New artist: Beta Cloud

I honestly didn’t plan on adding another artist quite this quickly, but Beta Cloud’s album “Lunar Monograph” utterly blew me away.

I’m very happy to announce that Beta Cloud will be recording new music and releasing it in 2010 on Relaxed Machinery. With the amazing quality of talent that is planning to release this year, wow, this is going to be one heck of a first year for Relaxed Machinery!

Beta Cloud website
Beta Cloud – Lunar Monograph

Thanks!

John

Steve’s album played in it’s entirety tonight on internet radio

Steve Brand’s new album “Circular Scriptures” on the Relaxed Machinery label will be played in it’s entirety tonight, Wednesday, February 3 between 8-10 pm Pacific Standard Time on Portland Radio Authority ( http://praradio.org ).

The show is called “This is What It’s All About” – and plans to open with a Meat Beat Manifesto track at 8 pm PST, an intro break, and then Steve’s album will be played.

I’d sincerely like to thank Austere for giving the album to their friend that hosts the show.

John

New Artist: Bob Ohrum

I’m very happy to announce Bob Ohrum will be releasing on Relaxed Machinery this year. He’s previously self-released several ambient albums, and I’m very happy to be releasing his “Elevated” album in the coming months. He’s also working on new music for release in the future.

I think Bob is a perfect fit for Relaxed Machinery.

Hover your mouse over “Artists” in the menu above and click on “Bob Ohrum” to read his bio and his comments about his previous releases.

John

Change my artist name from Interstitial?

I’m pondering a shift from using my artist name “Interstitial” to using my real name from now on. To me, Interstitial was a great name and sort of defined the music I wrote at that time.

In the 1990’s I used to describe my own music as “ambient techno industrial piano” – which admittedly is a slightly odd combo and a little tongue in cheek. One of the main reasons I used Interstitial for a long time was because I thought of my music as “between genres”. I used to have on my website around 2001-2003 a “between” statement which I really liked at the time…

i n t e r s t i t i a l - t h e    s p a c e    b e t w e e n
          between art and technology
               ambient and pulse
            atmospheric and glitch
        piano and noise
    jazz and detroit

This kind of said everything about the music I wrote… some songs would blend different elements of these descriptions. Yes, it was a little pretentious, but it felt right.

Now that I’ve taken a five year break from recording music – what I’m writing and playing is a little different. I’m older. I’m exploring new feelings. I approach playing differently.

Maybe it’s time to drop the Interstitial name and simply be me.

Steve Brand Album Previews

Five minute previews from all three tracks on Steve Brand – Circular Scriptures are available in the music player on the right side of this page!

Also, click the little “Store” link in the player to purchase the album:

CD Baby – Download version
iTunes – Download version
Hypnos – CDR version

Thoughts on “Circular Scriptures”

I just got the mail that the “Circular Scriptures” page is live on CDBaby.com! You can find more and longer samples on either the rM/Wordpress page or my MySpace page.

First, let me say that I’m very proud to have been asked to release this album on John Koch-Northrup’s flagship label, relaxedMACHINERY. I look forward to releasing with John again in the near future and expect that you’ll discover lots of new and exciting music on rM.

The initial impetus for “Circular Scriptures” was to create subtly complex, slow-moving, diaphanous sheets of sound, multiple layers or washes of feeling tone?all interacting, with little distinct points of reference. At the time I began this album, I was deeply immersed in the channeled information of Kryon (Lee Carrol) and Tobias (Geoffery Hoppe).

In particular, I was/am intrigued with the idea that although we may experience the events of our lives as series of linear events, with one seemingly leading to another, time is not actually linear. Instead, “time” (a phenomenon that is said to be unique to our experience as Human Beings) is non-linear, multi-faceted, multi-dimensional, more or less metaphorically running and intersecting in a mind-bending multitude of directions all at once. Correspondingly, because we seem to experience time as linear and sequential, our beliefs and thinking have become linear and sequential. However, as we begin to understand the multi-faceted nature of time, our true selves and our experience, we will need to create new metaphors, new understandings, new scriptures, that reflect this broader understanding, which are circular rather than linear ? circular scriptures. The music simply sprang from the seeds of these metaphysical influences that tell of the grandness and unlimited possibility of undefined, unconfined Being that are we currently standing on the threshold of. I intended that “Circular Scriptures” be a soundtrack for timelessness.

“Circular Scriptures” times in at about 70 minutes and consists of 3 tracks: “Light, Mother of Shadows” 24:57; “Circular Scriptures” 20:35; “I Have Already Left the Room” 28:38. This album is characterized by occasional hints of natural sound, shimmering diaphanous semi-transparent layers of sound that come forward, recede, overlap, earth shaking timbres surface, rumble and submerge again, and near orchestral/symphonic/choral allusions. The initial sketches where done in a very spontaneous manner, utilizing some large segments of sound that I had been experimenting with at the time, bringing together the elements with an emphasis on emotive qualities and their ability to shift, morph and interact with one another. The final product was refined and distilled over a period of a year to maintain a certain level of simplicity and light. The final track, “I Have Already Left the Room,” features occasional additional sounds from Matt Hiller/Ishq.

