Archive for the ‘Blog from Sam’ Category
Sam wrote this for Projekt artists, but any artist could benefit from this advice:Laraaji curated a Spotify playlist for Crack Magazine. It includes tracks from Steve Roach & Erik Wollo Rolling Stone article on Spotify Playlists gaining importance in music discovery
Are you reading the articles about playlists? They are a growing way that fans discover new artists. A band can be plucked from obscurity, by landing on the right tastemaker’s playlist. Kind of like the old days when a DJ loved a band and played them on their radio show a whole bunch.
Have you gone through the Spotify Artist Verification process to take control of your artist page on Spotify? If not, that’s task #1 for today. It’s a bit of a tedious process, but worth the trouble. Once you have that done, task #2 is to create your own playlist. Think of something interesting you want to share with your audience. It’s not just about your music, think of something broader and more creative. Such as, “10 tracks I was listening to when I recorded my first album,” or “10 tracks that I listen to when I meditate” or “6 songs that perfectly captured my confused sexuality as a high school student” (it’s back to school time, ya know!)
Yes, sure, you can include your own music on that playlist. But I think your fans already know your music, what makes this interesting is you are letting them get into your head, and see what you’re thinking. What matters to you.
Another really good use of a playlist is to promote a show or tour. Let’s say you’re playing out on a bill with three other artists. Make a playlist with tracks from each band; now you, the other bands, the promoter, etc, can share the playlist. You can send the link to local press, and maybe get it included in a preview article for the show.
What new ideas do you have, for using playlists to promote?
Here’s a Spotify Playlist I created for Aurelio Voltaire’s tour with Bella Morte.
When we mention that there are two new Steve Roach albums on cassette, reactions are either a look of bewilderment or a thoughtful introspective smile. Sometimes both. Steve was recently asked about this. He replies…
Over the last year, we’ve received a growing number of requests for music on cassette. After watching the underground revival of a medium many of us thought had rolled over long ago for all things digital, I was inspired to release my two new albums on cassette.
The interest for cassettes is not a new thing, and continues to grow beyond a niche audience. Internet searches will bring up an immense trove of information on this trend.
I feel the renewed interested is a combination of things: Nostalgia, for those who first heard electronic music on cassette back in the day, and a fond recollection of the analog playback experience and the organic tape sound.
I recently received the Long Thoughts cassette back from the factory. I had no idea what to expect. I played it in loop mode for several hours on auto-reverse on an Onyko cassette deck I’ve had in the studio for years. Long Thoughts in this medium has a rich, warm and full sound along with a pleasant, soft quality around the edges. I was quite surprised and happy with the result. I still have hundreds of cassettes of unreleased pieces from the 80’s. I regularly rummage through these tapes looking for a lost moment, and they still play fine and sound good for their age.
As for now and why? With so much of what compels me, it’s based on a feeling in the air. With the theme and spirit of Nostalgia for the Future, it just felt like the right time to create these audio offerings for the future. The cassette is something of a memory-activating timepiece you can hold in the palm of your hand and have a taste of the analog sound some people still long for. Nostalgia made real.
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.
Aurelio Voltaire returns to Projekt for his 11th studio album, Heart-Shaped Wound, expected around Labor Day weekend’s DragonCon Show in Atlanta. Aurelio Voltaire is on the road all of August with his friends Bella Morte. I created a Spotify Playlist< with songs from both artists for your enjoyment Pre-Order the new album at the Projekt website for $14 + shipping.
Name-your-price on this Projekt classic
CD at the Projekt webstore | Name-your-price download at Bandcamp.
Over the years Projekt released many stunning albums; but there’s always a rush for the new, and things slip-slip-slip into the past. It’s been seventeen years since we released A Temple in the Clouds, an amazing collaboration between film composer Jeffrey Fayman and (a man needs no introduction, but you know him from King Crimson) Robert Fripp.
This is one of those stunning releases that’s almost forgotten; it doesn’t get many new sales or listens these days. And that’s just a shame, because it’s a great album for fans of the No Pussyfooting-school of Fripp’s creativity. I decided I didn’t want this music sitting around, collecting digital dust. I’d love for you to hear this work! I put the CD on sale and the Bandcamp download is name-your-price for a week. Any donation you chip in when you download is split between Projekt and Fayman & Fripp. Your generosity is most appreciated, and it goes to a good cause (us!)
From 2000: A stunning album of looped Frippertronics and electronics, in the vein of the classic Fripp & Eno No Pussyfooting collaboration.
