Archive for the ‘Free Music’ Category

Aug 04

ProjektList#140804, Sam’s thoughts (continued). News, links + griping about the record industry .

Grab your cup-o-joe, and dive into today’s email list from Projekt Record’s Sam Rosenthal…

Good morning! I want to start right off by saying Projekt is doing fine, my life is pretty great. Some people translated all the griping on last week’s list as some coded message that we’ve reach the end of days ’round these parts. Nope, not the case at all. I have a nice life thanks to all of you! I work for myself in a really lovely house from 1907, with my cat by my side. My son is here half the week, and I take breaks to make him lunch and be talked at about Minecraft. Almost every day I get on the phone with one of my favorite artists: Steve Roach! We’re always brainstorming great new things for you, working on album covers and promotions that keep the music flowing. I get to work with many other talented artists; and I just finished the bi-annually royalty payment mailing! I guestimate Projekt has paid $500,000 in royalties over the last 30 years. It’s a pretty sweet, gig, all things considered.

Please understand that grumbling about the state of the music industry is only one aspect of running Projekt. I’d speculate that thinking about this ¢rap occupies only 5 – 10% of my time! There is a lot of great stuff going on here; otherwise, I would have stopped doing this a loooooong time ago. – Sam

Download this great compilation, your soundtrack to today’s elist. It’s a pay-as-you-wish Projekt electronic / ambient sampler. Ninty minutes of fabulous music, available for download or streaming at Bandcamp.


Previously, on the Projekt eList…

On last week’s list (read here) I discussed the changes at Facebook that mean you’ll no longer see posts from the bands and artists you “liked;” and offered a chart of just how little income Projekt’s earn via Spotify. The most important bit of information (to get you up to speed for today’s list) is this:

At Spotify, on 6 months of Black Tape For A Blue Girl sales, the average per stream payment was $.00523 (before my distributor’s fees)…. If you average 13 tracks per album, and an earning of $155.39 for 2285 albums, that’s 6.80¢ per album. Hmmmmmmmmm? A cup of coffee or a beer is worth $4; an album is worth under 7¢ ?

This is the point that a lot of us artists find hard to believe. Today’s generation of “music fans” find it okee-dokey that an album is only worth 1.75% of what a beer costs at a baseball game!

and now a brief commercial interruption, before we begin… Available for pre-order at Projekt:

Android Lust: The Dividing 10th Anniversary 2-LP | $25

Expected Early August. EMOTIONAL INDUSTRIAL. 10th Anniversary edition of Android Lust’s critically acclaimed sophomore album, The Dividing. Released only digitally and as a limited edition clear vinyl, this version features brand new remixes from Collide, Gregory Stewart (Z Marr/Combichrist), I, Parasite, Inertial and R010R. Spiritual Front: Vladimir Central Ltd Ed Vinyl 12″ | $35 Expected Late August. A superlimited edition of 200 hand-numbered and signed (by Simone) copies. Special screenprinted vinyl (print on Side A, music on Side B). Including an insert and sticker and containing two new, exclusive songs.


picking up where list#140728 left off…

Now, I am sure you are not one of the people arguing that music should be (almost) free; I know that you support artists with your hard-earned dollars and your purchases of Projekt releases. But for the rest of these people: seriously?! Albums don’t just magically appear out of thin air. It takes a lot of time and effort for all of us to create this work. And while most of us love doing it, we certainly don’t mind being compensated for our effort. Voltaire crowd-funded nearly $54,000 at indiegogo for Raised by Bats, and he spent it all (and more) making the album! Artists pour hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars into their creations.

When people consume these albums at a rate of 7¢ per unit, how can an artist ever hope to recoup their costs, let alone earn enough to live off? This is where the internet and streaming has brought us.

This is not healthy for society. Our society consumes a lot of art. Somehow, people have to decide that art is worth supporting. If nobody was listening to music, then I’d agree that we shouldn’t be paid. But clearly the music is being listened to… People want to hear music and watch movies and play games. Yet many don’t want to pay a living wage for it.

