Earbits

 

New music platforms come and go with the tides of time. Enough Records was built on the love of discovering and promoting new music, so we like to check out other platforms when we spot them, just to see if they’re any good or not and maybe get pleasantly surprised.

One such platform, which we have been recently been testing the waters, is Earbits – Free Online Radio. We’ve only uploaded music from 3 of our artists so far: Jenifer Ávila, M-PeX & Makrox and Daizy. Check it out.

Filed under Label Relations, Netlabel Reflections.
 

Artist Spotlight: Megatone

 

Marcel 'Megatone' Gherman

Our staff member Filipe ‘ps’ Cruz got back in touch with Enough Records release artist Marcel Gherman, also known as Megatone. He was kind enough to answer a few questions for us.

Hello Marcel, thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions! Your bio says you are a Musician, radio DJ, journalist and prose writer from Moldova. Most people haven’t even heard of Moldova. Can you tell us about your country and how you got involved with music?

Well, about Moldova, our history was a constant struggle for survival and this situation continues even now. As one medieval historian said, “we’re in the path of all evils”. One of the most essential aspects that you should know about Moldova is that there is no particular Moldovan ethnicity, nor Moldovan language. Throughout the history the territory of Moldova has been part of Romania, and we are actually Romanians , speaking Romanian language. From 1812 to 1918 we’ve been taken over by Russian Empire, and from 1940 to 1990, by Soviet Union. During these periods we have been imposed to call ourselves “Moldovans” and to claim that we speak “Moldovan language”, but that is already politics. I think we have many affinities with Portuguese people, especially thru our common Latin heritage, and we even have an equivalent for the precious Portuguese word Saudade, our equivalent is “Dor”, which is a special kind of nostalgia. In fact, we and the Portuguese people even look a bit the same.

I had a very strange path in music. My interest in it began when I was a child, when I entered music school to study piano. I remember how after watching an old film about vikings, with Kirk Douglas, I was so impressed that I composed a simple “March of the Vikings”. But soon my interest for music ended because I didn’t really see a sense in music, I didn’t think music has any power to change something, to have a real effect on a person. My interest for music returned at the beginning of the 90ies, when I discovered techno music. There was a real magic about it, a lot in common with African music and the power of archaic magic rituals that we, people of the modern age, feel so nostalgic about. Throughout the 90ies I was obsessed with techno music, and since I was 15 years old, for nine years, between 1994 and 2003, I hosted some weekly shows on electronic music on the National Radiostation of Moldova. It was fun. Also since 1994 I wrote a header about techno music in a popular magazine. I made my first techno track recorded in a professional studio in 1996. Afterwards, during the 2000ies, I discovered a lot of interesting music – early electroacoustic music – Xenakis, Stockhausen, Ligeti, industrial – Einsturzende Neubauten, Throbbing Gristle, Japanese noise scene – Merzbow, Ryoji Ikeda, Aube, Masonna. So my musical interests shifted to IDM and then to Drone. I think there is also a strong tribal vibe in Drone music. I believe that we have become too civilized, that an important part of our identity has been amputated by positivist materialist society, and that we feel the need to recover the contact with the spirits of nature and with the old gods, of course, if they really exist.

I also have a curious interest in a different kind of music. For several years I had taken some individual lessons of classical music composition from a professional composer and symphonic conductor, initially I took these lessons in order to develop my skills in electronic music, but later I discovered in me a real passion for orchestral film and game music, which can be observed in two albums of mine, Pure Land and Tales Of Knights And Magic.

I know you are also a radio DJ, active since the 90s. What can you tell us about the musical culture in your country especially regarding electronic music?

In Moldova there were traditionally a lot of music schools, both in the urban centers and in the territory, so there are many musicians here, who practice pop music, folk, classical, and even jazz. So we may say that Moldova is a very musical country. There are also some electronic music artists and since the middle of the 90ies we have regular electronic music parties organized. That is mostly drum’n'bass, uplifting trance and house styles. Ambient music is less developed here, but all our DJs and producers are well informed about all styles of electronic music. And there are also some artists who write ambient music, not many although.

What can you tell us of the netaudio scene is Moldova and the surrounding countries? Are there many active netlabels? Are they in contact with local event promoters?

In Moldova there is a good netlabel called Silent Flow, specialized in ambient and IDM. In Romania there were since the end of the 90ies some very good ambient and IDM projects and artists such as NSK, Outer Sanctum and Mythos Micleusanu, the latter is from Moldova. There are a few dark ambient and drone netlabels and artists in Ukraine, to mention just netlabel Clinical Archives. Unfortunately in Moldova there are no event organizers specialized on ambient, but instead the is the Black Makler Promo group, specialized on drum’n'bass, and Avalanche group, oriented on uplifting trance.

You released two albums through Enough Records under your artist name Megatone. First Space Voyage in November 2006 [link] and Imago Mundi Nova in September 2008 [link]. Both of them electronic ambient with a certain mysticism. Is that feeling a common trait across all your musical work? Can you share with us why you are interested in those type of sounds?

