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Steve was interviewed on Tucson’s NPR station about the healing power of sound and his new album A Soul Ascends created as a final farewell to his mother. Alisa Ivanitskaya discusses the philosophy shaping Steve’s music. Stream the interview on Arizona Spotlight, from 15:10 – 26:15.
A majestic, deeply moving sonic suspension drawn from the essence of Steve Roach’s visionary ambient/electronic music. A vast and intimate holding-the-space of heart-centered serenity and compassion, the album couples the body to the eternal flow of a vaporizing weightlessness — back to a divine nothingness, the Tabula Rasa where everything began.
“…slowly morphing and breathing as it goes forward in an unstoppable quest for inward tranquility.”
A review from Exposé by Peter Thelan:
In the four decades that Steve Roach has been making music, he has released close to 150 albums, both solo and in collaboration, maybe even more that I’m not aware of, and each new release has some vestigial connection to all that have gone before it, while also adding new elements that take on new directions – sometimes the changes are bold and sometimes incremental, and even other times reach back even further to elaborate on ideas that were committed to the lost and found, to be worked further, branched out and blossomed into new ideas. That may be the case with A Soul Ascends, which seems to draw on energies and emotions going back to some of his earliest works, calling forth several of the expansive and spacious works from the mid-1980s, with a new glowing warmth that establishes a certain mark of the present. A Soul Ascends, by its title seems to have a connection to some personal loss, but that’s not something that is enforced on the listener; in fact on its surface the music here is quite beautiful and angelic, slowly morphing and breathing as it goes forward in an unstoppable quest for inward tranquility. It consists of three extended movements; the first is the longest at just over thirty minutes, “The Radiant Return” moves patterns of successive colors, shades, shadows and brilliance slowly across a floating sonic canvas, where deep textures and soaring brilliances meet and overlap, like filters that interchangeably obscure and colorize the light of the sun, moon or stars. The second movement “In Present Space” is similar to the first, though at about half its length, continuing at roughly the same glacial pace, but occasionally fades to complete blackness. The third and final movement “Reflection In Ascension” is another long one, opening up some new textures via subtle sequences blending with the slow-morphing sounds introduced in the earlier movements. Like many of Roach’s works, one might get some extended mileage by putting this on in end-to-end repeat mode for an all day or all night marathon.
We got a big box from Italy filled with new and catalog cD releases from Alio Die's Hic Sunt Leones label…
New releases now in stock: Aglaia: Astrolabio (CD) $16.00 Aglaia: Cosmic Museum(CD) $16.00 Aglaia: Thumbnails In The Setting Sun (CD) $16.00 Alio Die & Indalaska: Tempus Fugit (CD) $16.00 Alio Die & Parallel Worlds: The Utopian Blossom (CD) $16.00 Alio Die: Allegorical Traces I (CD) $16.00 Alio Die: Allegorical Traces II (CD) $16.00 Almamantra (Alberto Ezzu Ensemble): Almamantra (CD) $16.00 Mono No Aware: Implosion (CD) $16.00 Robert Davies: Incandescence (CD) $16.00 Stefano Scala: Metamorfosi (the music of Philip Glass) (CD) $16.00
Hic Sunt Leones catalog CDs back in stock: Aglaia: Ephemeral Blue (CD) $16.00 Aglaia: Floating Particles (CD) $16.00 Aglaia: Florealia Nocturna (CD) $16.00 Aglaia: Latitude (CD) $16.00 Aglaia: Leaves & Thunderstorms (CD) $16.00 Aglaia: Primeval Nebula (CD) $16.00 Aglaia: Water Inside The Light (CD) $16.00 Alio Die & Aglaia: Amitabha (CD) $16.00 Alio Die & Aglaia: Opera Magnetica (CD) $16.00 Alio Die & Lingua Fungi: Lento (CD) $16.00 Alio Die & Parallel Worlds: Elusive Metaphor (CD) $16.00 Alio Die: An Unfathomable Convergence (CD) $16.00 Alio Die: Imaginal Symmetry (CD) $16.00 Alio Die: Seamlessly Bliss (CD) $16.00 Alio Die: Standing In A Place (CD) $16.00 Alio Die: They Grow Layers Of Life Within (CD) $16.00 Alio Die: Time Zone Portal (CD) $16.00Check out the full list of Hic Sunt Loenes titles we stock in the projekt webstore.
Sam will answer your questions and reminisce. You can chat in the text window with Projekt artists, fans, and long-time assistant Shea Hovey. See you there! Saturday May 2 — 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern / 8pm Italy facebook.com/SamProjekt If you are not on Facebook, use this link: www.facebook.com/SamProjekt/posts/10218929688366123 and then chose “not now” on the pop up.
from Sam Rosenthal:
Thoughts at the end of the tens.