Most artists earn less than fast food employees.

And let me just say, Don’t give credence to the “but you make your money touring” meme. That’s an excuse to let somebody else pay the bill. Yes, U2 grossed $750million on their last tour. But — surprise surprise — Bono didn’t share any of that with us. 🙂 Black Tape For A Blue Girl loses money when we tour. Most Projekt bands lose money when they tour. A few (Voltaire, Steve Roach) make a profit. But the idea that most artists make a living touring? That is a false meme, designed to muddy the waters.

Where does Projekt’s digital income come from?

I pulled a report for one year of Projekt’s digital sales via our distributor, eOne.     #1 – 58% of Projekt’s digital income is from iTunes    #2 – 18% Amazon    #3 – 7% emusic    #4 – 5% Spotify (average = $.00485 per stream, 206 streams earns a dollar)    #5 – 4% Google Play    #6 – 3% YouTube (average = $.00089 per video played, 1123 plays equals a dollar)

Please note that this doesn’t include Bandcamp; their income does not come to us via eOne, because Projekt works direct with them, Bandcamp would be #2 on this chart, ahead of Amazon! Thanks so much for supporting Projekt directly; I really appreciate that! BC take a 12% fee, vs. the 33% that goes to iTunes+eOne. It’s better for Projekt and the artist when you buy at Bandcamp.

I’ve changed my mind (again) about Streaming music

Back in September 2011, I was completely anti-Spotify. No way! I didn’t want Projekt music up there! But then in late 2012, I saw the writing on the wall. “Everyone” was migrating to streaming, and many label owners told me that Spotify was their third biggest source of digital income, with no decline in their iTunes sales. It was extra found money, they said. It wouldn’t cannibalize download sales, they said. I figured I needed to play the game for a while, at least long enough to get good data to make a decision. I put up about 75% of Projekt’s music at streaming sites in early 2013. I didn’t announce this, I wanted to see what would happen organically. Would people discover the music? Would it find a whole bunch of lost Projekt fans? And would sales increase? I didn’t include every album. I really can’t get behind giving away the music that’s still selling at iTunes and Amazon and Bandcamp.

I know, I know. I’m a capitalist. I like money coming in so I can share it with my artists/friends.

I like paying to keep a roof over my head, and that guacamole I love so much!

2013 turned out to be the year that streaming won the war. Projekt’s digital sales dropped 30% year-over-year as people migrated to free platforms. The first 1/2 of 2014 saw a non-stop series of articles about the record industry taking a big hit in 2013. Why? Streaming. People are growing to like free music.

Hell, I like streaming!

I listen to a ton of music on rdio; albums that I never would have bought otherwise (in one two day period, I listened to the first seven Bob Dylan albums. Another evening, the first four from Depeche Mode. A few nights ago, two early Tangerine Dream albums I’ve never owned but have been curious about). I also stream albums I already own. I was given a free rdio subscription (because I’m in the biz!), but I recently paid for a renewal, rather than mooch another free extension. I use the service a lot, I want to pay…

What I pay will never properly compensate artists for the music I listen to. I know this.

And yet, even with the drop in income at Projekt, I was starting to lean towards an “Oh, why not?” attitude about tracks at streaming sites. If you can’t beat them join them. But last week, I went ape shit and freaked! Why? Tethered downloads! I realized “streaming” is a false term (thank you Fianna Jones and Todd Loomis for pointing this out). When people subscribe to Spotify, those streamed tracks can be downloaded to the listener’s device, and carried with them when they are not online (tethered downloads remain available, as long as they pay their subscription rates).

I’m an idiot, I didn’t realize that. This means “streaming” is absolutely replacing the sales of “digital downloads,” as they serve the same purpose. People can pay $10 for one album at iTunes, or $10 for every album available at Spotify, and they can carry it with them.

Shea commented: A tethered download is essentially a free download with an expiration date. It’s irresistible – what a great deal! It works in the airplane (since you already stored it)! It works in the car in the middle of nowhere. It works on the subway! Complete garbage!

