Archive for the ‘Inside Projekt’ Category
I’ve printed a new Projekt mug, limited to 36 per color. I really love the design because it’s just a bit shorter than a standard coffee mug, so it easily slips under my espresso machine’s portafilter. Matte black finish on the outside with glossy logo, and glossy color on the inside. Available in Red, Sky Blue, & (Stealth) Royal Blue. Set of 2 with 1 bonus for $20, or single mug (your choice of color) for $12.
Sorry about this note to export customers… while I *could* ship these outside of the USA you’ll see that postage is just too expensive to be worth your while.
Lycia’s A Line That Connects returns on CD (and for the first time on 2LP) on Projekt Records. Originally released in the summer of 2015 on Handmade Birds, ALTC’s first pressing of 500 CDs quickly sold out. Haunting, bleak, moody and atmospheric, their 10th album is a heavy record with shifting sonics and a full-band sound thanks to a return to the classic mid-90s Lycia lineup of Mike VanPortfleet, David Galas, and Tara Vanflower. It’s a contemporary sounding release that harkens back to their 90s darkwave roots. Lycia’s mix of post-punk bleakness and doomy darkness is an engaging, fascinating listen.
CD — 4-panel digipak. Limited edition of 1000. 2LP — 140-gram color vinyl — Translucent blue with black smoke. 24pt gatefold jacket. Limited edition of 500. LYCIA | 4 — 4CD HARDBOX SET — 2010’s Fifth Sun*, 2013’s Quiet Moments*, 2015’s A Line That Connects, and 2018’s In Flickers. * these two CDs are available only in the box! T-SHIRT — Silver ink, Projekt logo on backPurchase in Europe for fast, inexpensive shipping: Information in English here. Click to order CD or LP. T-shirts are available from the US webstore only. Also getting a reprint, currently on preOrder: T-shirts from IN FLICKERS and IONIA.
An article from post-punk.com
Tucson-based electronic/ambient pioneer Steve Roach received his second Grammy nomination with 2018’s Molecules of Motion album. Chosen in the Best New Age Album category, it follows last year’s nominated Spiral Revelation.
For Molecules, Roach calls upon an expansive 35-year legacy at the forefront of electronic music creation on a masterful album with roots in the Berlin School and a foot in the transcendent unknown of the future flowing into the present moment. Shimmering, pulsing, moving, emotional and engaging, the album is a sonic marvel: a tapestry of sequencer-spun patterns floating upon an atmosphere of lush emotive textures alive with a vibrant, life-affirming glow.
Always reaching towards what’s next on the horizon, Roach refuses to be tied down in any one stylistic direction. His worldwide audience continues to grow, and his innovations continue to inspire new and long-time listeners. Listening to a Steve Roach album, you hear the momentum of a lifetime dedicated to the soundcurrent, an artist operating at the pinnacle of his artform, with dedication, passion and an unbroken focus on creating a personal vision of electronic music.
Roach’s hypnotic meditations upon elegant motion and electro-sensual space makes Molecules of Motion unlike anything nominated for a Grammy this year. It’s just one facet of the multi-faceted soundworlds that are paramount to his work.
Contact sr.projekt@gmail for a download code; or stream at: https://projektrecords.bandcamp.com/album/molecules-of-motion If tweeting, please @ProjektRecords Steve is available for phone or in-person interviews Image download: http://www.projekt.com/store/assets/artistphoto.html
Visit the Steve Roach Photo Gallery. 2018 Steve Roach bio: welcome to the vortex. Steve talks about his career and second consecutive Grammy Nomination in Tucson Weekly!
Congrats to Steve Roach!
Projekt Records’ Steve Roach was nominated for a GRAMMY for the 2nd year in a row! His 2018 Molecules of Motion has been nominated for Best New Age Album of the year (the Grammys don’t have an “electronic music” category, so a wide variety of styles are placed within New Age). Around this time last year, we were telling you about Steve’s 2017 Spiral Revelation getting nominated for the Grammy! It’s a wonderful second opportunity to claim the prize. The award ceremony is in February.
There’s a Steve Roach article in Psychology Today: 2019 Grammy Nominee Is A Synesthete.