Yes, I always like music with idea. I like to think about how my music “functions” and act upon the listener. I think that this method can also be applied to my essays and prose. I always hope that my music and prose would be something more than a mere aesthetic pleasure, would bring some “revelation”, some knowledge. As I said before, I think there is a lot in common between electronic music and old spiritual traditions, like shamanism, Dyonisiac rituals, Roman Saturnalia, or the orgies of drinking the juice of Soma as described in the Vedas. Electronic artist is a modern shaman that leads people into an initiation journey.

In some countries, justified by the financial crisis, we been having heavy cuts on financial supports to culture. How is the situation in Moldova for financing arts and culture?

We have the same problem here in Moldova, although even in the past our cultural sector didn’t have much financial support. It’s a question of survival, but nevertheless, here in Moldova there are still many good professional writers – poets, novelists and essayists, several literary and culture magazines, musicians and painters, and several theatre companies, among them the Eugene Ionesco Theatre Company which for many years organizes an international theatre festival with guest companies even from Japan and India.
It is a problem for the authorities and the society in general to understand the importance of arts and culture, which develop the moral quality and the intelect of each individual, and by this have a key role in building the society.

With the proliferation of access to the internet there is a large access to diverse musical culture. But i can’t help feeling that people are overwhelmed with too much available content and have become passive consumers, waiting for things to come to them instead of feeling the need to search and discover something new. And what usually is being served is commercial marketing. Do you feel this is a problem in promoting culture nowdays?

Yes indeed. Internet has made available a treasure of music and culture, in fact the entire world heritage is available at each person s fingertips, yet not many dare to discover all that marvel. I think that all cultural actors have the mission to remind the public the true importance of arts, not just as an entertainment, but also as mean to make life more complete.

I read on your website you been awarded the writers union of Moldova award for debut for the year 2012 for book of prose “Cartea Viselor” (“The Book Of Dreams”) released in 2011. Can you tell us a little more about it?

My book is a collection of fantastic stories about dreams and visionary experiences. I think it has a lot in common with the music that I write. The stories take place in many exotic countries – India, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, Peru. It’s a combination of many influences, from postcyberpunk to surrealism, from Borges and Lovecraft to Castaneda.

Thanks for your time! Any last words?

Throughout the years Enough Records has developed a marvellous catalogue of music. I wish to send my greetings to all Enough Records artists. Also recently I was reading about famous Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa, and on this occasion I learned many things about Portugal, and am amazed how beautiful and unique Portuguese culture is. I wish you all the best. And a special thanks to you, Filipe, for this wonderful opportunity to answer to your interview.

I invite you all to visit my site: http://marcelgherman.blogspot.com

Filed under Artist Spotlight, Interviews.
 

What is Enough Records?

 

Was poking an indie artist on twitter, telling him it would be cool to release something from him through Enough Records if he’s interested. The answer was ‘What’s Enough?’ A perfectly valid question if you don’t know us. Which got me thinking of writing this article to sum it up nicely.

Enough Records is a netlabel. That means we distribute music online free for download. We are non-profit. We run it because we love promoting new music. We been operating since 2001. Our catalogue has 320 album/ep releases, 20 compilations and 18 mixtapes released to this date.

Our terms of release are the following: By agreeing to release with us you are granting us non exclusive rights to distribute your music under creative commons by-nc-sa license through our label online, free for download and in promotional physical media, always in non profit regime. Any profit we make (donations, last.fm radio payments, some music distribution site sales, etc) is rechanneled to more promotional material of the label and the artist. You’re free to re-release the tracks wherever and howhever you see fit, as long no one comes asking us to take the tracks from our catalogue offline.

That means we package your release of 320kbps mp3s, high quality artwork and additional information text file. Fix the id3 tags. Rename the files into our filename standard. Zip everything up and upload it to scene.org, archive.org, last.fm, sonicsquirrel.net, clearbits.net, bandcamp.com, freemusicarchive.org, mixcloud, routenote and a couple other new music sharing sites we might be checking out at the time. Routenote places the releases also available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and eMusic. You can opt out from any of them. And we always give the artist precedence to administrate his own presence in any of the platforms if they choose to do so.

We would prefer to have the release available for free everywhere. But certain digital distributors don’t allow it. At Bandcamp we are forced to place a nominal download fee (usually 7 euros) since we run out of free monthly downloads in 2 days. At iTunes and Amazon the platforms won’t allow an option for free download. We made the decision to still be present at these platforms and hope the users will realize the tracks are also available free for legal download elsewhere on the internet.

After uploading the release to all these places we announce the release publically. We send the info through our network in facebook, twitter, google+, last.fm and our mailing list.

We also do mixtape specials of our latest catalogue to send to different radios, webzines and music sharing sites.

We keep an eye out on what our artists are doing throughout the week and share their news through our facebook and twitter. Also sharing any official or fan-made videos, upcoming concerts or calls to action.

There is also a mailing list for the artists where we notify of possible opportunities that might interest them.

We are currently closed to demos from new artists. Trying to focus our attention in promoting our existing artist roster. In practical terms it means we don’t spend time listening to randomly submitted demos anymore. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible for new artists to debut at Enough but to release at Enough we need to either previously know the people behind the project, have it recommended by a standing Enough Records artist, or randomly stumble upon it and find the project immensely cool and worth supporting.