Last week, I changed my streaming instructions with eOne. I left 17% of the label for streaming, essentially one album per artist (plus the entire Voltaire catalog).

Brian John Mitchell of QRD Records commented: “Spotify earnings go up in percentage pretty regularly for me as the overall digital earnings go down. Sigh….”

Yes, big sigh!

Yet another (mostly false) meme swirling around the internet is that streaming leads to sales. I know there are Projekt fans who tell me this is true for them; but they are a minority. For those who try before they buy, I left some music up for “exposure” purposes.

But let me ask this, “If streaming actually leads to sales, why aren’t sales up, instead of down?” Nobody has been able to refute this.

I also ask, “If streaming leads to sales, why doesn’t Spotify have a link to Amazon, with an affliate code so they earn a micropenny with every sale?” Answer: because they know streaming doesn’t led to sales in any meaningful way.

Exposure. If you want to hear music from Projekt’s latest releases, we have bandcamp embeds on all the album pages of the site. And you can hear full tracks from Projekt’s artists at bandcamp.

Spotify Hits 10 Million Paid Users. Now Can It Make Money? read at Bloomberg

Agonoize: Apokalypse Limited 2-CD Berlin-based inferno of hard beats, brutal shouts and thudding bass. $23 Android Lust: The Dividing (10th anniversary 2-LP Vinyl edition) Limited edition on clear vinyl. $25 Ataraxia: Wind At Mount Elo Modern Classical/Neofolk masterpiece by the Italian project. $18 Cocksure: TVMALSV Bridging the gap between waxtrax! era industrial and future sounds of mass corruption. $14 Deine Lakaien: Acoustic II $25 Deine Lakaien: Farewell/Where the Winds Don’t Blow CDS First taster for the new album Crystal Palace. $11 Deine Lakaien: Crystal Palace Limited Box A return to the sonic atmospheres of the early days (1986-1990). $49 Deine Lakaien: Crystal Palace Limited Digipak +3 Bonus Tracks $25 Funker Vogt: Survivor 3-CD Box Collector’s Edition with bonus material and rare, unreleased tracks. $26 Heimataerde: Kaltwaerts Limited 2-CD BOX A unique mix of electro-sounds and medieval atmosphere. $85 Heimataerde: Kaltwaerts Limited 2-CD $23 Heimataerde: Kaltwaerts $19 In Slaughter Natives: Cannula Coma Legio The band delves into more obscure ambient territories. $14 KMFDM: We Are Live album features favorites new and old. $14 Lustmord: Kraków October 22 2010 Live limited edition. $24 Pride and Fall: Turn the Lights On EP Remix contest EP with exclusive b-side. $15 Project Pitchfork: Blood 2-CD + Book An interlocked, carefully conceive, powerful dark electro album. $59 Project Pitchfork: Blood $20 Prude: The Dark Age of Consent Wild mix of 70’s NYC punk/glam with a harsh, damaged electronic edge. $14 Sequential Access: Sex Addict Anonymous 13 tracks of pure golden era electro-industrial. $14 Sopor Aeternus: Mitternacht CD/Book All-new album with 36-page book. $55 Sopor Aeternus: Mitternacht 2-LP $90 Staubkind: Alles Was Ich Bin Limited 4-CD Box Berlin-based group walks the tightrope between cinematic rock anthems and fragile ballads. $53 Staubkind: Alles Was Ich Bin Limited 2-CD $23 The Birthday Massacre: Violet LP Limited Ediition purple vinyl. $19 The Lonely Soul Experience: Path of Blood Blutengel’s Chris Pohl takes us into opulent fantasy-worlds. $19 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Holdrejtek Medieval-influenced ethereal vocals, violin, acoustic and percussion. $23 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Mohalepte 2-CD Re-issue Bonus cd includes three previously unreleased songs! $25 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Of Dreams Forgotten And Fables Untold Re-issue $22 The Moon and the Nightspirit: Rego Rejtem Re-issue $22 Various Artists: Amphi Festival 2014 Who’s who of the electro and gothic scene. $15