Steve talks about his career and second consecutive Grammy Nomination in Tucson Weekly!February 7 2019 addition from Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal:
Steve Roach is nominated for his second consecutive Grammy Award, for the album Molecules of Motion; it’s in the Best New Age Album category. Steve travels to Los Angeles for Sunday’s Premiere Ceremony. Over the weekend he will post updates on his Facebook page. I’m really quite curious what it’s like when an independent artist goes to the Grammys!
I talk with Steve all the time, discussing his albums that we have in production for Projekt and Timeroom, albums that he’s started working on, the music business, creativity, and so much more. Getting nominated for a Grammy was never on the list of things we talked about… until last year’s nomination for Spiral Revelation. Well, that was interesting, I thought. Then nominated for the second year in a row? As Steve says, lightning struck twice.
Steve has dedicated so many years to his art, I totally think he should have a Grammy! And so do his listeners! I regularly get emails and read facebook post from people who were monumentally touched and affected by Steve’s music. I know there’s love out there from all of you. But from the music industry? I know the biz is very focused on big sales, and flashy promotion…. Though Steve did get to the final-5 twice, so that tells me the voters are listening and know Steve’s work. Winning an actual Grammy award!? As I said, it’s was never on our radar. Sunday afternoon! Let’s see what happens!
There are over 80 categories in the Grammys; most awards are not televised in the primetime event. Instead they can be watched in the streaming afternoon ceremony.
Their website says: Kick off Grammy Sunday, Feb. 10, by kicking back and streaming the Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony on GRAMMY.com. Starting at 3:30 p.m. ET / 2:30 p.m. CT / 12:30 Pacific, host Shaggy will lead us through the festivities, with all-star presenters such as Lzzy Hale and Questlove and can’t-miss performances by Ángela Aguilar, Natalia Lafourcade, Sofi Tukker and more.
Steam on-line, or check out Steve’s Facebook page with updates from the weekend.
– SamGrammy Reflections February 2019, from Steve Roach:
After last year’s surprise nomination for Spiral Revelation — and with this year’s nomination for Molecules of Motion — a lightning bolt hit the tree again. Last weekend’s award ceremony in Los Angeles presented a nearby adventure to visit what felt like another planet.
It’s a planet I know well, having lived on the front lines in LA, the city of ambition, for 10 formative years from 1979-1989. Throughout the Grammy weekend the flood of memories was constant. From my first drive up from San Diego in 1979 in an old yellow VW Bug with the seats removed and filled to capacity with synths, to the endless concerts over that decade throughout SoCal, to jobs at record stores on Sunset Blvd and Wilshire, to a stint as a microbiology lab tech — these were just a few of the threads woven together to support my dream of creating this music day and night. Regular trips to the Joshua Tree Monument to feed my desert soul were vital and helped birth Structures From Silence, Western Spaces and Dreamtime Return. These were just some of the things coming up while sitting in the Microsoft theater for the afternoon Grammy award ceremony, surreal and resonate on many levels.
The idea of the Grammys connected to my music has never been on my radar. It all started with confidant, long time friend, and mastering-guru Howard Givens, a voting member of the Recording Academy; in 2017 he quietly submitted Spiral Revelation for consideration. Sam Rosenthal at Projekt and I knew nothing about this until the morning in late 2017 when the emails about earning the nomination started pouring in. With the January 2018 awards in NYC — and my concerts gearing up around that time — the priorities were clear about going to NYC: not possible. Sam became a voting member last year and submitted Molecules Of Motion as a “why not try this year and see?” and that was that, I was nominated for the second consecutive year.
While the Grammys mean something or nothing to different people, the fact that these albums were voted into the top 5 nomination list twice — with absolutely no campaign on our part — speaks of a real beating heart inside the Recording Academy / Grammy organization. I had no expectations of the outcome this year. Just grateful for the wider recognition and awareness the nomination brings to my music and life’s work.
The weekend was really about feeling the momentum of living life on the creative edge for the last 45 years. There is no winning or losing in this realm. It’s about being fully present, embracing the moment and tuning into what’s next as it’s happening with grace and courage. I have been so blessed to share every molecule of all this with Linda Kohanov since 1989.
