Archive for the ‘Blog from Sam’ Category
At Bandcamp, I’ve added Steve Roach’s amazing 2003 4-CD set MYSTIC CHORDS & SACRED SPACES. Download “Vortex Ring,” a 12 minute track, for free while supplies last!
This is a limited time thingie, go over to Bandcamp and grab it today!
Hi — the year is quickly drawing to a close! This past week I was busy writing holiday cards to the extremely cool people who contributed to the Remnants of a deeper purity vinyl Kickstarter campaign. You know who you are, and you’re all cool.
While I was writing those cards, I was thinking about what might make a nice gift to give everyone, for making this a great year. And I settled on my 1992 collaboration with vidnaObmana: Terrace of Memories. It’s one of the many lovely albums from the 90s that has gotten “lost” over the course of time. There’s so much great music out there to chose from, how are you going to discover an album from 21 years ago?
Well, the best way is to get it as a gift.
Here you go!
For a limited time, you can have this download at Bandcamp for as little or as much as you want to contribute. It could be zero, it could be a buck. Or five. Whatever you chip in is appreciated.
As far as I can recall, I began working on this collaboration with vidna after the recording of A chaos of desire. Dirk sent me cassette tapes of music, and I worked on my 8-track. I believe the first track was “Of silent crossings” and I was very pleased with the result. But then I got distracted by other projects, and the tapes were pushed to the back-burner and the album wasn’t concluded until 1992. Quite honestly, I only have the vaguest memory of working on it in The Lush Garden studio in Los Angeles. I remember that even a few weeks after I finished a piece, it was hard for me to tell what parts I played and what parts were vidna. Aside from the low cello sound from my eMax, and the very slight vocals on the one track, who played what is a blur. That’s cool. It’s a great ambient blend.
I asked Vidna for his recollections on the album… “Back in the days, pre-internet, we traded a lot of tapes by mail. Projects and collaborations took much longer to complete due to the longer waiting times, waiting for the postal system to do their work. When I started to correspond with Sam in the mid 80s (I don’t know really who contacted who), I was very into the albums by his Black Tape For A Blue Girl band. The eerie atmospheres and ambience which surrounding the songs were really mesmerizing and I could hear a blend of Sam’s soundstructures with my ambience. So I sent him sources on tape. But with every collaboration release back then, time moved by before actually something was completed, again due to the slower way of communicating. Meaning that at the moment something came to you or vice-versa, it happened quite often you were already in a different state of mind. When Sam sent the first song, I wasn’t in tune anymore despite Sam’s brilliant interaction and additional performances. Nevertheless we completed the album and decided to release it as a Terrace Of Memories project, rather than a Sam Rosenthal & vidnaObmana album, most likely due to my doubts for the album back then. But with every strong album, my feelings towards this album changed over time and over the course of the next five years I learned to love this album again and it became and still is one of my favorite collaborations I ever done. And believe me I did plenty. Terrace of Memories is a real Sam Rosenthal & vidnaObmana collaboration and I truly wonder why we never did a follow-up. Enjoy.”
“More than ever before, Sam lets his emotions run away on a tide of ambient turbulence. Five drifting movements ride the intake of senses, breathing the air of life and surrounding beauty. As fullsome as the cycle of seasons, cascading visions of past and present contact loop and collide. A very deep personal intrusion into the mind & heart, represented by a dark, mysterious and sensual music. Cast adrift into the caring hands of this truly original and honest artist who not only lives within himself, but sheds his soul through others as well.” – THE EMPTY QUARTER, England
PS: get your free download from Bandcamp.