On Facebook, Fianna Jones wrote: I disagree with you here, Sam. I think that over the lifetime of a song, paying per listen will generate higher revenue than paying to own. I could buy an album once, say for $15.00. After costs, that probably nets Projekt and the artist $3.00-$5.00 in unit profit. I may listen to that album 100 times over the course of the years which I own it. But you’ll never see another cent of revenue on that unit. If I use a service like Spotify, you see revenue every single time I listen to that song, even if I only listen to it for 10 seconds on shuffle. Best rate I can find as an average, Premium subscribers generate .0175 cents per play. So, if I listen to that album (the complete album, so say 10 songs) 100 times over the course of listening to that album on Spotify, I’ll generate $17.50 in revenue, with much lower distribution costs.

I replied: I understand this concept, but sorry, that $.0175 number is OFF! $.00485 per stream is the average for Projekt. 100 streams = 48.5¢. If you listen to a 10 song album x 100 times (1000 streams) you will generate $4.85. I think the math only works for an artist who gets 1,000,000 plays on a track ($4850). It doesn’t add up for fringe musicians.

David Daydodge (and others) wrote: Thank you. Streaming should be illegal until there are fair compensation laws in effect.

I replied: Someday, THE TRUTH will come out. Why are the major labels agreeing to this low royalty rate? The speculation is (a) they got a big upfront payment they don’t pay the artists (b) they have some sort of rigged accounting system, so they don’t pay artists until their # of plays pass a certain threshhold (c) they probably got stock which they will sell at the Spotify IPO.

I was talking about a different problem with the V.P. at eOne, our distributor. He said, “Sam, you’re right. This situation is fu¢ked up. But the whole record business is fu¢ked up. You’re trying to apply logic to the wild west.” And that comment is equally true here. I am making an ethical decision about Projekt artists’ music, even though I know it is mostly a pointless gesture.

On Facebook, Erik A. Ingmanndsen asked: If you feel it’s a pointless gesture (which I don’t) then why do it ??< I replied: Why follow through on a pointless gesture? Because it’s the right thing to do, ethically.

Scott Cortez (of Lovesliescrushing) commented: Yes, take music back and put it in the hands of musicians. Why does everyone feel entitled to take from musicians? No one expects people at Starbucks to give them coffee, a contractor to build your house, a doctor to operate, a portrait painter to paint your picture, or a writer to write shit for you for free or to pay these people fractions of pennies.

Loren Nerell shared this interesting Salon article. “More musicians are taking aim at the rates paid by Spotify and Pandora, and warning whole genres are in danger.”

I realize each artist has their own experience of what works for them; no two stories are the same. I like including comments from other people in the music industry, so you know it’s not just Projekt feeling this squeeze. Let’s read what another small label has to say:

Brian John Mitchell writes: For Silber Records, since Spotify launched I have taken a significant drop in digital earnings & if I could sell every CD in the basement at a loss I would do it, just to clear the space in my house.

My experience with bands I tour with (post rock, drone, metal, punk, slowcore, noise (I’m a little diverse)) is that physical sales at gigs are tough. It’s also worth noting that the rise of festivals modeled after CMJ/SXSW in every city with 100K people in it has made things even worse for young bands.

I do know some people who have generated some success over the past five years & I’m super happy for them. I wish I could say that they didn’t have family members shelling out ten grand per release to finance that success.

As the recent comments have said, all of this is anecdotal & I want to have a positive attitude I guess I must because yesterday I announced that I’m planning 20 releases on Silber in the next few months. At this point for me the music industry is still more fun & rewarding than video games, but maybe less fun rewarding than landscaping….

What about our friends in Greece? 

Hello Sam, My name is Dimitris and I live in Greece. I have to tell you that I really support your struggle for a better Projekt Records. I am not a fan of streaming services and like to buy the physical medium cds or LPs. Soooo I would like to buy some of Projekt records without to pay the double price for shipping from USA. Are there any solutions appart from buying from a record store (I couldn’t find many of your records (or in a reasonable price) here) or paying amazon etc?