The we mentioned several times above is mostly the work of ps, although other people do assist in several ways: online promotion, opportunity spotting, administrating specific distribution platforms, handling the shipping of physical promos, organizing compilations, curating sub-labels, etc.

It must be made clear that we are non-profit and strive for transparency. The label is just a hobby that we been indulging upon for over a decade. We have 4 sources of income right now: last.fm radio plays (about 20 euros every 3 months), Flattr donations (about 50 cents every month), Routenote network airplay and sales (fluctuates between 2 and 20 euros a month), Bandcamp (very rare sale). Our costs are mostly server and domain (60 euros a year), flyer/postcard promo prints, and personal time donated in kind.

If you want to support us directly it would be cool to get a pro Soundcloud account again. It costs 100 bucks a year. Feel like supporting us? You can do it by using Flattr.

Flattr this

Filed under Netlabel Reflections.
 

Newsletter 8 April 2013

 

Hope you all enjoyed your Easter holidays in case you celebrate them.

At Enough we been busy during this last month preparing some new releases, two of them have recently hatched:

enrmix18

The first release is a mixtape of our latest catalogue, prepared especially for the NoiseTrade website. You can check it at their website:
http://noisetrade.com/enoughrecords/noisetrade-special-130401
Alternative stream and download at archive.org and mixcloud.com:
http://www.archive.org/details/enrmix18_noisetrade_special_130401
http://www.mixcloud.com/enoughrecords/noisetrade-special-130401/

Janne Nummela - Kosmoskalevala

Our second release is a double album of avantgarde / jazz / fusion / experimental electronics by Finnish Janne Nummela.

You can listen to it at FMA or archive.org:
http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Janne_Nummela/Kosmoskalevala/
http://archive.org/details/enrmp320_janne_nummela_-_kosmoskalevala

Here are some reviews describing it better:

“Janne Nummela (born 1973) is a Finnish multi-artist who has previously been recognized as a poet and a painter. Now released double album Kosmoskalevala represents, in its electronic and eclectic sound landscapes, the artist?s tendency towards experimental, lyrical abstraction and polyfonic compositions. Nummela approaches his music in the same way as his previous collection of poems and an art exhibitions, where every segment participates in constituting the artwork as a whole.

Fully produced at a home studio, Kosmoskalevala has its own peculiar atmosphere, where multi-dimensional cinematic sample sounds, instrumental sounds, as well as recorded concrete sounds all come together. A two-hour duration double album contains twenty-six tracks, each of which brings unique perspective to the sphere. The album has a track duration ranging from less than a minute to twenty minutes, which refers to the artwork?s experimental nature and pursuit to constitute an artistic entity. Kosmoskalevala is a comprehensive and immersive sound work, which is at its best when listened all in once.

In Kosmoskalevala, traditional Kalevala mythology gets several new timbres and variations, which carry the listener from one temporal or spatial dimension to another. Movement is motivated by not only typical acousmatic parameters, but also in melodic and rhythmic levels. In addition, there are diverse contexts that appear from the music spontaneously. Sound and theme registry varies in a fascinating and imaginative manner, from grotesque to romanticism, from comic to tragic, ending up to the alienating and futuristic science fiction elements. The paradox based on contradictions and conflicts at the same time builds and breaks the cohesion of the album.

The work does not only touch the listener’s emotions, but also challenges the intellect. Scenes are painted to the listeners mind, and together those scenes eventually manage to build up an entire story. If the listener does not want to focus on the pure sound art enjoyment of the sound scenery, there is plenty of extramusical intertextualities, which may tell a different story, more related to the current world and society. By placing a number of microcosmoses in interaction between each other, Kosmoskalevala creates its own universe, where charmingly controlled chaos takes its place.”
– Jenni Hurmerinta

“Nummela?s musical tones ja archaic beat discharge are searching their way to listener?s mind pushing unconsciousness in move like pieces of torn apart Osiris? flesh swirling in spring of multidimensional Hades. Musical aspects of this fusion energy have fury to have synchorinicity to connect with universal tonal truth and same time chip all your plain musical convenience to other dimensions. This double album is alchemy of soul who have forgotten the meaning of music. Music and mystery of uncertain repeatability and chaotic joy of inspiration for unexpected combination as human need to have some perception for reaping connectedness, ultimately but overwhelming thin fountainhead of orgon-energy and humbleness under indefinite universum.”
– Arhi Kuittinen

“It sounded between atonal music, ethnic music, jazz, in some way Gamelan (sound of g., but not rhythmically), electronic and ambient music, without actually being any of those. The collage it was for sure and I liked uneven rhythms and juxtaposed layers. I’m not a musician but I think the biggest issue here is the variations of the rhythm patterns. It does not sound like  Indian carnatic music but it brings to mind its complex rhythms. Kosmoskalevala is more bouncing between various rhythms types. It reminds me of background music for the  animations made for children in Finland in the 60′s and 70′s. In some parts of the Kosmoskalevala I can’t help imagining cut-out figures of paper move across the TV screen. Anyhow this is clearly an independent work of art. Warm tones. This kind of electronic music is more monotonic than instrumental music. Instruments here are not as characterized as real ones. This proceeds more as a mass but it’s not a bad thing it makes a motion more like stream of consciousness. Yes I liked this!”
– Sirpa Jokinen

Filed under Newsletter, Releases, Reviews.
 

