr, and we talked about recording it. As a musician I thought it would be fun to make an album of her purrs so others could hear Nova. It seemed like a fun idea. To add variety I included my own ambient music on some of the tracks on the debut. On her new album STELLARPURR there are three songs, two are long and are made up of purrs & music, such as the video for “Interstellar Purr (with Ambient Music).”
Q: Does Nova like the purring music? SAM: I think so. Sometimes when I’m playing the tracks at my desk, she’ll jump up and purr along with it.
Q: What makes Nova purr the most? SAM: Human interaction. Laying on her side on the couch, pawing at the back while getting pets. Thanks for asking me about Nova and our album. Pet your kitty for me. Sam
Track Listing: 1. Interstellar Purr 06:20 2. Interstellar Purr (with Ambient Music) 10:28 | YouTube video 3. Stellar Purr (with Ambient Music) 26:34
Your Bandcamp donation buys Nova her favorite treat, Churu.