Regards, Dimitris    

From Sebastian at my European distributor, Audioglobe: Unfortunately I don’t know which city in Greece you live in, but please note, that following shops in Greece buy PROJEKT titles from us and if they don’t have the title you are looking for, they will order if for you:




Michelle Shocked Releases Silent Album, Names Songs After Music Execs I assumed this article was an Onion joke, but it’s at Rolling Stone. Sorry, this won’t make up for that homophobic rant. Not cool, Michelle.

Much less offensive is the 20th anniversary show from Thanatos; available for free for a limited time at Bandcamp. Patrick is joined by William Faith, Tim Larsen, and Eric Polcyn as they perform a set which includes ten songs from This Endless Night Inside. When Pat runs out of free download codes, there will be a charge, so grab yours now. Or stream it for free, whenevs.

Projekt reviews at Sonic Curiosity: Loren Nerell & Mark Seelig: Tree of life Forrest Fang: The Wolf at the Ruins Byron Metcalf / Mark Seelig: Intention Alio Die & Sylvi Alli: Amidst the Circling Spires Erik Wollo: Timelines & Tundra

Last month, I forgot to mention Voltaire’s July Nooseletter. You can watch it at youTube. Voltaire says, “You’ll hear about the Raised by Bats Indiegogo campaign (what went right and what went wrong), the upcoming Legend of Candy Claws book! Find out what movies I will and won’t be in in the near future… and I unveil my secret project with the talented illustrator, Abigail Larson! Hint: it involves vampires, werewolves, demons and every guest artist on the Raised by Bats album!”

Watch Jean Michel Jarre perfrom Oxygene live, at Synthopia!

Why Is Iced Coffee in NYC Getting So Ridiculously Expensive? Ice ain’t free, ya know. Read at the Gothamist. And then tell me why ice + beans are worth $4.50, and an album is worth 7¢. Ok, wait? I made that point already, right? : )

<– Florian with his big Moog! This website has a good introduction to the many great albums of Germany’s Popul Vuh. Or, if you have no time for eyeball-read-read, this video for “Hüter der Schwelle” is a real standout! It’s an unusual Popul Vuh track that sounds a bit like an instrumental version of the Velvet Underground’s “Venus in Furs!” (Granted, the track is from years later than the photo, and there’s no Moog in it…)

Eric Wøllo: Tundra ep

Limited to 200, our webstore has 25 copies still available, and then it will be sold out. Place your order today for $10 at Projekt, The Tundra EP finds Erik Wøllo creating fascinating atmospheric and rhythmic instrumental electronic music. This 30-minute 5-song ep features all new, previously unreleased tracks that showcase Erik’s ability to incorporate new and fresh elements into his music while remaining true to his unique style. On “Tundra,” “The Native Chant” and “Swirling Lights” the use of throat singing samples and vocals from Arctic indigenous people add a human, earthy element to the electronics.

Streaming & digital download at Projekt’s bandcamp store. Or purchase a download at iTunes.

Alternate Reality

I watched a documentary a few nights ago. In it, a major label band’s manager asked: What might have happened if the record labels had worked with Napster, before fans discovered the pleasures of stealing music?

Here is my extension on his idea: What if instead of suing Napster in 2000, the majors said, “Let’s turn Napster into a legit download store. We’ll give Fanning money, we’ll promote his site….” They could even have bought Napster, and turned it into what iTunes became a few years later. They could have done this, before all of the trouble began. Would it have stopped illegal downloads? No, probably not. But it might have provided a good groundwork for people purchasing music legally.

Sigh. Major labels = heads up a$$.

I message this Alternate Reality to David Lowery of The Trichordist Blog. He replied: True story: Immediately after the Napster ruling, Pfanning and Chris Castle put together something called SNOCAP which would have sat atop the piracy universe of limewire, grokster etc etc, and legitimized each transfer. They cleared it with all labels and publishers. But none of the ISPs or file sharing services would go along.

Ooops. And I was blaming the major labels for being stupid, when… surprise surprise… the problem was the tech industry. Why wouldn’t they go along? Because they like making money off something they didn’t pay to create.

