Archive for the ‘Blog from Sam’ Category
Steve Roach LIVE
info on all upcoming concerts on this page of the Projekt website
Steve Roach is headed out to Santa Fe for his two concerts at Paradiso this weekend. On Saturday Steve is joined by fellow electronic innovator and collaborator Michael Stearns (Kiva, Desert Solitaire) and didgeridoo master Rob Thomas (Inlakesh and Monuments of Ecstasy.)
Steve's recent concerts are intense, intimate, immersive and stunning. From ethereal segments off "Structures from Silence," to not-yet-released driving analog sequencer pieces, to tracks from his latest releases and from the classic Dreamtime Return, Steve's set is a 2-hour career-spanning immersion in the realms of electronic music. As I type this, I am listening to this youTube video with excerpts from Steve's recent Pasadena Ambient Church concert. It's incredible — the intensity and focus Steve brings as he crafts a stellar flow of music, taking us on a journey of sound all in real time with real instruments!
A not-to-be-overlooked aspect of Steve's concerts is the community of fans who gather for the event. People fly from Europe — as well as from around the country — to be there. It cool hanging out with people I met at previous concerts, as well as making new friends. I try to get to town a day early, settle in, hang out, find the local brewery or taco truck. Mercy and I had a nice berry pie for breakfast the day of the Pasadena show, walked by the space where the '92-'95 Projekt office was located (the building is gone now), and celebrated their birthday with cupcakes! It's so worth it! Taking some time out of our busy life to do something different, fun, new! Experience some of what life has to offer!
It's also interesting spending time with friends who've gotten involved as facilitators with Plant Medicine and Technologies of the Sacred. Last time we met, they were in rock n roll bands, now they're helping people journey and heal from past trauma. Great to see people doing this work — our society needs more understanding, pain relief, and consciousness enhancements.
I'm flying with Mercy to Tucson for the November concerts, which are part of the All Souls Procession — a weekend-long celebration that incorporated many diverse cultural traditions with the common goal of honoring and remembering the deceased. The weekend culminates on Sunday November 3 with Steve's performance at the finale ceremony, with as many as 100,000 people coming off the parade route and crowding the streets for the event. The day before — Saturday the 2nd — Steve performs a full concert at MSA Annex outdoor festival venue.
Tucson, here we come! I've got our room booked at the 100-year-old Hotel Congress, the designated hotel. It can get loud at the Congress, it's an old building right in the middle of a hopping dance-club-filled downtown. It's a great space though, nice restaurant and five bars — worth the noise. I stay there every time I visit Tucson. I hope some of you make it out to this once in a lifetime weekend. Drop me a line if you're going, so we can say Hi in person!New York City 2020 Exciting news! Steve confirmed his first ever New York City show; tickets now on sale. It's an Ambient Church concert on March 28, 2020, in the beautiful St. George’s Episcopal Church off Stuyvesant Squark Park, between the Gramercy Park and East Village parts of town. I expect I'll be there too. It will be nice to visit the city after being away for a few years. video for “Synesthete” from BLOOM ASCENSION
Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal edited a montage of Steve Roach creating in the studio set to the track “Synesthete” from BLOOM ASCENSION — watch at youTube.
Originally released on vinyl in March 1984, Tanzmusik is one of minimal synth’s top Holy Grails. Recorded in the electronic style now known as synthwave, it was the first LP from Sam Rosenthal, founder of the iconic Projekt Records label and mind behind one of the most influential darkwave acts out of the US, Black Tape For A Blue Girl.
A historic work that deserves to be torn from oblivion, Tanzmusik was completely recorded at home on a four-track TEAC-2340 with a super minimal setup (Korg Poly-61, Moog Realistic Concertmate MG-1, Boss Dr-110 and some effects). The ’84 vinyl release was limited to 250 copies with a tannish card glued to a white LP jacket; the re-release in 2012 was an edition of 500 on Italy’s Mannequin label. All physical formats are once again sold out, but the album lives on in the digital world, with a name-your-price-download at Bandcamp.
In 2012, The Big Takeover wrote: “Released at a time shortly before the forming of his band, Black Tape for a Blue Girl, the listener might well be stunned by what they hear. Instead of the dark — some may call it ‘goth’ — sounds that he would soon become famous for, Tanzmusik is a record that is oddly upbeat, somewhat poppy in nature, yet with a prog-rock heart that’s equally undeniable. It’s not quite New Wave, it’s not quite progressive, it’s not quite darkwave — but it is an interesting compilation of the ideas of a talented young man with numerous ideas in his head about directions he could go. “
Recorded when Sam was 19, the album continued in the “electronic mood-music” tradition established on three earlier cassette-only releases. With the added intrigues of the drum-computer, Tanzmusik explored the realms of electronic music that critics at the time compared to Tangerine Dream, O.M.D., Brian Eno and these days also compare to Cluster and the first Human League.