Today is that "holiday" launched by AmEx in 2010, Small Business Saturday, where we go out and support a small business or two. Well let me tell you, Projekt is small. Very small!
Projekt is almost as small as it gets. The staff is:
Sam (me) — (not quite full time) — I communicate with the artists, design the album covers and other graphics, keep on top of the physical production schedule, email the distributors (Hi Sebastian, Mike, Scott, Tracy, Rob, Sue, others), communicate with many of our press contacts, update Projekt’s Bandcamp store, post a portion of our social networking, update the website, write album bio copy, and look out over the bow a year into the future for an idea of where the industry is headed.
Joe — (a few hours a week) — fulfills your orders at the Projekt webstore.
Shea — (a few hours a week) — posts the rest of the social networking, updates the reviews on the website, proofs the copy I write (but not my email lists, which is why there are always those damn typos), and is my trusted sounding board (She’s worked at Projekt since 2001!)
We’re a small business, and that leads me to what I’m thankful for.
I’m thankful for you, and your love of music… hold on… I have to do some business before I continue with what I’m thankful for…
Enter BF19 in the coupon code field during checkout at projekt.com. The sale excludes pre-order & new category items. Sale ends Friday December 6 at Noon EST.
Right. As I was saying…
I’m thankful for you, and your love of music! I’ve run Projekt as my full time job since 1991. For 28+ years your love of music has put a roof over my head, food in my belly, and helped me pay the costs of raising my son. It’s pretty great that we’ve been doing this for each other all these years!
Projekt began as a hobby when I entered college in 1983; the label grew out of my fanzine, Alternative Rhythms. Do you watch Stranger Things? I’m the same age as the older kids like Jonathan, the non-conformist photographer. That show does a good job of showing what it was like to live in non-big-city-America in the mid-80s (except we didn’t have to deal with The Upside Down where I was from.) I popped over to youTube to find a video of Jonathan and synchronicity brought me the perfect clip for this blog. In it he’s giving his younger brother a mix tape. They’re listening to The Clash and Jonathan says, "All the best stuff’s on there — Joy Division, Bowie, Television, The Smiths. It will totally change your life!"
Honestly, that’s exactly the reason I made the fanzine and started Projekt — I really loved music and wanted to expose other people to it.
Back in the 80s and well into the 90s, we didn’t have the internet to expose us to interesting music from around the world. It took dedication to find underground sounds. We read magazines, listened to a cool local college DJ if our town had one, went to dance clubs, and if we were lucky there was a cool record store where the owner got to know our tastes ("Yes, Leslie, of course I want to special order a copy of that Mick Karn/Peter Murphy 12-inch!")
Exposing people to great music is what I did and continue to do.
I know it’s easy to stream music these days; people are buying less and less. I’ll fess up, I’m one of those streamers. Streaming brings in around 50% of Projekt’s income and it grows every month. Streaming does pay!
If you’re a digital fan, it helps that you go to the Projekt Bandcamp page to purchase a download, and/or chip in when there’s a new name-your-price release. That money ads up to royalties for the artists you love. In fact, right now there’s a new release, Christmas Nocturne by Sue Hutton and Athan Maroulis. It’s a name-your-price holiday download!
As many of you know, I’m the songwriter/bandleader of Black Tape For A Blue Girl. Since 2013 (when I moved from Brooklyn NY to the more-reasonably-priced Portland Oregon) I’ve put more time into my own art. It was hard in NYC — working as much as I could at Projekt to bring in income, raising my son, AND trying to find time for music? It was too hard to do it all. I know everyone has different economic realities, for me Oregon is a less-expensive place to live; this has lowered my financial stress and I take more time to make art. It also helps that I have 67 very cool patrons who contribute towards my music-making expenses.
It takes time and money to create music.
Back in the beginning of this decade, I used to argue with people on Facebook (and in email) about how piracy & illegal downloads hurt artists because it deprived them of income they needed to cover the costs of creating (let alone paying the rent.) I’ve long since given up on arguing with people on social networking (that was a pretty annoying way to spend time, wasn’t it?)
In a sense the battle was won by Spotify, Pandora and YouTube. Streaming took over, and much to my surprise it seems Daniel Ek was right — streaming reduced the piracy problem, while sending money to artists. Count me corrected!
Now we’re in the last weeks of this decade (!!!) and I understand that the problem of fans buying less physical releases is going to be solved when artists (1) catch up with the modern age and accept what is changing (and has already changed) and (2) embrace new ways to bring in income.
Projekt has a couple of artists with the success necessary to work full time on their music. However, most of the musicians I know create on a very part-time basis. That’s sad when you think about it. There could be a lot more great art if musicians were able to work less at their income-producing job, and more on their art.