This is where the problem really lies (and The Trichordist does a great job of documenting it with every post). The real reason Congress doesn’t act to stop piracy and/or get artists a fair royalty rate is because the tech industry is against fixing this problem. They make so much money the way things are, they are afeared that a fix will harm their income stream. Status Quo. Google feeds ads to all these sites. The locker sites sell premium subscriptions. Amazon wants you to subscribe to Prime (and forces labels to give our music away as part of the incentives). Why would they want to change any of this?

America has morphed into RoboCopland. We’re all serfs in the fiefdom of the corporations.

Summer 2014 – Projekt electronic & ambient sampler (pay-as-you-wish) Available at Bandcamp.

You like free stuff? We got free stuff!

Projekt’s new elist is an insightful read on how streaming has affected a great #Goth #electronic #ambient label. #ProjektRecords

Share a variation of the text above on your twitter feed (be sure to include the hashtag). On Tuesday, Shea will pick three lucky duckys (from those who shared), and give you a download album of your choice from the Projekt Bandcamp store. It’s easy! Snap Snap! Spread the word. Thanks.

Well. That was a lengthy look at the backstory of running a record label. I hope you found some interesting thoughts in here.

A few of you asked me to create a (non-Facebook) place where you could share comments about the eList. Your command is my wish! I’ve activated the Comments section on this Blog Post. It requires my moderation (unless you have a customer profile and are signed in, then your comments should post instaneous). I’ll check in regularly. Looking forward to reading your thoughts…


Jun 23

Get studio access with black tape for a blue girl

On Studio Access June ’14, ethereal/darkwave act Black Tape for a Blue Girl offers a new track-in-progress plus four hours of soundscapes. It’s available at Bandcamp for free, or name-your-price. Share the video link and/or Bandcamp link.

black tape for a blue girl grants studio access

Legendary America darkwave act Black tape for a blue girl has been releasing albums since 1986: 10 studio discs of their original take on ethereal, minimalism, goth rock, darkwave, and neoclassical. Today, founder, songwriter and keyboardist Sam Rosenthal announces the band is providing free digital studio access to new songs in progress.

“My friend was over a few days ago,” Sam comments, “and she asked me what music I’d been working on. I played her a new track and she said she wanted a copy so she could listen to it while she was programming. I was wondering to myself if I should share it, because it’s still a work in progress. And yet, I kind of want to share it so fans can hear where I’m at, as I work on new material. I find the stages along the way to be quite interesting! You can listen to my music like you’re in the studio while I’m creating it.”

Sam continues, “Tori, a fan of the band, emailed in response to this idea, ‘For me, hearing the underlying sounds that make up a Blacktape track is kind of like seeing brushstrokes in a painting.’ I would add, that you are seeing the brushstrokes before the painter adds the characters to the foreground.”

“Six: Thirteen” is available for free download through the Blacktape’s Bandcamp site, along with two half-hour “stretch” versions and two hour-and-a-half soundscape tracks titled “Isotope.” Fans can choose to pay for the tracks or acquire them free.

A fascinating chance to be in on the creative process with one of the scene’s original acts.

Watch the one-minute video at YouTube

Download 4+ hours of new soundscapes & the track in progress. It’s free at Bandcamp.

May 11

HALO STAR – 10th anniversary, free Black tape for a blue girl download

Sam writers:



2014 is the 10th anniversary of Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s HALO STAR album. I put it up for you on Bandcamp at NAME YOUR PRICE; and I added 5 bonus tracks: 5 very different versions of the title cut.

Stream it / download it / donate if you feel charitable. Your support goes towards the gear I purchased for working on the next album: a brand new iMac for recording, new Soundcraft mixing board, new A–>D converter, plus repair on my Korg Poly-61, Moog Concertmate MG-1, and Eventide Harmonizer.

