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Messages - Scott Raymond

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Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Bandcamp
« on: July 12, 2013, 06:07:44 PM »
As a consumer and DJ, I like Bandcamp a lot for all the reasons listed here. I'd also like to add that it's easy for musicians to offer promo downloads to DJ's and reviewers, too. As a DJ, I'm seeing more and more promo downloads these days, and I've never had problems with the Bandcamp system.

Scott Raymond

Stephen -

  That's great news. Coincidentally, I interviewed Markus this past Sunday. Wonderful guy. I'll keep my eyes open for this one. Thanks.

Scott Raymond

I picked up the first Broken Harbour from Bandcamp and like it a lot. Looking forward to hearing the new album!

The download version is already available and I have it. Really nice stuff. Perhaps a bit closer to Trust/Metaphor days than the last couple, but well worth having if you like his music.

  I am saddened to tell you that Christopher Cameron has passed away on August 22, 2011 at the age of 44.  I was shocked when Darren told me the news. I knew Chris a little, as we'd met on a few occasions and corresponded over the years. The most important thing I can say about him is that he was genuinely a kind soul and a nice person. Intelligent, kind, open minded, and a good sense of humor. He also happened to be a gifted musician who was all too humble about his talent. In addition to his work with Greg Kyryluk as Thought Guild, he released an album with Jim Cole and John Boiano as Expansion Project, and an album with Robert Dauphineis as TGXT, both of which I heartily recommend. Perhaps his best work has yet to see the light of day. Over a year ago, he gave me a CD of music he'd been working on. He wasn't sure if it was ready, or if he was happy with the results, and wanted my opinion. I told him it was brilliant space music as is, and didn't need any improving. A great human being, and a talented musician, who left us way too soon. Good luck, Christopher.

  Here's a couple of useful links, with a little more information. I'll post more as I find out.

Sad, sad news indeed. I remember his releases from the early days of Trance Port and loved the music and the packaging. I didn't know him, but emailed back and forth a time or two. A nice guy and a great talent. Take care, Barry.

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Emusic anyone?
« on: June 27, 2011, 04:27:42 PM »
I've been an Emusic subscriber for 9 years now, and though the subscription model has changed significantly in that time, it''s still worthwhile. I've been introduced to countless new artists because of Emusic. Basically, you pay a certain amount each month, and get a certain dollar amount each month in downloads. A basic plan is about $12/month, and you get that amount in downloads (since the average album is about $6, you average 2 albums/month that way). There are better plans where they give you a bonus, and then it's cheaper. If you get an annual plan, it can be closer to $4/album with the bonus. It's geared towards album based pricing at this point, though you can still download individual tracks. It's not lossless, but unless you're an audiophile, you're not likely to notice. JDH, I checked out both titles you mentioned and they're listed (at least in the US) at $5.99/each. seems a lot for a single track or two tracks, but still a good deal. It's not perfect, but it's very useful when you're on a budget.

Got my copy today and listening to it now. Sounds wonderful. Nice to hear new material from both of them. Thanks, Mike!

Here's my motto:

  When in doubt, blame Pearce.

I've had this album for a few days now, as Meg sent me a promo copy. I don't have all the right adjectives, but it's utterly fantastic. Just a wonderful album from start to finish. Good to see her back in action, and I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone here.

  In related news, I'm very happy to announce that Meg will be a guest on my radio show on Sunday, April 10. She won't be playing live, but we'll be talking about her music and playing stuff from past and present albums. This is one I'm really looking forward to.

Scott Raymond

Everything and Nothing / Re: Jewel Cases
« on: February 20, 2011, 01:20:50 PM »
We're doing something similar at the radio station. We're backing up all of our CD's onto hard drives for archival purposes, then eliminating the jewel boxes where possible and using the plastic sleeves. However, we put them in small cardboard boxes that can be labeled and put on shelves for easy categorization. Still a bit difficult to find the one you're looking for quickly, but at least there's some organization.

This is very sad news indeed. I've come to be a big fan of Lucette's music and consider her a great talent in ambient music. I'll be playing a large chunk of music on my show tomorrow in her honor. Rest in peace, Lucette.

Scott Raymond

Everything and Nothing / Re: Book on cd and download economics
« on: February 17, 2011, 04:23:47 PM »
I'm in the middle of reading it now. Pretty interesting book. Goes through the whole history of the music industry and the people who made it big and where they screwed up. The premise isn't new, but it tells you a lot about the people involved and how they let their greed get the better of them.

Listened to it this weekend. Really nice music. I also really like the new Apne Sinn album, too. Thanks!