Gratitude abounding to the community of soundcurrent friends around the world who have been with me on this journey of one which includes so many.
All my best! Steve February 16, 2019 (64 years on this planet today!)
After decades of making music, influencing multiple genres and crafting a discography spanning more than a hundred hours, ambient/electronic pioneer Steve Roach might finally be hitting his stride. The Tucson-based musician recently received his second-ever Grammy nomination for his 2018 album Molecules of Motion, after receiving his first Grammy nomination only last year.
“It was like lightning hitting a tree twice, when you don’t even expect it to hit once,” Roach said. “But it’s cool to have this new attention. I just keep doing what I do.”
Read the full article at Tucson Weekly
Please retweet: https://twitter.com/ProjektRecords/status/1091038489167233025
These ten questions from deadhead of forallandnone.com (ex Music From The Empty Quarter) will be posted in three installments, beginning in November of 2018 and finishing in January of 2019. We’ll start with some Projekt-related questions where deadhead asks…
1 The obvious starting point after all these years is how the devil are you and what’s been happening in your life since we were last in touch in 1995 (when we were all full of energy and young!)? Being a daddy with a well established and highly regarded record label must be wonderful!
Sam: Well, right! The first thought that entered my mind when you asked “what has been happening,” is that I have a son who is now 16. That’s far more interesting to me, vs. the highly regarded label or the music, honestly. Having a kid is a wonderful, humbling, self-revealing process. I guess anything can turn out to be a teacher; learning how to be a parent, and how to be comfortable with myself so I can be a good parent, is a process I didn’t expect to experience as part of fatherhood, but I am very happy for it.
As far as Projekt, at the end of 1995 the label had 62 releases, and now I am working on release 357. I’ve been busy putting out a lot of music on Projekt, and not quite alot of my own work, over the years. When we were in touch, it was before BlackTape’s Remnants of a deeper purity was released. That was the band’s 6th album and To touch the milky way is our 12th. It took 10 years to create the first half of the discography, and 22 years for the second half. Definitely having a kid in 2002 and putting my focus on him slowed things down. Now I live in Portland Oregon and my son’s a junior in High School; I have more time to make music. And less stress about money, because Portland is a great and reasonably priced place to live.
2 How has the running of Projekt changed since back then?
Sam: In 1995 I was in Los Angeles with around 4 employees, at the peak in 1998 in Chicago there were 11 or 12 employees, and now it’s just me working out of my house. That’s the way it was in ’93 when we first connected. It’s pretty nice not having to deal with managing a large staff. Shea helps out a bit with web-related stuff, and Joe runs the webstore out of Philadelphia. I have purposefully made my life simpler, by not trying to be a big label anymore. Being a realistically small label that afford me enough time to make my own art is a much better place to be.
Over the years, there have been 86 artists on Projekt, and there are over 400 releases still in print (a bunch of those are on the digital side label). And anyway, I’ve realized something I didn’t notice in the 90s: the top-5 artists generate about 85% of the income, anyway. Now I can work smarter, and focus on the success, which makes a lot of sense in the current record industry.
3 Do you actively seek new artists or just concentrate on your firmly established acts?
Sam: I’m no longer seeking new artists for Projekt. It’s not economically feasible to do what the label used to do: sign new bands, start new careers. It was great, a lot of great music came out in those decades. But nowadays I’m just working with the top-7 or 8 acts. That keeps me plenty busy.
4 With such a large back catalogue of quality material has it made sense to reissue and possibly update titles, especially with the resurgence of vinyl and Record Store Day?
Sam: Record Store Day, bah! Screw them! Just a bunch of hipster wankers deciding what they think is cool. No thanks. Yes, yes! I say that because they rejected Remnants of a deeper purity a few years ago, so I’m being a sore sport (laughs). But yeah, sure, it would be nice to reissue more things on vinyl. The problem is the cost. Most albums were created for CD format, they can’t fit on a single LP. That means making a 2-LP set, and then it’s got to be nice and classy. And boom! I’m investing $5000-$8000 into a release. That’s a big risk. For me, personally, I Kickstart BlackTape vinyl releases. This way I know I have enough people interested in the album to make sense doing the vinyl.