GRAVE CONCERNS WROTE: While it’s often a departure from the fairly consistent introspective, intimate side Rosenthal and company have explored throughout the last 15 or 20 years, HALO STAR showcases an interesting and ultimately successful sonic evolution. It’s an album that’s both more stylistically diverse and more accessible than much of their recent catalog but still retains enough “classic Black Tape” material to please fans of their more ethereal side. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a curious newcomer, you’ll find a solid album that is arguably one of the most interesting offerings the band has released to date.

Grab the “HALO STAR bonus disc” from the deluxe digital edition. Includes the tracks from the SCARECROW ep, plus live recordings from the 2004 tour. Stream, or download at Bandcamp, for just $5.

History: 15 years ago today, Black tape for a blue girl performed in Chicago! Show #64. Tues May 11 1999 | The Metro ~ Chicago IL. 3730 North Clark, Chicago, IL. With Lynn Canfield of the Moon 7 Times. If you have photos from ths show, please drop me a line. Full gigography.

Please share the HALO STAR download Bandcamp link,

Feb 10

Free Download Sampler + new releases @ Bandcamp + Erik Wollo is Echoes’ CD of the month

Various Artists: No41 | Winter 2014

An hour of music from Projekt’s latest releases (including new Archive digital editions). A nine track download album available at Bandcamp for “name your price” — it could be zero, or you could chip in a little something if you’re feeling it.

Check out the latest Projekt releases & discover something new that excites you.

Black Tape For A Blue Girl: the best of… (deluxe edition)

Download 2-CDs worth of ‘Best of’ for $6 at Bandcamp Disc 1 was released as A RETROSPECTIVE in 2008 on Russia’s Shadowplay Records. Disc 2 was release as A TEARDROP LEFT BEHIND in 1991 on Germany’s Hyperium Records. That’s two CDs-worth of best-ofs for just six bucks! That’s a lot of best! : )

Try before you buy: Listen to a few tracks and see what you think!

Makaras Pen: Journeys to the End

$4 at Bandcamp. For the next 4 days, use discount code “makaras” (without the quotes) to get 25% off

Makaras Pen’s indie rock, dreampop stylings create a wall of captivating sounds. The driving beat and cascading guitars are punctuated and accented by crashing percussion and Jenna Willis’ incredible soaring vocals. The tracks go from soft and simple, to strong, lush and distorted, following that shoegaze pattern of delicate and sweet at first rushing headlong to a powerful climax. Atop the ringing guitars (provided by Doug White and Jon Nemi), Jenna’s sensitive and heartfelt vocals sing sad yet hopeful lyrics. Doug says, “The guitars on this EP try to balance a very somber mood, keeping it epic to counter the new-found positive inspiration in Jenna’s lyrics.”

The Arms of Someone New: Every Seventh Wave EP (2014 Remaster)

$2 at Bandcamp

The Arms of Someone New formed in 1983 when Mel Eberle and Steve Jones almost coincidentally began making music together. Steve managed and helped record Mel’s band The First Things; while in the studio to demo some of Mel’s songs, they started collaborating. Drawing inspiration from the Beatles, the Cure, the Teardrop Explodes and Jesus Couldn’t Drum (among others), as The Arms of Someone New they went on to release three full lengths, two eps, and numerous cassettes between 1984 and 1992.

Erik Wollo’s Timelines is Echoes Radio’s February CD of the month. Echoes is a nationally syndicated daily two-hour music radio program hosted by John Diliberto featuring a soundscape of ambient, space, electronica, and New Age music.

This is a big deal for us over here at Projekt! We like it when new fans are exposed to our artists’ great music.

Echoes writes, “Norwegian guitarist and synthesist Erik Wøllo returns with his< devastatingly beautiful CD of electro-orchestrated moods." $14 CD at Projekt | $10 Download at Bandcamp (FLAC, MP3s, etc) $10 Download at iTunes | $14.58 CD at Amazon

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY. Listen to a few tracks and see what you think!

Jan 21

Three new Projekt releases for you. Dreampop, ambient & electronic

Our January 21st releases are now in stock at our webstore and available at Amazon and iTunes. Thanks for supporting art with your purchases. – Sam

Steve Roach / Kelly David: The Long Night

Projekt webstore CD • $14 Bandcamp Digital Download • $10 iTunes | Amazon

Atmospheres for the night journey. The Long Night is a deep-breathing sigh of the eternal nocturnal: gossamer atmospheres for the still hours of the night.