Sam writes, “When contacted about a re-issue in 2010 by Alessandro Adriani at Mannequin, I decided to remaster the album for them. After getting the digitized recordings back from my mastering guy in Canada, I discovered it wasn’t the stereo 2-track mix at all but the actual 4-track recording. Wow! I thought the multis were long gone, but here they were in pristine digital form! I remixed the album in my studio, staying true to the original – while bringing back a few instruments that were buried in the '84 mix. Sonically, the current version sounds even more incredible than it did back in 1984!”
"Before I remixed the album, I had not listened to it in probably 15 years. In my memories of the album, I thought the ambient songs were the good ones, and the synth-pop ones were the weak link. But now I think I like the synth-pop ones — like “Alone” and “We Return” — more. On the other hand, I really like that sequencer at the beginning of “The Coming Fall.” If my Korg Poly-61 wasn’t dead, I would set up that patch again and write something new around it; I still have all the notes for my synth settings for the songs. Scary. Overall, I am a lot happier with the album than I expected to be. When Alessandro got in touch with me about releasing it, I was sort of skeptical, and procrastinated a whole bunch. But when I started actually working on it, I liked it. It’s quite a nice album. Schizophrenic, but that’s OK."
Sam Rosenthal is an American artist. He is the founder and leader of the band Black Tape For a Blue Girl and the record label Projekt Records (35th anniversary in 2018). He lives in Portland Oregon with his son and cat. Black Tape For a Blue Girl — begun in 1986 after his move from Florida to California — serves as a vehicle for Rosenthal’s musical vision. Its signature combination of gothic, ethereal, ambient and neo-classical elements explores existential themes of loves lost and passions yet to come. After releasing 9 cassettes and the LP of his early electronic work prior to 1986, he developed a full-fledged band whose members revolve around Rosenthal’s subtle electronic foundation. In the last few years he has also been releasing electronic solo work under the names As Lonely As Dave Bowman and Sam Rosenthal, as well as collaborations with other artists.
Click Here for the history of Projekt's out-of-print releases, and Sam’s early electronic releases.
Over the course of seventeen solo albums and three-plus decades, San Francisco Bay-area ambient/electronic musician Forrest Fang has cultivated his surrealist blend of electronically-transformed ethnic instruments and minimalist aural environments. Today we bring you two previously unreleased tracks available for streaming and download at Forrest's Soundcloud page. The first one was recorded just 10 days ago!For John Dunn (081819) Listen here
Forrest writes: I recorded this piece after hearing recently of the passing of John Dunn, one of the early developers of generative music software for the PC in the age of DOS and Windows 3.1. I learned recently that Dunn had passed away in 2018. This piece uses only output from his generative programs, SoftStep and Bankstep. The sounds come from an old EMU UltraProteus module, which I used extensively during the 90s. (The screenshot comes from another early Dunn program for DOS called Melodia. I used Melodia on my 1997 album, "The Blind Messenger," on Cuneiform.)
Happy Belated BD, Mr. B.E. (051819) Listen Here
I missed Eno's 70th birthday by 3 days, but I belatedly recorded this piece to honor it.2 free downloads from jarguna, here
Jarguna is Italian ethno-organic-ambient sound-artist Marco Billi. Prospettive Animiche is intimate and minimalist with deep ambient characteristics. “I made this music,” Jarguna reflects, “by playing the instruments as if I were creating a mantra; what arose is a sound spiral for electronic meditation, drones for an emotional exploration, deep, low, slow, sometimes repetitive with refrains imbued with sacredness." Full album description here
Enjoy the music!
From Sam: You might wonder why I regularly give away downloads from this amazing Italian electro-ambient-drone artist. Why isn’t Projekt trying to get every possible penny from the albums we release. The answer is pretty simple: I want people to hear Jarguna’s work. I love the music he creates, I listen to it for hours and hours over here; it’s a perfect fit for fans of Projekt’s ambient side. Ok, but that doesn’t explain why it’s free. I find that any price point is an obstacle to people checking out new music from artists they aren’t familiar with. There’s so much available these days, it’s hard to get people to listen. Giving the music away allows Projekt and Jarguna to add something nice to your listening space where you can give the music time to work it’s magic on you.