Unusual Digital Releases

 

Our friends from Serein were recently tweeting about “unusual digital releases”, described as “not just a zip file of MP3s and JPEGs.”

Well, packaging is important. At Enough we feel the zip with the mp3s and jpegs is still needed, even if you have the stream available or a different way to present the release. Web technology has evolved quite a lot, enabling all sorts of multimedia presentations of your work. Most digital artists still focus on the simple website update and upload to a couple of their favorite online platforms. But a lot more can be done! Famous examples include Google’s ro.me and Björk’s Biophila.

At Enough Records we have a demoscene background, and in the demoscene, before mp3s were hip and appstores existed there were musicdisks. Musicdisks are essentially applications the user was free to download and launch on their own computer, typically featuring some computer animations and a graphical interface that would work as a media player allowing the user to select the different tracks from the release and enjoy some sort of visualization system.

Following this trend we have released several musicdisks through the years.

The first musicdisk released at Enough Records being Dark Vault, one of our first dark ambient compilations from 2004, the custom interface for PC Windows is bundled with the release.

The sequel to Dark Vault: Dark Vault 2, was actually planned to have a custom musicdisk interface for the Dreamcast, which was cancelled and just released as a packaged zip containing the tracks and artwork after a year of promised development had already delayed the release too long.

Another dark ambient compilation titled Alien Artifact was packaged even more abstractly in 2005, the interface was a riddle that the user had to puzzle out in order to listen to the tracks.

In 2008 we released Open Funk Sores by Goto 80 featuring glitch graphic animations by Raquel Meyers. It was packaged as a musicdisk for the Playstation Portable by Titan demogroup, and a few years later ported to html5 and iOS.

Embracing the web technology we ended up building a few mini-sites with embebed players for the new releases, mostly compilations. Our first incursion with web technologies was probably with the Flash animation cover for Sound Research, much alike the Qwartz Awarded Minusn netlabel was doing before they stopped updating their website.

A few years later the Enough Dubs and Enough Dubs 2 compilations got their own mini-sites. The concept continued to evolve with the founding of our socio-political activist sub-label Anonymous Archive and the 99 Anonymous series of mixtapes. More recently our 100 Years of Noise tribute compilation also features it’s own dedicated webpage including extra information, artwork and even exclusive interviews with the contributing authors.

We don’t claim the concept of having a dedicated page with customized look and feel for a specific release was in any way new or revolutionary, but it does give a friendlier link to promote the release to our listeners.

A slightly more innovative way to showcase our digital releases was the commissioned development of the web based text adventure game Under a Seering Sky, whose soundtrack consists of tracks previously released through Enough Records and some of our partner netlabels such as MiMi and Floating Joint.

Filed under Netlabel Reflections, Releases.
 

Artist Spotlight: Ghost Hunter

 

Ghost Hunter

We got in touch with Robert Verrecchia, indie electronics producer based out of Sheffield, UK. He released 3 works through Enough Records. The Downtown EP in December 2006 under his old moniker Rob Rob Rob, and two EPs as his new alias Ghost Hunter, the self-titled debut release in January 2008 and In the Early Months roughly one year later.

Hei Rob, how’s it going? Can you tell us a little about yourself? What’s your background, what do you do for a living?

I’m good thanks. I’m 26. I make music under the name “Ghost Hunter”. Right now I’m based in Sheffield and I work as a medical doctor.

I read you been to Ecuador in the past year through your latest demo (which is sounding great btw.) Are you big into travelling?

Thanks. Yeah, I took a cassette deck to the jungle there and made some recordings which added a nice atmosphere to some of the tracks. I also have cassette full of sounds I made in Syria a couple of years ago but those are proving a little more difficult to work into my music. I love to travel and experience places completely different to those I’m used to…it helps you to see the world from a completely different perspective. I’m lucky to have been to some really interesting places and have met some great people. In fact I’ve got a job starting out in South Africa so I’ll be heading there fairly soon. Hoping to see a lot of the continent while I’m based there.

How did your fascination with making music got started?

My Dad has a recording studio at home in the south of England so when I was growing up I often used to mess around with his synths and samplers and tape machines, learning how it all worked. When I moved to Sheffield I started getting more of my own gear and making electronic music more seriously.

What drove you to release with Enough Records? How did you find us?

It was a long time ago so I don’t really remember. All I know is that you (ps) were friendly and encouraging and seemed like someone I’d like to work with.

Can you tell us how the Sheffield and UK indie electronics scene is like? Do you get much support from local promoters and radios?

I’m not at all part of the Sheffield scene. I gig very rarely…

You released a 10″ through House Anxiety Records in 2010. How did that turn out? Do you feel physical releases are important to get your name out there on review sites? I remember some of the Ghost Hunter releases free for download were also available as limited edition CDR. How do you see the digital and the physical complementing each other?

I’m a vinyl junkie so having my own music pressed on vinyl was a big deal. And I got to know some really nice people through doing it. Music is in an interesting place now as it no longer needs a physical vessel to deliver it…The digital revolution has made everything so easy and convenient and I love that…but at the same time it cheapens it. If you don’t have to go out to a store and you don’t take home something real, then you don’t attach so much worth to it. This shouldn’t happen but it does. I still love the physicality of putting on a record and listening to it from start to finish. It’s more ritualistic and makes you focus more on what you’re listening to.