Stay tuned for Part two, with more questions about Black Tape For A Blue Girl…part two
5 Black Tape For A Blue Girl, your own project being such an integral part of the label, does it provide you personally with an essential creative outlet?
Sam: Yes. BlackTape is the creative outlet that matters to me. I love the acts I work with at Projekt and I love their music, in the end running the label is the day job, and making my own music is the way I express myself. I’ve been making a lot of music the last few years, though I always feel I should be making more. The new album is finished, and I’m really excited that it’s getting out to everyone now, and I am taking a bit more time to read the reviews, and savor the comments from people who are writing me, to enjoy this part of the release as well.
6 The process for each BTAFBG release must be extremely stimulating; writing, playing, photography/artwork, having total control of the whole project? How do you decide on which vocalists and additional musicians will work with you on specific works?
Sam: I look at it like I’m a film director: I have the script, I have an idea in my head of the character and how they should tell that story, and then I look for who best fits that roll. That said, I like working with the same people album to album when it makes sense. Sometimes there’s a drastic change in style and the band is all new, and sometimes people continue on. It’s really about what makes sense for the album I am working on.
On To touch the milky way, I think Michael pushed himself out of his safe spot, and took on some songs that he wasn’t entirely sure about when I first sent them to him; but it worked out wonderfully, I always thought he could do it. I had imagined that sort of monochromatic color for the melodies, they’re subtle. And Michael does that subtle really well. So once he dived in, he was golden!
7 It must be costly recording and producing Black Tape material, do Kickstarter campaigns provide the necessary funding?
Sam: The recording & producing itself is not costly, because I record at home. I don’t have to pay a studio for those hundreds and hundreds of hours of studio time. However what is costly is my time. I need to be sitting in that chair for those hundreds and hundreds of hours, and time is money that I am not earning working at Projekt. My patron area brings in some income that goes towards the recording, in so far as buying plane tickets, paying the musicians, fixing gear. But to actually create the deluxe packaging I envision for Blacktape, I crowdfund through Kickstarter. I have to tell you that it’s really rewarding to know there’s these people out there who like what I do enough to contribute money up front so that I can make the album. Their trust is really wonderful. I’ve run 10 Kickstarters so far. Contrary to what people say, crowdfunding is not seeing diminishing interest. Each one I’ve launched has new people backing the projects, as well as regular supporters. I love it!
Stay tuned for Part three, with more questions about Projekt, streaming & the future of the music industry…part three
8 Since I’ve been out of the sales loop for many years, am interested to hear how the label’s sales compare with back when only physical material existed and the rough percentage levels between cd, vinyl and downloads?
Sam: Oh lord! Are there even CD sales anymore? What I see is that a band that used to sell 5,000 CDs is lucky if they sell 300 these days. There are some artist who do a lot better and some that do a lot worse. The industry is all about streaming these days. Streaming is around 70% of digital income, and digital income is between 65% and 95% of what I pay, based on the artist. CDs and LPs are a very, very minority part of the income.
Back in the early to mid 90s, CDs were 100% of the income. I only did LPs on the first two BlackTape album. There were some CD + Cassette releases, and I think 1989’s Ashes in the brittle air might have sold in the 800-1000 range on cassette. But that was the peak. I think the last cassette was in 1996 or 1997. The last LP was in 1987. Until the rebirth the last half decade.
8a Streaming? does that actually pay?
Sam: Yes. But it takes a lot of streams to add up to money. Projekt had over 70million streams in 2018! A few artists on the label get millions of streams a month, and that adds up to. It’s not much per stream however, so for smaller bands it doesn’t add up. That’s always been true. Small bands don’t make money, large bands do. It’s up to the band to get a hold of their career, and decide what to do to get more people interested in their music. I think that’s the problem, though: we like fringe music. Most people in the fringe don’t think about strategies to get people to hear their music.
8b Could you give an idea of how you promote each release? Do you have certain strategies, online and offline?
Sam: I think every day you have to re-envision the music industry. I feel that I am at a transition from some old thinking, to some new strategies. But I don’t know if anything is good enough to really discuss. I like talking with people from other labels, to brainstorm. To ask hard questions, and see if they have interesting answers.
