New Release on Relaxed Machinery 1.11.10

As part of the launch of the new Relaxed Machinery label, my upcoming release, “Circular Scriptures“ is currently slated for 1.11.10.

Relaxed Machinery is the brainchild of former AtmoWorks dude, John Koch-Northrup. I’ve been helping John with the graphic look and feel, creating his logo, cover template, press release template and wallpaper design. I think we came up with a unique look for all the pieces that says something distinctive about rM, the music and it’s artists.

To my knowledge, rM is going to be a highly unique paradigm as far as labels go, so naturally I think it’ll be a very exciting adventure to join in on. John has already covered the details of how rM will work in his own posting, so I won’t go into those details here. It is our intention to keep the rM WordPress site a updated with the latest news, thoughts and developments, as well as providing feeds to Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc., so you can stay connected via your favorite social media. One of the aspects of rM that I think is really fun, is that we intend to augment releases with press releases, additional art, samples, screen savers, interviews, etc. for each release, available only through RelaxedMachinery.com, so make sure to bookmark this site and watch for updates.

“Circular Scriptures” has been in the works now for over a year, so I’m very excited to share it with listeners, and to be able to kick off rM with this release. I’ll post more details and thoughts on “Circular Scriptures” in late December, or early January.

The artists get 100%?!

Relaxed Machinery is set up in a fairly unique way.  As the label owner, I don’t actually “make” anything.  The artist pays for their release, and in turn, gets 100% of their sales.  In fact, I never see any of it.

Why?  There are a lot of key reasons.  One is, of course, I love the artist’s music and want to see them get something back for their talent and hard work in putting an album together.   Another reason is today’s technology allows me to do this.   And yet another is I don’t really want to be an accountant.  I didn’t enjoy sorting out all the sales at AtmoWorks while I was co-owner.  It takes a lot of time and energy that I could be using somewhere else!

Most of the artists reading this already understand that the music business has dramatically changed many times over the last decade or so.  Listener’s have migrated to easily portable mp3 players with large collections of artists and albums in their pockets – labels keep getting smaller and smaller.  The ability to put an album out on the internet ranges from totally free netlabels, to getting their music into iTunes, and other services, to full blown manufactured cd’s. 

I decided to focus Relaxed Machinery on what truly matters to me.  Make it possible for artists who I enjoy working with and who write music that moves me – to have a label to release through that will support them and promote them.   I take care of the websites and the overall vision – I make contacts with reviewers and broadcasters – I distribute the press releases out there.   The artist pays for their release through CD Baby – which makes their albums available at such very common sites like CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, eMusic, etc…  and they then get 100% of the profits back.   I don’t want to see a dime from their release.

What’s in it for me?   I enjoy this!  Working on the websites hones my IT skills, working on the albums and promo latches into my creativity, working with the artists – I just love that.   And in the end, if Relaxed Machinery is successful, the artists are successful – and I’m one of the artists!

Thanks for reading! And if you have any questions or comments… just type them in below!

John

First Release, Working with Steve, Who Am I?

.: First Release and working with Steve Brand

I’m very happy to be able to release a new album by Steve Brand called “Circular Scriptures”.  The release date is set for 1/11/10.   Steve has released many albums under his own name, and earlier in his career under the name Augur.  I met Steve while working with AtmoWorks… his music blew me away and his art did as well.  Eventually Steve helped redesign the branding for AtmoWorks and created the album art template that’s currently in use for most AtmoWorks albums. 

I knew I wanted to work with Steve from the beginning with the new label.   He agreed to start working with me on a logo which then developed into further branding and templates for album art and press releases.   I feel we’ve made a good team on the artwork.  It’s truly a pleasure to work with him.

But most importantly for this first release – I love his music.   And “Circular Scriptures” is no exception!  I’ve listened to it countless times and it holds up on repeat listens (why would I be releasing it if it didn’t?).  Of course we’ll be posting samples and sneak peeks of the album art and all that as we get closer to relase.

.: Who the heck am I?

Really I’m just your average music nut.  I love all kinds of music.   I was the type of kid in high school that loved to spend an afternoon going through records in a used record shop – and made special trips to Chicago or St. Louis to find records that weren’t available in central Illinois.  (yes yes, vinyl records…) 

I started learning piano from my grandma when I was 5 – and I have a natural talent for playing and writing.  I played trumpet and piano through school in concert and jazz bands.  I wrote my piano solos for state contests in high school.  Student band director – yeah – I was a major band geek.  I started playing gigs in bar bands when I was 15 – synth for the first few years and then I switched to playing bass guitar.

I’ve recorded my solo electronic and acoustic (and mixed) music since about 1983 – although if I pull those tapes out they’re fairly hilarious… 🙂   I’ve released my solo music on cassette locally – and around 2000 started releasing as “Interstitial”.  I’ve been lucky enough to have had full releases or tracks on albums released by the following labels:  The Foundry, AtmoWorks, Red Antenna, Saasfee*, and Hypnos/Binary.   I’ve been on a long break from recording for the last few years.

I’ve helped several labels behind the scenes since about 1998 – usually with their websites or technical questions and a bit with promotion when I loved the albums.   I also was one of the three co-owners of AtmoWorks music from February 2008 to June 2009. 

As far as non-music stuff… I’ve been an IT guy specializing mainly in data for way too many years.   Happily – I do love what I do.  I have the best most supporting wife a person could ever want.   I’m amazed at how lucky I am.

So that’s enough about me for now!   Next up I’ll talk about some of the ideas behind starting up the label the way I have.    

John