I noticed you been doing a lot of remixes for all sort of artists for the past couple of years, has it been more fun then producing new album material?

It’s fun to work with a different sound palate and yet make it sound your own…even when you don’t really like the original track. Also they usually have short deadlines which focuses me…I’ve learnt a lot from making these. I can pick away at my own tracks for months on end until they’re just right but I think some of my best material has been my remixes which have been made in under a week. I’m most proud of the one I did for Sky Larkin. I chose a path and recorded most of it in one afternoon. I feel I fully realised the vision I had in my head when I started which is very rewarding. Having said all that, I definitely got a little caught up in the remix work and was neglecting my own stuff…subsequently I’ve totally cut back on that for now.

How do you envision the future of music evolving?

Music seems to be developing in some really interesting directions but I’m not really up to date with most current stuff. For me the most exciting thing is the availability of information about the history of music on the internet. Anyone can learn about the history of music or hear tunes made from the other side of the world in a totally different era. It really allows you to broaden your tastes and influences. There’s so much amazing and innovative music that’s been made in the past. As well as trying to push things forward we should sometimes stop and take a minute to really digest some of the incredible styles and progress of the last 100 years. I’ve been mainly binging on 60s jazz and West African music recently.

Thanks for your time! Any last words of wisdom for folks out there reading?

Not from me. But maybe from JC…

Filed under Artist Spotlight, Interviews.
 

Newsletter 17 February 2013

 

Highlights this month on the Enough Records world include a couple new releases, a Jamendo number one and a few interviews available for reading online. Read below for more information.

100 Years of Noise – Final Release

This Final release of our ode to ‘L´Arte dei Rumori’ includes 11 new tracks that were not released in the Public Domain Celebration Release on 1st January. Additionally we remodelled the minisite to include a few interviews with the artists and complementary material to the tracks (image, text or video). The entire tracklist is available free for download and online stream.

Expect experimental sounds in a wide range of styles and genres, including musique concréte, field recordings, free jazz, DIY electronics and noise.

+link

AtlanThis 2

Follow up compilation of experimental electronic tracks from artists out of Portugal and the North America. The theme of the compilation is crossing the Atlantic ocean. Organized and co-released by Thisco Records. Features tracks by Mantrakid, ocp, Oxford Icebergs, Human Being, Sci Fi Industries, Infetu, ps, Dyman, Com. Gen., shhh…, Waste Disposal Machine, Undara, Mystified and AVOIDANT. Artwork by American painter Ariel Claborn.

Expect electronic sounds ranging from drone and ambient to idm and industrial.

+link

The Easton Ellises – Dance It, Dance All Jamendo #1

Our Canadian electro rock artists The Easton Ellises managed to break Jamendo charts all the way to number one with their track “Dance It, Dance All”. It’s part of their crowdfunded vinyl release, which is also available free for download at Enough Records.

+link +link

Aktivehate European Tour

Our Portuguese harsh electronics project Aktivehate are promoting their new full length album recently released through Advoxya Records with an European tour. If you want them playing in your city, now it the time to poke your local promoters.

Interviews

We have started a series of interviews with Enough Records artists that are being published on our official blog. To kick off the series we caught up with Graham Jackson of the Canadian goth rock project The Silence Industry. Next up was an interview with João Pinheiro aka Johnny Hex, involved in the projects Vysehrad, U.M.M. and Control Alt Deus.

The curators at Free Music Archive also recently did an interview with our American jazz artist Jared C. Balogh, you can find the interview at the FMA website.

Alexei Biryukoff fine art

Our Siberian artist Muhmood has been placing some of his photo and painting artworks for sale at fineartamerica.com, a great opportunity to get a deeper insight and support his work if you enjoyed his sounds.

Filed under Newsletter.
 

Artist Spotlight: Johnny Hex

 

Next in line in our series of interviews with Enough Records artists we caught up with João Pinheiro aka Johnny Hex. He lives in Lisbon, studies sound production and is involved with 3 projects endorsed by Enough Records: The dark ambient project Vysehrad, the oldschool EBM project U.M.M. and the harsh electronics project Control Alt Deus.

Hei Johnny, thanks for agreeing to do this interview! Can you tell us a little more about your background? I know you weren’t originally studying sound production, can you tell us a little more about that? Did you finally decide to face your music artist dream head on? Or has it always been in your plans?

Well, I always had what people call a good ear. I never learned to play any instrument but the interest in sound was always there since the beginning. The developments of computer music software and the overall increase in accessibility to VSTs and DAWs was the moment I started to try my hand at music production.

Like everyone, my first “songs” were bad and sounded bad… Eventually, things got a bit better, the opportunity to make a real band presented itself and the rest is history…

When did you first get interested in producing music?

The interest was there but it wasn’t easy in the beginning, this was pre Youtube and by then I had no access to the internet, so while some might say that working with music software is easier than with hardware, for me it was very hard in the beginning because I had to learn everything from scratch and had no one around to teach me. Equalizers, compressors, reverbs… All a mystery to me. Synths: even worse. The way I found that worked for me was doing covers of songs I liked back then (The Cure, Depeche Mode, new wave and darkwave, etc…) and try to see if I could make them sound as close as possible to the originals or do my songs but in the style of the mentioned bands. By doing that I learned about how to achieve “that” (the sound) using “this” (the tools).