9 Finally, how do you envisage the future of the music industry and will your own creative being thrive live long into a ripe old age? I hope so.
Sam: Thanks. Honestly, every year for the last 10 years has had less income coming into Projekt. I was pretty sure the music business was ending. I was kind of looking forward to that, “Ah! More time to make my own music now!!” But then 2018 turned things around and it’s the best year since 2011. And that’s because of streaming. So I have to recant all my bitching about streaming being so bad, and killing the music industry (I spent a lot of time talking about that in the early 10s). The top two artists — Voltaire & Steve Roach — are still generating 66% of the label’s income. That feels even more dramatic now, because the label has so many more releases than 10 or 20 years ago and you’d have thought more artists would be in the 10 or 20% range by this time; ie: the label’s royalty payouts more evenly dispersed. But nope.
For me, I’ve decided to stop releasing small bands I enjoy; it takes time and doesn’t bring in enough income to make sense anymore. I would rather refocus that time and energy on making more of my own music. ‘cause we’re all gonna die one day, and when I get there what I will remember (aside from my son, and people I love) is art that I created.
I worked with a lot of cool artists over the years, and Projekt released a lot of cool music; success! Now it’s time to focus on priorities.
Which is a bit of the theme of the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album: questioning the life you’ve been living, checking in and making sure you haven’t gotten off onto a tangent away from the priorities that make you feel like yourself. So yeah, I’m looking to make more of my own art, while still working with the top artists at Projekt. And yeah, sigh, probably releasing more vinyl.
It was nice to catch up with you again after all these years!
If you’ve ever wanted insight into the business side of Projekt Records, then check out my interview on The Future of What Podcast. It’s a weekly podcast / radio program about the music industry for insiders, outsiders, and outliers; I talked with Portia (of Kill Rock Stars Records) for 45 minutes about my 35 years running Projekt. It’s an informative conversation with lots of behind-the-scenes on staying in business through all the changes I’ve experienced. Cassettes to LPs to CDs to digital, back to LPs, crowd-funding, connecting with fans. If you’re in a band, running a label, or just a fan who wonders how it’s possible I’m still here putting out this great music for you, give it a listen.
After my interview, Steve Roach is on for great insights from his side of the music world. He’s been at it even longer than I have; he’s been through the same experiences, but from a different perspective. Steve also talks about his creativity, which I find really intriguing.
I don’t usually listen to my interviews, honestly, but this one turned out so good that I streamed to the whole thing. A really interesting conversation.
Do check it out.
It’s the current episode of The Future of What.
Cyber Overload. Sheesh! I got so many Cybersale emails in the last week. I am sure you’ve been flooded by them as well. My apologies for adding one more to your in box. Then again, I know you’re a fan of Projekt music; you’re on this list because you’ve purchased from our webstore, our Bandcamp page, or you signed up somewhere else over the years. Thanks for your interest. So far this week, 346 of you have taken us up on the Cyberdigital 50% off sale, and 8 of you have taken the Cyerphysical 15% off coupon. I guess that’s a pretty good indicator of how digital has taken over the music business. I was interviewed yesterday for The Future of What podcast (it should go live within a week.) We discussed the changes in the record business. Each podcast features one record label person in a 45-minute interview about the record business. It was great to talk with another label owner about Projekt’s 35+ year history, and the changes we’ve seen over the years. The one thing that doesn’t change is that fans of the music keep the label alive. Giving a bit back with a discount is my way of thanking you for your interest in the cool independent music on Projekt. So for you, a few more days of our cyber specials:PROJEKT’S CYBER 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 “cyber18”. Sale ends Friday Nov 30, Noon EST.PROJEKT’S CYBER PHYSICAL 15% OFF SALE
Get 15% off the entire Projekt webstore, excluding pre-order & new releases. Use checkout coupon code “cyber18”. Sale ends Friday Nov 30, Noon EST.WEBSTORE: FREE CD & PIN
Every $10+ order placed here at the Projekt webstore gets a free copy of the Projekt 2-CD Holiday compilation Ornamental. (That’s $10 in merchandise, before shipping) Yup! Free CD for you. Every order over $40 also gets the Projekt enamel pin for free. Both of these offers are while supplies last.