PSS: Please SHARE this. Here is a Facebook note you can post on your page. Or drop this URL into your post: https://blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com/album/terrace-of-memories-name-your-price
From Sam Rosenthal: Do you know that Projekt is 30 years old this year? I didn’t really do anything to celebrate…. any suggestions? I started a facebook thread for this one; go over and post your comments. And also read all the great Projekt memories. Many suggested I celebrating by putting out a brand new compilation. 30 tracks for 30 years. Yes, wonderful idea, EXCEPT for the costs! I have to pay the bands, I have to pay to make the CD. The last time I put out a deluxe compilation was Projekt 200. It cost over $15,000 to create! It’s a really amazing label retrospective. 3 CDs. Tons of music. Beautiful packaging. Pre-paid all the bands…. And ya know what, almost nobody bought it. : ( I had to throw most of them in the recylcing when the roof collapsed a few years back! I have been selling them off at a loss, just to recoup some of my investment. You can understand why I’m weary of investing a lot of effort and cash into a new deluxe compilation, right? Can I call Projekt200 our 30th anniversary disc, and everyone can go buy that!? I mean have you seen this thing? It’s gorgeous! If you wanna do something for Projekt’s 30th go visit the Projekt webstore and pick that one up for $11!But enough of the party-pooping! : )
The last few days, I’ve been hand-writing holiday cards to people who contributed to my Remnants of a deeper purity vinyl kickstarter. [ Did you hear? We raised just over $8000. Total success! ] It’s been really fun thinking up personalized messages for all of you, and thinking about how lucky I am that there are people all over the world who care about my art, and want to support what I do. Over the last ten days, I’ve been messaging with tons of my fans. Part of it was asking them to support the campaign, but it turned into talking about the music, reminiscing about shows, and realizing how much people care about my art. I have to admit, I feel a bit like Voltaire right now! Have you seen the man’s Facebook page? His fans are loyal, dedicated, and love his work. I am so impressed with how hard Voltaire works for his fans. And the love he receives back for that. I generally don’t get the opportunity to put in that kind of effort, because I’m busy Projekt-ing all day. But this week has been full of love. And I really feel it. And that feels good. Let’s keep doing that, ok? Writing these cards has filled me with gratitude for your support over the years. And reminded me that I’m an artist. And I make stuff, and some of you really love it. For those of you who missed the Kickstarter campaign, but would like to support… you can visit the Black Tape For A Blue Girl Bandcamp page and check out my music. Many are “name your price.” Or go and grab the Remnants of a deeper purity page here on Projekt. One can spend a lot of time noticing all the destruction going on in the music industry. However, it’s nice to see the other side: the people who care enough about my music to support it in a big way. You people are great. I do appreciate you being there. And I feel a lot better when I’m thinking about the positive side of things.
Thanks for reminding me of that.
In the last two days I’ve gotten a couple of really great emails from Projekt fans, telling me how much they love the holiday releases I’ve put together. Very sweet, I appreciate hearing that. You know, I gotta be honest, Xmas-day music really isn’t my thing. But instead of complaining, In 1995 I started to fix that: Projekt makes the season less glaring and much more warm and sensual with our lovely selection of holiday titles. A lot of darkwave goodness here. Check it out!
Ornamental ~ Various Artists | 2012 2-CD $14 | Bandcamp Download $11 | iTunes Download $12 > Silver Smoke, Star of Night ~ Jill Tracy | 2012 CD $10 | Bandcamp Download $8 | iTunes Download $7.92
“Jill Tracy’s Silver Smoke, Star of Night is the Christmas album I’d been wishing for my entire life.” —GOTHIC BEAUTY MAGAZINE
Spread holiday cheer by buying Ornamental and Silver Smoke, Star of Night together for $20. Holiday twin pack.
In the U.S.A., your order will arrive before Xmas. Not guaranteed for foreign customers (but we’ll try!).
Our #1 selling holiday item: Excelsis 3-CD Pack ~ v.1, v.2 & v.3 | CD $23 | This is a special package price on the first three releases in our holiday series…
Excelsis v.1 ~ a dark noel | 1995 CD $14 Excelsis v.2 ~ a winter’s song | 1999 CD $14 Excelsis v.3 (Maxi-CD) ~ a prelude | 2001 EP $8 Holiday Single 1 | 2004 Ltd Edition CD Single $2 Holiday Single 2 | 2004 Ltd Edition CD-Single $2 A Dark Noel “a best of” | holiday sampler 1-CD $5
While supplies last, we have the No.40|WINTER2014 sampler for you. It is included with every order of merchandise valued at $25 before shipping. Click to see the track list and add it to your cart.
Remnants of a deeper purity turns 18 with a deluxe 2-LP swirled vinyl edition that the band’s fans are funding on Kickstarter
People often ask if I am going to put out something from Black tape for a blue girl on vinyl. In fact, there was vinyl years ago for the first two albums. But that was a different era, and now it’s time for us to put out vinyl again. When I say “us,” I mean you and me; because together, we can make Remnants of a deeper purity exist on vinyl. It’s your support at Kickstarter that will raise the money so this project can happen.
Listen to some tracks from the album on our bandcamp page.
Blacktape’s 1996 Remnants album is the best seller for the band; and not only that, recently on Facebook the fans voted it their favorite album. It’s the perfect release to put out on vinyl. Keep in mind that the Kickstarter only works when we hit our $7000 goal. So it’s your support, and spreading the word, that is going to get the album funded.