More about the nature of time.

Chris Russell

I’d like to welcome Chris Russell to Relaxed Machinery. He’ll be releasing an album called “Frozen” at some point in 2010 (date to be determined). I’ve been listening to it frequently this week and it’s truly excellent ambient work. He released two albums in 2009 on AtmoWorks: “Aralu” and “Merge”. ( Chris Russell at the AtmoWorks store )

I look forward to working with Chris in 2010!

.: Reminders! :.

Steve Brand – Circular Scriptures is scheduled for release on Jan 11, 2010. It will be available for download from CD Baby and as a CDR in the Hypnos store first… and later will roll out to iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, eMusic, etc… We’re in the process of finalizing the release and it’s looking good for the 11th. Of course, things happen… it might be available a day or two earlier or a few days later. That’s ok!

The New Release and Official Label Launch party is set for 9 pm Central Time on http://stillstream.com on Jan 16, 2010 during the Zen Caffeine program hosted by David Herpich. A huge thank you to David and to StillStream for welcoming us and hosting the event! I’ll be in the chat room at StillStream during the show.

John

Quick Update and Pondering Demos

.: First a quick update

Steve Brand – Circular Scriptures is scheduled for release on Jan 11, 2010. It will be available for download from CD Baby and as a CDR in the Hypnos store first… and later will roll out to iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, eMusic, etc… We’re in the process of finalizing the release and it’s looking good for the 11th. Of course, things happen… it might be available a day or two earlier or a few days later. That’s ok!

The New Release and Official Label Launch party is set for 9 pm Central Time on http://stillstream.com on Jan 16, 2010 during the Zen Caffeine program hosted by David Herpich. A huge thank you to David and to StillStream for welcoming us and hosting the event!

.: Pondering Demos

It’s funny to be pondering a few artist’s demos when the first album technically isn’t even released yet. There are a lot of factors involved – from whether I know the artist already, or were they recommended by someone I trust, or someone I’ve never met previously and emailed me out of the blue? The first step is getting to know the artist at least a tiny bit – at least enough to know whether I want to listen. Knowing why someone wants to release with Relaxed Machinery also helps me out.

Then, of course, there’s the music. Does it really jump out and grab me? Am I excited by it? Is this something I want to invest my time and energy on promoting? Do I have a gut feeling about it? It’s important to keep in mind that for better or worse – I’ve decided to keep this essentially a no profit for me label – and yes, I’ve been told I’m insane by many of my label owner and artist friends. Maybe I am a little off kilter, but I believe in what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. There are many pluses to me not trying to make money off of this, however, don’t get me wrong, this is not a free netlabel – I want the artists to profit as much as they can – and as an artist, I want to profit as much as I can from my solo releases coming in the future.

So back to demos. Assuming that, yes, I love this album and want to proceed. Is the album professional quality already or does it need mastering help? If it needs help, is the artist able to do it? Who will?

Another very major factor is how well the artist and I get along. And what can the artist bring to the Relaxed Machinery table? Will they do a lot of self-promotion? (I certainly hope they’ll do some!) Are they particularly “good” at some aspect of the music label process? For example – Steve Brand is an exceptional graphic artist and I’m confident he would have helped me with logo’s and album art templates even if he wasn’t releasing an album on Relaxed Machinery – the fact he has done so much work on his own time makes me very, very comfortable with the ‘artist gets 100% of sales’ policy. Maybe someone will come along that not only writes great music, but is exceptional at mastering and can help the other artists? Maybe someone will come along that is also good at video making? We’ll see.

While at AtmoWorks I ran into every level of artist enthusiasm… from people who were right there willing to go the extra mile, making sure that all the bits the label needed for release were available (like album files, bios, descriptions, etc…) and that made sure that their fans knew about the release… to artists that somehow seemed to thing AtmoWorks owed them everything on a platter – which was extremely odd. Most of course fell somewhere in between.

Countdown to Release – To Do List!

Steve Brand’s “Circular Scriptures” album is nearing release – with a planned date of 1/11/10. We’ll be celebrating the release on 1/16/10 on StillStream.com at 9 pm CST on the Zen Caffeine show hosted by David Herpich.

Lots to do between now and 1/11! A few items if you’re interested:

* Album Artwork is complete (and amazingly beautiful, I might add). This needs to be uploaded to CD Baby for the download version and to Hypnos for the CDR version. After it’s uploaded to CD Baby – they will distribute the album to multiple websites like iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, eMusic, etc…

* Audio files – finalized, tagged, and uploaded to CD Baby and Hypnos.

* Preview versions of the tracks need to be cut – and uploaded to our music player.

* I need to tweak the header images on this site, and settle on a left column format.

* Create the promo package (a printable file that describes the album, the artist, and the label) – as part of that, Steve needs to write about his album and I need to sort out what I want to say about Relaxed Machinery to potential radio hosts, reviewers, bloggers, podcasters, etc…

* Upload the great wallpaper Steve created for this album release

…and then the promotion begins.

I’ve heard Circular Scriptures at least 30 times now. I dearly love it. I hope you do too.

More details on the release and label activity as we countdown to release day!

John