So yeah, I bumped my head quite a few times and did lots of crappy eurodance and synth goth 2 minutes songs that are locked away on a tape or a cd somewhere.

Later on I realized my real love was not in being a “musician” (which I don’t consider myself to be; I still don’t know how to play an instrument, although I dabble in keyboards and drums). I became much more interested in the audio production part and sound design so I made the decision to go learn it in a school.

One of the things that surprised me about you when i first met you was that you’re one of the few Portuguese guys who actually knows about the demoscene and trackers software. Do you actually use tracker software in music production? Can you tell us what’s your current production setup?

I really like tracker music and the “sound” associated with it. I think that the limitations of the format make people work around problems more creatively.

One of my favorite musicians is Andrew Sega which most people know in the demoscene as Necros. Unfortunately, I’m not comfortable enough with trackers to use them in my music production. I once tried Renoise and was able to churn out some loops but I’m already too formatted to “traditional” DAWs to make the jump.

Right now I’m using Ableton Live Suite 8 for almost everything, although I sometimes still go back to FL Studio which was my first love since the beginning (I used since version 2, when it was called Fruity Loops). But usually that only happens when I need to rescue an old mix or song idea because Ableton has fulfilled all my needs for now.

The rest of my setup is: an M-Audio Fasttrack Pro USB and two KRK Rokit RP5G2 and 2 midi keyboards.

Control Alt Deus is one of the projects at Enough that we get the most positive feedback on. But you guys always seem to be coming and going out of activity. Can we expect something new from CAD at this point?

No, not really.

That’s a shame. :( I know you always have a lot of different projects going. Which ones are you actively following at this point?

At this moment in time, only my solo Drum & Bass project (Mindphase) is currently active. I also have been doing some songs for mobile games as a separate project.

As for the remaining: CAD are over, U.M.M. and Vysehrad are in a hiatus. Whether they’ll come back in the future time will tell.

You can always check my personal Soundcloud page for new stuff:
http://soundcloud.com/dividebyzer0

And the website I have for sound design and music composition:
http://divid3byzer0.wordpress.com/

How do you feel about the music industry at this point in time? I know you tried different approaches at different points in time. What do you feel is the best approach right now to reach a wider audience and get some monetization back?

This is my opinion: You want to make a living out of music? Do the most shallow, innocuous and bland (even if masquerading as “hardcore”) crap and you’ll do fine. Might be picked up for a cell phone ad or something. Looking “cool” and “alternative” is also a plus. If it’s good and safe for nine o’ clock radio, you’re set.

Seriously, it was always like this, it’s not just now that this happens. I really don’t care that much about “mainstream” music and I couldn’t care less if big record companies are struggling or not. What I feel sorry for are the smaller indie labels. Everyone needs to adapt to these new times and the internet was / is perhaps the biggest game changer in the history of pop music (pop music here in opposition of classical and chamber music). For me, artists that want to thrive now and in the future need to offer their music in an easy and accessible manner (I’m thinking Steam in the case of PC games). And with quality. Stop selling mp3s and AACs. They’re good for street listening but if I’m buying a digital copy I want it to be with the same quality as the physical one. Sell WAV or FLAC (or ALAC, as long as the format is lossless) and keep the prices fair. Don’t charge more for a lossless copy.

My idea is if artists want to have some investment back, they are in a position right now to have all the control they want over their product. I’m not saying no to indie labels, but if you want to be full in charge of your creations, you can do it. Of course, that equals LOTS of work and labels might help you with that. It depends on what you can or are willing to do beyond just producing music.

I know you are also involved organizing some events in Lisbon, can you tell us a little more about them and how have they been turning out?

Right now, I just DJ in a club here in Lisbon. Nothing too fancy, it’s a small club, catering for the niche market of the so called “dark” sub-cultures (bear with me, I cringe a bit at that expression too). I have been doing 2 more or less regular nights with two other friends: one called TechNoir in which we play mostly dark-ish and dancy electronic stuff be it Industrial, EBM, Drum & Bass, etc… And the other called Bumper Car Night, which is basically, let’s just have some fun and listen to 90s Eurodance and techno (which kinda resembles some Industrial / EBM / Future Pop nowadays to be honest hahah).

A few months ago i was talking with Thisco and Soundfactory guys about the idea of using crowdfunding platforms to fund a This Is Industrial PT 2 compilation with physical CD and a couple of release concerts, while being able to actually pay the artists for their contribution. The general opinion was that it wouldn’t really work out in Portugal because the scene is so small and all the people are low on money as it is thanks to our beloved government supporting the financial crisis. Do you think such a project could actually succeed?

To be honest, the prospect of doing a second This Is Industrial PT doesn’t make any sense to me. Back when we did the first one, we had a small scene yes, but as small as it was, there was a sense of “community” grounded perhaps on the defunct IndustrialPT forum and the somewhat regular parties and concerts that occurred here and there, in different venues, with different djs, and everybody got a bit of everything: some liked more old-school stuff, they’d get to hear it; others liked the more modern stuff, they’d get to hear too; others liked more experimental music, there was also a space for that too. All these types of music where represented in the first compilation.