The music business has changed drastically in the 17 years since the release of Remnants. The way I see it, (for underground artists) the music business is now a patronage system. Instead of Kings supporting the arts, you – the fans – are the patrons of the art you love. I have created three Kickstarters – all of which have funded – and I am amazed and thankful to have fans like you who care enough about what I do to support my art.
Back in 1996 when I recorded Remnants with Oscar, Lucian, Vicki and Mera, we had no idea the album would touch so many people and have such a lasting impact. It feels really great to be here, almost 18 years later, getting ready to celebrate Remnants again. Join us at Kickstarter
Thanks so much for your help in that.
Pull up a chair, grab your coffee, or your lunch…
Reflections on the 90s, a new start and plans for the future
Hi. I’ve been quite delinquent on creating art lately, but I feel poised for a fresh start. You see, a couple of months ago I moved from Brooklyn, New York, to Portland, Oregon. Planning and moving and finding a place to live took 5 months of my life; time I planned to use writing the sequel to Rye and writing new music. That didn’t happen.
But there’s an upside to this move. The stereotypes are true: life is easier in Portland. Things aren’t as expensive, people are friendly, I’ll have my studio set-up again, and my son now has a house to grow up in. All great stuff.
I’ve been thinking a lot about time and what is important to me. I want to get back to the way things were in the first half of the 90s. Back then, the label and my music took up equal parts of my time. Thinking back on it, I created a lot of great music in the first half of the 90s: This lush garden within, Terrace of memories, two collaborations with Patrick Ogle in Thanatos, and I recorded almost half of Remnants of a deeper purity. Not too shabby for 5 years of work! In comparison, the last Blacktape studio album was 4 years ago, and the Passage was 2 years ago.
That’s what I want to do here in PDX: get back to work on art. Black tape for a blue girl, as well as solo electronic stuff. And also write the sequel to Rye: we must find out what the three of them do next!
I am often asked, “What’s going to happen to the band, now that you’ve moved?” The answer is that the band will continue, of course! The band exists so long as I feel like creating music. Back in the 90s, band members didn’t live in Los Angeles, they flew in to record, and that worked out quite nicely. I still plan to work with Athan and Laurie and Valerie. And play live again soon-ish (when there’s some new music to peform).
And I’m getting started with working on art. In the next week I’ll begin a Kickstarter to fund a 2-LP Vinyl edition of Remnants of a deeper purity. [ Update, the Kickstarter is now live ]. It is going to be very sweet! Very deluxe. I’m always asked about putting out vinyl, and this Kickstarter will let me know if the interest is there to support it. I hope you all will get on board to make it a reality.
The music business has changed drastically in the last 10 years. The way I see it (for underground artists), the music business is now a patronage system. Instead of Kings supporting the arts, you – the fans – are the patrons of the art you love. I have created three Kickstarters – all of which have funded – and I am amazed and thankful to have fans like you who care enough about what I do to support my art. During the 2nd half of the 90s and the 00s, I felt a growing disconnect. People stopped writing letters, and the internet didn’t pick up the slack. Now on Facebook, and through Kickstarter and Bandcamp, I feel in touch with you, again. I know many of my fans by name, and get to know you and what matters to you. This feels nice.
Also, going out and doing the intimate “Reading From Rye” events allowed me to hang-out and meet people. Which was a lot more fun than when the band is on tour, and I end up being a roadie and driver for my own band. I enjoyed the connection we made on the Rye tour: meeting new people, sharing a few laughs and a drink….
…(pause)…. Ok, I’m back now. I just got a phone call from my son. He had to update me on school today. And what his mom’s dog is up to.
Speaking of Kickstarter, Patrick of Thanatos has a Kickstarter to raise funds to record an album of all new songs [ Update: the Kickstarter funded. Thanks! ]. A little secret on this one: if he raises enough, I might get involved and play on a few songs. Patrick performed an acoustic show in NYC recently, you can watch clips at YouTube. “Red Rocks, Coyotes” live video.
I envision the next Black tape for a blue girl album will be an experience that brings you into the studio, providing insider access to work in progress, creative ideas, and serve as a place for us to privately discuss the creative process. I want to give those who love the music more than just “the finished product.” I want you to know what goes into the creation of the music. You will get to hear the songs evolve, and hear the scraps that get discarded, read the thoughts of the artist at work. Sure, that’s not for everyone, which is why there will be different levels of involvement. I imagine this as a “backstage pass” or “studio access” (I am still trying to come up with just the right word for this concept – suggestions?). Aside from downloads of music, I want it to have a blog component, and a once in a while chat, so you can give me your thoughts and reflections on what you are hearing.