If your order total (before postage) doesn’t get to $40, you can purchase the Projekt enamel pin for just $5.
Sale does not apply at Projekt’s European webstore. However they offer fast, inexpensive shipping that might more than make up for the % difference.
Items on Five Dollar Friday Sale.24hr only, 38% Off, $10 CD Flash Sale | Day 3
You’re still buying Forrest Fang’s Scenes from a Ghost Train, so we’ve extended it for a final day, and added Falling You’s Shine plus Lorenzo Montanà’s phase IX. On sale for one day at $10! Sale ends 11am, Pacific Time, Saturday November 23.24hr only, 38% Off, $10 CD Flash Sale | Day 2
You loved yesterday’s sale on Forrest Fang’s Scenes from a Ghost Train, so we’ve extended it for a day, and added Forrest’s Animism, LYCIA’s A Day in the Stark Corner, and Erik Wollo’s Cinematic. All are on sale for one day for $10!Have a great Thanksgiving. – Sam 24hr only, 38% Off, $10 CD Flash Sale | Day 1
Aurelio Voltaire’s Heart-Shaped Wound Forrest Fang’s Scenes from a Ghost Train on sale for one day for $10! Sale ends 11am, Pacific Time, Thurs November 22. Check back tomorrow for the next two CDs on one-day flash sale.
We are taking preOrders on the upcoming Aurelio Voltaire album, What are the Oddz?
something different today from sam: no pictures. just words….Better days
On Twitter on a link to a review of the new BlackTape album, Andy posted, “Really great work Sam. Sounds like the better days in the past.” I love that people are checking out the new music and hearing the through-line from my earlier work. With that said, I replied, “Future/past. Always better days to come…” That’s how I feel about life: the future is filled with possibilities, and I can rewrite the story, and head toward what I desire. I know that’s not “goth” of me, and I know we sometimes have limitations that are hard to overcome; still, I try not to remain bummed out about life. Even with all of our challenges (political, emotional, societal, economical), there’s always a bit of grass growing through the pavement somewhere, with things to look forward to.10 qs
Do you remember back in the 90s there was a UK zine named Music From The Empty Quarter? I recently heard from Deadhead, the editor, I think we last talked prior to my ’96 move to Chicago! It’s been a long while, really great to catch up. We’re doing a 10-question interview. I’ve posted the first 4 responses here. Next batch of qs will be answered and posted in a few days.Projekt200 | 3CD $15
“Projekt200 is more than a retrospective; it’s a work of art in its own right, a chronicle of Projekt’s journey from cult ethereal/ambient label to darkwave powerhouse.” – ReGen Magazine. Released over a decade ago in an edition of 2500, this is a beautiful 3CD collection of Projekt music. One disc of the early years, one disc of then-current artists, & one disc of ambient music. Alas, it was released right when CDs were dying at retail and people didn’t experience this lovely look at the PROJEKT roster (and it was certainly priced to high, because that’s the kinda thing you did back then when retail stores were clawing away a big chunk of the sales price). I have copies I’m selling at below my cost so people can hear and see this wonderful release.LYCIA from Idie:youDie
“Speaking of Projekt, we somehow had no idea Lycia was dropping a new album last Friday, and now that we do know, it’s basically all we want to listen to. We loved 2015’s A Line that Connects (seriously, it was one of our top 10 records that year), and what we’re hearing from In Flickers is promising indeed: the group’s patented lush, shoegazey darkwave, enhanced with some upbeat drum programming and synthwork that we wouldn’t have expected but is hitting the spot.” Purchase CD or LP.Black Tape For A Blue Girl from Infrared Magazine<
“(To touch the milky way) is engaging, inviting, patient, melancholy and emotionally seductive. To say this is the best album of the year is not fair. The year is not up. This album is the reason I hate the digital age. I have to own this cd. If you are a fan of the band, that last statement is for you also. This is not a music file on a phone or a fucking stolen link. This is artwork, this is a band giving their passion and a passion I will play many times before I go to bed tonight. I love this cd so much, this band has yet to fail me. ” Purchase CD or LP.
Crossing my desk. I know, I know. What an outmoded metaphor. 🙂
Get ready for a new release this Friday!