The present situation is this: there is no scene (as in 0). The people scattered. There are no regular venues the same way they were before. Concerts: same thing. And worst of all there is no community. Yeah of course, there are “communities” of people that usually go to this club or the other, but it’s not the same thing as we had in the past that didn’t belong to two or three people, or a place, or a band. There is no “Industrial PT”.

I’m not sure i fully agree with that analysis but i understand where you’re coming from. :) Anyways, that’s all i have for now! Thanks for answering my questions.

Thank you Filipe for your continuous support and I wish all the best to you and Enough Records!

Filed under Artist Spotlight, Interviews.
 

Artist Spotlight: The Silence Industry

 

We got in touch with Graham Jackson to ask him some questions about this project The Silence Industry (tSI). The self-titled debut album of tSI was released at Enough in 2007. A few other released by tSI can be found on fellow netlabels Ekleipsi and afmusic.

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Hello Graham. To kick things off can you tell us a little bit about you and your project The Silence Industry? When was it founded and how did it came to see the light of day?

The Silence Industry started in mid 2006 or so after having played in several other projects which imploded for whatever reason. I was just anxious and excited to keep making music really, so it was never a question of whether or not there would be a new project, I just had to settle on a concept and a name which I’m very happy with after 6 years. While I’m the driving force behind it, songwriter, vocalist, producer etc. I don’t really consider it a solo project. There have been lots of people involved in it in varying capacities from day 1, and my life-partner is now also lending her voice all over the tracks here and there. As for how it came to see the light of day, I just got into home recording and netlabels and haven’t looked back!

What is your primary drive behind using Creative Commons licenses? Did you just get tired of dealing with the commercial aspect of the music industry or did you just like the copyleft concept of other people being free to reuse and remix your works?

I have several drives behind using CC licenses. I did get very tired of dealing with the commercial aspect of music, and that was a very deliberate decision in founding tSI. I find that everyone is much more pleasant to deal with while there is no money involved. Also, for the most part, the amount of money in underground/weird music is so inconsequential that it’s simply not worth it. Most likely you can’t make a living off of doing this sort of music, so it seems to me like netlabels/CC is a great fit. I’d rather have more people be able to access and listen to my music with as few barriers as possible. That and, yes, I do quite like the open source movement, as well as copyleft. I can only hope that people find enough interest in my music to re-use and remix tSI. CC and copyleft aren’t really all that subversive on their own, but I do think they offer a positive vision for the future.

I believe your release through Enough Records was actually the debut album of the project, back in June 2007. Do you recall how you found Enough Records and why you thought we would be a cool label to release with?

GJ Our release with Enough was the debut album of the project. I found Enough Records by researching what netlabels were releasing interesting dark-ish music. I really liked the dark-ambient stuff that Enough had put out especially, and Enough seemed to be releasing a pretty diverse catalogue. Open minded-ness and cross pollination of ideas are always good things in music as far as I’m concerned, so it seemed like it would be worth a shot. I often get quite frustrated with getting stuck in an overly-specific scene. Enough seemed to have sort-of the opposite approach, while still maintaining a certain continuity and identity, which I really liked.

I remember i really liked the unique character of your tracks back then, and i still play them to this day. Initially they sound like standard goth rock, but they have this certain embroidering aspect to them that really turns them into something different. One of the factors that made me like your music was also the somewhat unconventional use of sampling in a genre of music which doesn’t typically use them. At the time i recall we had some difficulty coining it, you called it psychedelic in a sense i believe. Can you tell us a little more about that process? How did you get into this kind of sound?

I definitely enjoy unconventional uses of sampling. I’ve enjoyed experimental electronic and ambient music for quite a long time, and so in one sense those elements were really something that worked their way into my stuff quite organically. I like those sorts of sounds so why not use them?

In addition to that, one of the things I really like about reverb and delay drenched post-punk records from their heyday is the sense of not knowing precisely what you’re hearing at any given moment, while still having a vague general sense and sort-of letting the listener’s imagination fill in the gaps. The 1st Chameleons record is great for this, and while I think that a large part of this is simply a reflection of the recording process these bands had available to them at the time, that sort of spacey sound left a pretty big mark on my musical psyche. It occurred to me to use unconventional sampling here and there, not to simply repeat dialogue from movies up way front in the mix (as has become common and fairly boring in unimaginative industrial music), but rather to help in creating a bit of an atmosphere of confusion that sparks the listener’s curiosity and imagination. I still think psychedelic is a good way to describe these elements of our sound.

I also amuse myself with my sources. I like sampling dialogue from people whose views are diametrically opposed from mine, slow it down and play it backwards buried in the mix as an incredibly passive-aggressive insult to them. I won’t mention names here.

So quite apart from that, while The Silence Industry’s process can and does vary a fair bit from time to time, most of the time songs start just fairly traditionally on guitar, then the guitar parts usually turn into bass parts, drum programs follow, then new guitar parts arrive, noise, and then vocal arrangements. Somewhere along the line all of these parts usually get critically examined and turned inside out here and there. The whole song is usually written before it starts getting tracked, but things are still played with a fair bit during this process, especially the noise elements and vocal arrangements. That being said, we are still trying new things all the time. For example look for completely unquantized drums on our next release.