It turns out I am a (Democratic) socialist. I think society would be much better if the billionaires didn’t have quite so many billions, and their hoarded money wasn’t sitting in their 3rd mansion and stocks. It would be better if that money was equitably shared in the system. This isn’t just to benefit people I know, it’s to benefit you. I doubt you’ve got a billion, or even a million, or probably even fifty-thousand, socked away that you’re not using. You could probably use a little more of a fair share, and some security, right? I hope one day we have Health Care For All and a Basic Income for everyone, so if you want to get out of the grind of that day job and start the business you’ve been dreaming about — well, you can take the leap and try. I was fortunate that I didn’t have crushing college debt, and I was healthy. I could chuck the job in 1991 to focus on Projekt. The label was growing and it needed me to take the risk to be there full time. Nowadays, how many of us can follow our dreams?
Economically, that’s not easy at all!
I hope that things change in 11 months and we get new leaders with a desire to help the people rather than the rich. Oh, yes… another thing I’ve learned is talking politics here on the list pisses people off. I’ll just say: let’s all get along and be good to each other. I’ll be thankful for a time when there’s more love and compassion, and less divisions and us-against-them.
And that’s my Thanksgiving message of hope (and despair — yes, I’m GenX. I have a healthy dose of skepticism and cynicism.)
Somebody will inevitably email me and tell me off — that’s not going to wreck my day. After I realized life wasn’t a tragedy, but a farce, it got a bit easier.
Speaking of governing the right way — Ryan Lum (formerly of Love Spirals Downwards and of LoveSpirals) is running for Long Beach City Counsel. If you’ve loved their music and you’re a progressive that wants to see positive change, pass a donation his way: https://ryanlum.net/
So….. new topic…. I’ve made a video! My first new video in 6 years! It’s really nice. Please watch it…
black tape for a blue girl "In my memories" video at YouTube
I conceived, shot & edited this rumination on the passing of time, nostalgia, regret and loss with the help of my three great actors. Shot over the course of two year, it stars Dan Von Hoyel (vocalist/songwriter from the bands Harmjoy and Titans) and fellow adult industry performer Mercy West.
Watch “In my memories” off To touch the milky way.
Sam explains, "The piece began with a half-minute phone-video of Mercy splashing & diving underwater at a rubber fetish pool party. A few months later, a piano part I played in the studio felt to me like it was about ‘memories’ — those seconds of Mercy in the pool inspired the direction of the music and then the lyrics I wrote. It’s a character’s first person narrative thinking back to the summer when he was 23 and enjoying a nothing-special — and yet everything-so-special — afternoon with his lover. It moves me seeing the raw emotions Dan brought to his performance. How often do you see men cry in tv or film? In our culture, men are considered weak when they show feelings other than anger. It’s still not common for them to tear up and display their loss or sorrow. I like that we captured that; it gets to the core of the song.”
Next week I’m reprinting BlackTape’s The Rope T-shirt. If you’d like one, preOrder at the BlackTape Bandcamp page. Projekt 20% Off Sale. Enter BF19 in the coupon code field during checkout at projekt.com. Sale excludes pre-order & new category items. Sale ends Friday December 6 at Noon EST.
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
❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ ☠️ ❤️ 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.
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.
We sold through the first vinyl edition of LYCIA In Flickers so quickly that I didn’t want to leave anyone out! I placed the 2nd edition order immediately and it’s now here! Mike chose this striking orange with black splatters design, it’s in our shops and ready to ship to arrive by Xmas (fingers crossed). This will make a lovely present for the LYCIA fan of the family (or for yourself, of course)!
The Projekt webstore has the last copies of the In Flickers T-shirt, just a few left in each size.
All stores stock the CD edition.
In Flickers has been selling incredibly well via our European distributor, Audioglobe. It’s great to see so much love for Lycia over there!
From Projekt Records’ Sam Rosenthal.
522 SE Clinton St, Portland, Oregon 97202
MOVIES IN THE DARK is a film series presented at the lovely & historic Clinton Street Theatre, in Portland Oregon. It’s an inner southeast arthous theater for indie and cult flicks, cheap prices and the long-running Rocky Horror Picture Show. Movies in the Dark is an opportunity to hang out with friends, in a non-club environment. There’s beer, and popcorn, and movies!
Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal introduces the film.
A landmark of cinema history, CST is one of the oldest operating movie houses in the US. Locally owned, locally operated and loved worldwide, CST brings the SE Portland community a plethora of indie and rep films that deserve to be seen on a big screen. Quirky, irreverant, sometimes overly sincere, it’s not your father’s multi-plex movie-going experience. Beyond its regular movie schedule, CST also hosts theater, music and other live performances — always affordable and open to all ages. Brilliant!
Join the email list, to receive announcements on future Movies in the Dark, please put “MOVIES” as the subject, so I know which list you want to join. You will not be bombarded with messages; one email when a film is announced, and one email in the days leading up to the movie. No spam. Not a ton of messages! To join, email Sam.
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