That’s why I do it!
Jarguna is Italian ethno-organic-ambient sound-artist Marco Billi. Prospettive Animiche is intimate and minimalist with deep ambient characteristics. “I made this music,” Jarguna reflects, “by playing the instruments as if I were creating a mantra; what arose is a sound spiral for electronic meditation, drones for an emotional exploration, deep, low, slow, sometimes repetitive with refrains imbued with sacredness.”
Ok, there’s another reason I give albums away. Many of you are fans of the art of music, you understand it costs money (in time & energy) to create this work, and you’re generous and you want to support people who’ve dedicated their lives to creation. Thus, w hen getting a free download, many of you put in a donation. It doesn’t have to be a lot. A dollar. Five dollars? It adds up. That’s money Jarguna and Projekt split, so we can keep releasing great music.< Here's something you might not know. Prospettive Animiche is Jarguna’s 26th release! That’s a lot of wonderful music in 13 years.
2019’s Prospettive Animiche and 2016’s Fusion of Soul. These digital-only releases are name-your-price for a week at Projekt’s Bandcamp store.
“A guitar-heavy shoegaze backdrop over a beautiful female voice, hovering like a red angel and instilling both fear and devotion.” – BIG TAKEOVER #44
Sam says, "Digging through the back catalog, I noticed Mira's debut wasn't on our Bandcamp page; so I fixed that. Back in 2000, this album introduced Projekt fans to an amazing new shoegaze band with Regina's striking vocals. At the time, fans were aching for more music to follow in the footsteps of our successful early-90s act Love Spirals Downwards; with Mira they got a full rock sound and aching, heartfelt vocals. Mira followed up their debut with two additional incredible albums. For today, give their debut a fresh listen, with a crisp new download for your collection. It's brilliant!
From POST-PUNK, 2018: Definitive Dreaminess: 100 Essential Dream Pop Releases: Hailing from the bowels of Florida, Mira found a perfect home on Projekt Records, a label well aligned with dream pop, shoegaze, and ethereal music. Their (2000) debut, a transitional record, perfectly dabbled in all three styles over the course of nine original tracks and a beautifully understated cover of a My Bloody Valentine classic that sleepily traded in the noise and focused on the song’s true essence. The song “Cayman,” while written about a cat, tugs at the heartstrings in a way that few songs can, building upon itself with sweeping layers of guitar and Regina Sosinska’s sweetly detached vocals. – FD
Mira drift on a wave of dreamy, engaging female vocals. Ripples of guitars swell against shores of post-punk structures, undulating in a surging, shoegazer undercurrent.
name-your-price download at Projekt's Bandcamp
Byron Metcalf & Mark Seelig: INTENTION Weekend sale: $8 CD and name-your-price download
Sam writes: It’s hard to believe it’s already five years since Projekt released this fabulous CD! I like reminding our listeners (new and regulars) about past releases worthy of attention, and one of the best ways of doing that is with a free download. Put it on your device and listen at your leisure. Intention is an especially potent release for journey work, meditation, studying, etc. Give it a go, and add it to your regular rotation.
Intention is a totally acoustic, transcultural tour de force of multi-layered tribal-ambient rhythms, indigenous instruments, and mesmerizing soundscapes – expertly crafted to induce and support expanded states of consciousness.
Byron’s potent and spellbinding drumming and percussion merge with Mark’s haunting and beautiful bansuri flutes and Tuvan-style throat singing to create a bold, larger-than-life journey into infinite possibilities. Rob Thomas (Inlakesh) and Dashmesh Khalsa contribute aboriginal didgeridoo textures to further deepen and expand the sonic field.
Tav Sparks (author and director of Grof Transpersonal Training) writes: “With Intention Byron Metcalf and Mark Seelig have created an irresistibly powerful, aesthetic synthesis of indigenous sources and trans-cultural trance with a mesmerizing urban shamanic pulse. This CD is proof that the rhythms and sounds of the ages can be translated with respect, grace, and skill to support a broad spectrum of transformational practices, including breathwork, dance, and any modern framework celebrating journeys into expanded states of awareness.”
Peter Thelen of Expose writes: Trance music means different things to different listeners, and this latest collaboration between drummer and percussionist Byron Metcalf, and bansuri flute player Mark Seelig plus guests is a case in point where “Trance” doesn’t need to involve any electronics or amplified instrumentation at all. All but one of the five tracks feature didgeridoo, played either by Rob Thomas or Dashmesh Khalsa, with the final cut featuring guests on water pot udu and tabla. Each of the five long pieces – the shortest being just under ten minutes and the longest being well over an album side, evolve slowly and gently guide the listener into mysterious worlds of alternate consciousness, layering bansuri, digeridoo and overtone vocals (by Seelig) over a repetitive yet spellbinding bed of hand drums, rattles, shakers, and more.