This idea came to me while I was in the final stages of writing Rye. Once the novel had gone through the 2nd round with my editor, I sent it out to a few friends to read. I’d give them one section at a time, so they could report back their reflections and I’d integrate it into my changes. I realized it was really fun to read and discuss how they were experiencing the book and the characters. For me, art is about an exchange and about connection. And hearing thoughts on my characters helped me understand if they were getting their message across. It was surprisingly fun for me!
This new album will be an interesting experiment: sort of like a realtime reality show of the making of my album.
That’s something for 2014. But for now, look forward to a follow-up email in the next few days about the Remnants of a Deeper Purity Kickstarter.
And thanks for being a supporter of my art.
PS: Could you write a review of Remnants of a Deeper Purity (or your favorite Blacktape album) at iTunes. The one that’s up there now is pretty awful…. thanks!
PSS: Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Facebook page. Join us!
If you want to share this on Facebook, it is posted here
Space Capsule (91.3 FM KVLU, Beaumont Texas)
Today’s show features a Steve Roach interview and a selection of Steve’s new music! Listen in Friday (Nov. 1st) at 11 pm CST and again Sunday (Nov. 3rd) at 8 pm CST. Space Capsule streams at KVLU.org.
Space Capsule on Facebook.
The show will be up for streaming on Monday (Nov 4): mixcloud.
On Saturday (Nov 2), The program Night Lab features an hour of Steve’s music at 1 am CST following KVLU’s airing of Hearts of Space at midnight.At Water’s Edge (Stillstream.com)
Listen to a podcast interview Rebekkah did with Steve, leading up to the Vortex Immersion Concerts in Los Angeles.
Voltaire Halloween-week $7.99 sale at iTunes
Voltaire’s first 5 albums are on sale at iTunesMusic: I think it’s worth more than a donut
If you care about the future of the music you love, this trailer for the film UNSOUND is worth nine minutes of your time
Hey Los Angeles! I’m going to be at all of these shows. See you there. – Sam. Steve’s Oct 25 & 26 Los Angeles Dome Concerts have limited seating and tickets are selling fast. Tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/7895508679/efbeventNOIR
featuring Athan Maroulis of Spahn Ranch & Black Tape For A Blue Girl
NOIR’s album Darkly Near ships in late August (pre-order for $14 at Projekt).
NOIR perform three exclusive East Coast shows:
“Forbidden Colours” (ep)
Free at Bandcamp | Last year, for the Ornamental holiday CD, I recorded a lush cover version of the theme from the 1985 David Bowie film, Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (written by David Sylvian / Ryuichi Sakamoto). It’s a haunting, neo-classical track in the vein of the Remnants of a Deeper Purity album. A fan wanted a copy, so I put it up at Bandcamp, and added an unreleased early mix, as well as a track named “Forbidden” originally recorded for This Lush Garden Within, but it ended up on the First Pain to Linger book ep. The whole thing is up for a limited time as a free download!
Remnants of a Deeper Purity (2-disc edition)
$10 at Bandcamp | $14 CD at Projekt | Spectrum Culture listed Remnants as the #7 best Goth album of all time: Of all the albums on this list, none are more fragile or beautiful than Black Tape for a Blue Girl’s Remnants of a Deeper Purity. Fronted by Sam Rosenthal, the record is home to a host of long, challenging songs, including 26 minute centerpiece “For You Will Burn Your Wings upon the Sun.” Blending synths with Vicki Richards’ violin and Mera Roberts’ cello, Rosenthal has created something more than rock music. If ethereal had a sound, Remnants would be it. Featuring Oscar and Lucian on vocals, these nine songs are goth to the core: they are darkly beautiful, aching and melancholy. By the time album closer “I Have No More Answers” comes to an end, you feel that Rosenthal has taken you on a journey, floating you through a realm of shadowy sadness and an electronic atmosphere that stretches out forever.
The Pleasures Everlasting (ep)
$3 at Bandcamp | Black tape for a blue girl interprets the music of Dead Can Dance and Sonic Youth. Blacktape’s version of DCD’s “Fortune Presents Gifts Not According To The Book” first appeared on Projekt’s 2005 Summoning of the Muse compilation, but had never appeared as a legal digital download. Their version of Sonic Youth’s “Shadow of a Doubt” was recorded for 2002′s The Scavenger Bride album. The two additional Sonic Youth interpretations which round out this ep were recorded in the summer of 2008, for this release. They both feature Elysabeth’s passionate reworking of Kim Gordon’s lyrics.