“From one who has used this type of music as accompaniment for meditation, slumber, and travels into deeper states of consciousness for at least two decades, it truly doesn’t get much better than this. This is not pretty new-age music, there is no form, rhythm or melodic color here, no sequences or anything like that. This is a slow-evolving exploration of sonic textures in its purest form.”– Expose

Alio Die & Sylvi Alli: Amidst the Circling Spires Projekt webstore CD • $14 Bandcamp Digital Download • $9 iTunes | Amazon

A captivating electro-ambient journey into interior space, weaving visions of strong emotional impact. Sylvi’s heavenly voice drifts within the highly processed acoustic sounds created by Alio Die: a hybrid between – sonorous soundscapes and acoustic mysticism.

“Trance-like atmospheres that a listener can easily get lost within. This is one of those discs you’ll want to set on endless repeat and listen to over and over until the first light of day arrives.” – Expose

Paulina Cassidy: Sugar Wingshiver

Projekt webstore CD • $14 Bandcamp Digital Download • $9 iTunes | Amazon

* The first 25 copies include a signed card from Paulina * Whimsical, quirky dreampop. Paulina uses her sultry, rich voice as a potent ethereal instrument in combination with her fluidly-layered compositions, drawing the listener into her fascinating world. “Cassidy’s half-whispered dreamscapes don’t need a lot of time to work their way into your mind and soul… she’s rapidly becoming one of my preferred artists.” – Hypnagogue

We’ve just added a free bonus track to Sugar Wingshiver. Get the mostly instrumental, “the mesmerist” at Bandcamp. If you own the album, if you’re considering buying the album, or if you just like free stuff, it’s yours!

Thanks for your support of these artists’ creative explorations.



Jan 01

Free download from Steve Roach’s Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces

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!

Dec 24

An Xmas gift: Terrace of Memories (name your price)

Unwrap your digital download. Happy Holidays. Vintage 90s ambient electronic. Sam Rosenthal & vidnaObmana.

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.

Really 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

Happy Holidays,


PS: get your free download from Bandcamp.

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Dec 11

Get a free sampler with your order

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.

Oct 08

Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s “Forbidden Colours” free

“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.

Dec 21

Free Black Tape For A Blue Girl album at Bandcamp

To say thanks! for your interest and support, I’ve uploaded another Black Tape For A Blue Girl album for you to download for free at Bandcamp. This is Blacktape’s second album, from 1987, Mesmerized by the Sirens.

It’s been at least a decade since I’ve listened to Mesmerized. As I was preparing the page today, I streamed it beginning to end. As Rain would say, eyebrow raised, “Fascinating, captain!”

I was twenty-one when I recorded Mesmerized. Listening to it earlier today, I thought: “Huh? What kind of bizarre twenty-one year old writes an album like that!” It’s emotional, torn, confused, happy (in moments), dark, dense, beautiful, complex and advanced! If someone sent me a link to this album, and an email, “Hey Mister, check out my demo, what do you think?” I’d be damn impressed! That’s not ego talking, it’s looking back through more than half-a-lifetime of experience, and hearing what’s here! Of course, I hear the 4AD influence, and the Brian Eno influence; but think about it in the context of 1987 (Top-100 of 1987, here ! This was the year Dead Can Dance released Within the Realm of a Dying Sun).

Mesmerized is a very fluid, cohesive and rewarding listen.

For the free download, I added two related bonus tracks. A cover of “Jamais Pars” by my other band, Thanatos; and a cover of “Seireenien Lumoama” created with Bleeding Like Mine. Nice stuff!

On the bandcamp page, you can stream Mesmerized by the Sirens for free, or you can download it for free, and when you download you can even leave a little something. And rest assured we’ll be buying some of that yummy tomato & basil soup at the bodega, and I’ll be thinking of you!


Read the full blog here.