The result takes a different path for each piece, but moves the listener into a tribal ambient world where sounds and feelings are folding and twisting together into something ritualistic and magical. While the overtone singing may sound like a synthesizer at times, the proceedings are a purely acoustic endeavor, merging powerful external visions with cosmic inner spaces into something of an explorative ceremony. The listener will find power and beauty among these primitive soundscapes, merging modern spirit with ancient traditions.
Please reshare. Twitter: #ProjektRecords and @ProjektRecords
Steve Roach: This Place To Be (2019 Reissue CD) $12.00 (Now Shipping!)
Evoking the stillpoint of now, this 2016 long-form piece was born in the spirit of Invisible, Bloodmoon Rising and other soul tone zones of pure immersion, deep atmospherics and textural healing. After a long run of concerts and the wide range of dynamic releases over the past few years, the return to home gave birth to this place to be.
Originally released in 2016 but out-of-print for years.Steve Roach: Invisible (2019 Reissue CD) $12.00 (Now Shipping!)
“Invisible is a long-form zone world Steve created while hunkering down in the Timeroom during the last few cold and rain-filled days of 2014. Invisible is an ultra deep primordial dreamscape of shifting mercurial zones. Mist-shrouded amorphous phantasms appear and recede as distant substrata murmurs are felt as much as heard. Just a few days after its creation, it was offered as a gift on New Year’s Eve and many were able to travel deeply into the new year in a collective global soundcurrent experience.” – original description
Originally released in 2015 but out-of-print for years.Steve Roach Live in Los Angeles, August 30
Ambient Church, Early-bird tickets on sale + advised. The pioneering American synthesist performs work spanning his 40-year career – including Dreamtime Return – in a 132-year-old 1400-capacity church in Pasadena. A long awaited 2-hour journey with a massive force in American space music.Altair (Live At The Gatherings/Star’s End 2CD)
(Pre-Order, Expected Early July) $17.00
DiN label boss Ian Boddy has been performing his own brand of ambient electronica since 1979. Over those 40 years he has built up a wealth of experience of what works in a live environment as well as being able to tailor his shows to the particular setting he finds himself in. As well as playing all over the UK and in Germany & The Netherlands he has also crossed the Atlantic several times to play shows in Philadelphia. The main reason for the latter destination is the wonderful community of listeners built up by Chuck van Zyl at The Gatherings series of concerts which provides a dedicated fan base for Boddy’s style of electronic music. Chuck is also the host of the excellent Star’s End Radio show on WXPN in Philadelphia and Boddy has often combined these concert trips with live radio shows for both Star’s End as well as Echoes Radio hosted by John Diliberto.
Thus 2018 ushered in a fresh adventure for Boddy with a new invitation to play at The Gatherings. His past performances have found their way on to releases such as Shrouded (his 2000 show) and React (DiN29) with Robert Rich. Several of his Star’s End live sets have also been released on DiNDDL as download only albums. However the trip in 2018 produced what is in Boddy’s opinion, his best pair of performances to date and so he has decided to release a double live album to showcase this trip.
The first disc documents his Gatherings show on the evening of 20th October in the beautiful St. Mary’s Church in Philadelphia whereas the second disc is his live radio show on Star’s End performed at 2am on the Sunday morning immediately after his Gatherings show.
You can read the fully formatted email list at iContact.
Hi! I say any Monday can be Cyber Monday if we want to have a sale! And we wanna have a sale! Take 50% off all downloads at the Projekt Bandcamp store.PROJEKT’S CYBERMONDAY DIGITAL 50% OFF SALE
Digital-only 50% OFF sale at our Bandcamp store. Sale does not include merchandise (CDs+LPs+etc). Order refunded if you purchase merch. Use checkout coupon code "june2019". Sale ends Wednesday June 19, 2019, Noon EST.
❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ This month, Projekt reprinted 4 of Aurelio Voltaire’s releases; 5 of his 6 albums are now in earth-saving non-jewel box packaging. To celebrate, we’ve put his entire Projekt catalog on sale for $10; and Boo Hoo is a free download at Bandcamp to boot! Purchase here at the Projekt Webstore, or from our Bandcamp page.
Sale runs for one week, through May 6.