AmbientVisions: “A Temple in the Clouds is a spiritual and euphoric soundscape… a glorious album of Frippertronics and contemplative sound sculptures. The sheer spirituality of their experiences shines in this ethereal ambience and insightful minimalism. Piercing rays of bright and unfettered emotion overshadow the dark undertones.”
Read the full, mostly-factual album description
Last year’s innovative collaborations between Steve Roach and Robert Logan — Biosonic and Second Nature — ventured into new and exciting territory. Robert flew into Tucson from London today and will be resonating in the desert atmosphere at the Timehouse for several days, as the duo carve on a few new projects. More on these soon!
CDs on sale for $10 each or get the 2-pack for $20.
(this weekend only)Projekt Webstore, Top-5 for May
#1 Robert Rich: Live at the Gatherings 2015 (2CD) (Pre Order, Released June 2nd) #2 Chuck van Zyl: Celestial Mechanics (CD) (Pre Order, Released June 2nd) #3 Robert Rich & Markus Reuter: Lift A Feather To The Flood (CD) #4 Erik Wollo: Different Spaces (2-CD) #5 Slowdive: Slowdive (CD)
This offer is limited to 50 copies, order your box today!
• 10 CDs in the box. Approx 6 of the titles are darkwave / 4 of the CDs are ambient-electronic. • Mostly Projekt releases, but some are other labels we’ve distributed in the webstore. • These boxes are pre-made from overstock CDs. We cannot put specific titles in for you. We pick the albums you receive. • Barcodes are struck. • About half of the CDs are in digipaks or ecoWallets. CDs will be removed from jewel boxes where applicable (this saves you postage). • If you purchase two boxes, you will receive the same titles twice. • These are different from the last sale box (in 2016). • No refunds or replacements except if you receive a defective title. Then you will be issued a $2.50 refund.
USA CUSTOMERSPaypal $25 to email@example.com Include “$25 Clearance Box,” your email, and your mailing address in the comment area You will receive a confirmation from me when your package ships Shipping is free (a $3.12 value + 61¢ for the box) Shipping is via Media Mail (6 – 12 business days for delivery is typical)
FOREIGN CUSTOMERSEmail firstname.lastname@example.org with your mailing address. My shipping software requires that your address fit onto 5 lines (with the country alone on the final line). Use “Clearance Box $25” as your subject. I will email your total. $25 + shipping cost. Paypal your payment to email@example.com.
To give you an estimate, this box cost $21.38 to send to France! I know, I know! Postage is expensive Shipping is via cheapest airmail rate possible (surface mail is not available). Your package will be declared as samples, with a $5 value. Certain countries (such as Mexico) require Priority Mail International shipping, which is expensive (approx. $37). Because of past troubles with theft, Priority Mail is necessary to make sure your box arrives.
If you have questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE you paypal.
There are only 50 copies of this box available. Don’t delay!
If you want to share this sale on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook, use this link: https://www.projekt.com/store/10-for-25-clearance-box
F.A.Q. Q: Can I use my credit card? A: Sort of. I don’t have a way to directly process your credit card. BUT, paypal takes credit cards without you having to open a paypal account. Email email@example.com and I will send you an invoice. Here is a page we created with instructions for how to pay paypal with your credit card. The page is 1/2 a year old, so things might be somewhat different today, but it gives you an idea.
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.
F R O M A R O U N D T H E W E B :
Forrest Fang “…conjures an idealized world of sound – where Spacemusic, World Music, New Age and the Avant-Garde all share a common spirit, and sound connects everything.” – Star’s End introduction to an interview with Forrest Fang about Following the Ether Sun. Steve Roach Shadow of Time review in Italy’s Darkroom magazine (in Italian).
Black Tape For A Blue Girl Blood on the Snow review from The Noise Beneath The Snow. “The imagery presents itself herein as somewhat stark, yet still warm, perhaps in a dimly lit, intimate, privately held performance. Blood on the Snow is easily reminiscent of the days of Remnants of a Deeper Purity, perhaps mostly because of the presence of Oscar’s voice as well as the viola.”
Steve Roach’s Dreamtime Return included in this article, “32 Best Ambient Albums” at Optimistic Underground. “As a cohesive whole, the album folds in both electronic and natural sounds, from didgeridoos to huge synth pads to field recordings from the Australian outback. Steve Roach approaches the genre with spartan ideals, stripping the music down to its central essence and then amplifying that elemental spark into a massive conflagration.”
Name-your-price download at Bandcamp: Blood on the snow