A few years have passed since then. Looking back now, can you tell us the advantages and disavantages of your musical process? Do you still follow the same methods? How did you evolve technically?

The main disadvantage of our creative process is that it takes a while. It is usually next to impossible to do something instantly and entirely spontaneously. That’s why I enjoy doing improvisational jams with friends whenever I get the chance, just to keep that balance in my musical life. The process mentioned above is the current process. Initially I don’t really think that we had a process which was cool in a sense that it allowed for a lot of messing around, but we were still finding our sound and that lack of a process usually just led to trying to do too much too soon while an idea was still taking shape. So I guess, the way in which our process has changed can really be boiled down to gaining the maturity to know that “I’ll get to that part when I get to it”!

Have you been playing live? What’s your local scene like?

We haven’t played live in a little while but we plan to again at some point. We have had some really good shows, and plenty of not so good ones. I hate to be the stick in the mud, but I can’t really say all that much good stuff for our local scene. There’s a lot of bands, not that many venues, and plenty of attitudes. We’ve played some shows with some really good people, but I’d say that overall the vibe is very negative. Also, I like playing mixed bills with very different sounding bands, and these usually go over better than a lot of people would expect, but they are very hard to put together because a lot of the people who book the shows aren’t terribly open minded. Still, playing live is a lot of fun and we plan on doing it again once the logistics become more feasible for us.

Listening to your other releases, the ones released through Ekleipsi and afmusic, your sounds still manage to maintain their unique character, can you tell us a little more about what composing means to you? What’s your appeal to this particular aesthetic approach?

Yeah, I think there’s a continuity there. All that it really means is that the Silence Industry hasn’t come to mean anything completely different to me than it did initially, but there’s a lot of growth I think from release to release. For me composing is a lot of things. Primarily it’s an outlet, but it’s also a craft, a nerdy hobby, an intellectual pursuit, and a way of communicating with the world.

Our sonic esthetic has really just become second nature to me. Simply part of how I relate to the world, so much to the point that I don’t think about it much, as it’s just a natural product of my thoughts about the world, my emotions and musical influences. Bearing in mind that all of these things change over time, although they haven’t done so drastically for us. This can be a bad thing in certain situations, but we’re nowhere near out of ideas or ways to grow and challenge ourselves at this point, so I don’t feel like I need to completely rethink everything any time soon.

Do you have other side projects?

I sometimes do experimental pieces and remixes of tSI tracks just for my own entertainment. We released a couple on our latest EP. I expect to do a bit more of this here and there. Also as I mentioned earlier I like doing improv weird music. With all of the other pressures of real life I think that’s about as much as I can handle at the moment.

You mentioned you’re working on some new material, but that it might not even be finished until 2014, can you tell us a little more on your plan? Are you trying something different or have a specific idea? Or are you just making some more tracks and seeing where you end up?

It’s not that there’s some grandiose vision of a concept double-album or anything like that, it’s just that it takes that long for us to write and record 5 or so songs really. We’re off to a good start already though! It may come together sooner than that, I’m just trying to be realistic.

We’re sort of just making more tracks and seeing where they end up, although we do have a few ideas for the directions we’d like to push in. I’d like to try to make things sound a little bit more futuristic without using synths at all, just unconventional sampling, guitar, bass and drum machine. More prog-rock influences. A bit more minimal here and there. More female vox. More weirdness. That’s just a random smattering of ideas though, and nothing’s 100% at this point.

I’m all out of questions. Thanks for your time! Any last words?

This has been a very fun and revealing interview! We’re looking forward to the next release with Enough Records!

Filed under Artist Spotlight, Interviews.
 

Fan made videos

 

The cool thing about releasing your entire catalogue as Creative Commons by-nc-sa is discovering what other people have been doing with your releases. The most common use is soundtrack for homemade, fan-made or non-commercial trailer videos. Here are a few examples of videos we found in the last few months:

Minecraft creative map by MinDraPeKhaoZ (music by Dyman)

AR_DRONE_FLIGHT_WORK_09_04_2012 by Brian Carlsen (music by Dyman)

Ersatz – The Easton Ellises (Violet and the Mutantz Remix) by kinkyclerk (music by The Easton Ellises + Violet and the Mutants)

SALICE and Nick116 2013 (BTT cross country) by Nick116com (music by The Easton Ellises

Backstage at 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show by nydailynews (music by The Easton Ellises)

Drachenfeste 2008, 2011 und 2012 am Strand von Lakolk auf Rømø in DK by Heider Kiter (music by M-PeX)

Distant Familiarities (timelapse) by Rachel Wolven (music by M-PeX)

Spuntic – Wake Up by Geigercounterculture (music by Spuntic)

Jerome Faria – Sustain I / Sequence#4 July 2012 by Melanie_Skriabine (music by Jerome Faria)

Thank you so much for using our tracks! It’s a privilege and an honor for our artists to enable your creativity. If you do new videos with our soundtracks, please let us know, we would love to watch and share them.

Filed under Uncategorized.