Scott Raymond

Everything and Nothing / Re: Cassette tapes..
« on: February 07, 2011, 04:31:33 PM »
  In the early days, the only way an independent musician could get his music out there was to release it on cassette. I had a whole bunch of them from the late 80's into the mid 90's. A lot of these have never been reissued on CD. Loren Nerell's excellent Book of Alchemy and Point of Arrival albums, for example. Mine are now in the hands of Darren Bergstein, in the hope that one day they will get transferred to MP3. Though with his schedule, it's not likely that'll happen anytime soon.

  I also had lots of listeners that would tape the show every Sunday. A few years back one of them sent me a box of tapes of old shows that were 10-15 years old. It was weird to hear my voice like that. I dumped those for reasons of space a while back.

Scott Raymond

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 16, 2011, 11:31:15 AM »
  Thanks for all the great responses, guys. It's not often that my few remaining brain cells work in unison, but when they do, watch out...

  In response to jdh's comment about the younger generation, that's a good point. I'd touched on it, but didn't go into detail. Quite a few of the college DJ's at the station (WVKR is based out of Vassar College) only know files and have laptops full of music that they play with programs like Traktor and Ableton. That's what they know. My recent ex gf who was *cough* younger was of a similar mind. She loved her father's vinyl collection, but everything else was downloads or streamed music. We have to remember this going forward that there's a whole generation who simply don't use physical media, or only in limited quantities. And yes, the younger generation does listen to ambient music. Look at what labels like Kranky and Western Vinyl are doing to give you an idea. A couple of years ago, I went to NYC to see Stars Of The Lid live. What surprised me the most were how many 20-somethings were in the audience. I felt like an old fogey.

  My main thing, and what I hope gets remembered here, is that I hope artists and fans communicate more with each other. If you want to put out a CD or do something in special packaging, but you're worried about recouping the expense, ask your audience. You might be surprised how many of them will agree to pay the extra money. Some artists in other fields are letting people "pre-order" the upcoming CD. When there's enough orders, the artist makes the CD and ships it out. That way the costs are covered. If you're a fan and want the artist to keep making CD's, or whatever, mention it to them. I made sure to mention to Robert Rich that I thought he should do a solo piano album. And I'm sure he didn't do it just for me. But I imagine enough people told him the same thing that eventually the idea stuck and he did it. And I'm glad he did.

  JDH, I'll have to look for that book you mentioned. Sounds interesting. One I read long ago that influenced me was The Long Tail, by Chris Anderson. All about the future of business and the Internet and how selling less of more can be a good thing. I now return you to your regularly scheduled program...

Scott Raymond

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: CDs are Dead....Almost!
« on: January 15, 2011, 09:01:01 PM »
  I've been thinking about this one for a while, and after talking it over with Darren, I've decided
to put my $.02 in. It's a bit long winded, but I'll try not to put you to sleep. Honest. We're in a
rare situation here as the people who make and sell the music interact closely with the people who
buy and enjoy the music. This way, we get to learn from each other, find out what matters to each
other. This is obviously a contentious issue and isn't going away anytime soon. It's something that
we're all passionate about, from those who don't want CD's to go away, to those who see downloads as
the future. Think back to where we were 5 years ago. This wouldn't be as serious a discussion then.
10 years ago, downloads were in their infancy. 15 years ago, I was writing a monthly column for a
trade magazine called New Age Voice about the Internet. Back then, it was big news if an artist or
label even had a website. Where will we be in 5 years? 10? 15? There's definitely an evolution going
on here. I'm not sure where it's headed, but there's still tons of great music being made, and
that's what really matters.

  As a DJ at an independent radio station, I see a lot of this firsthand. We're in the midst of a
years-long project to archive all our CD's onto hard drives. We're not getting rid of CD's, just
backing them up and making it easier for those DJ"s that are all digital (yes, there are some). But
at the same time, there's still physical media. I see new cassettes from indie bands in our
playlist. As Mike pointed out, indie bands are still making 7" singles. And we still get a few vinyl
records from time to time. I don't think any of those are making a comeback. I think they're just
filling niches. I think physical media will be with us for a while. Collectors like having a
physical product to hold. And performing artists need something to sell at concerts. But I think
that more and more, physical media will be the niche, and downloads (or perhaps streaming "cloud"
music, or something else) will become the norm.

  I grew up listening to classic rock on a crappy portable radio, then my dad's 8-tracks, then LP's
on my mom's stereo. I went to NYC often on record buying trips in the mid to late 80's and came back
with bags full of vinyl that I'd listen to for weeks. I bought my first CD player in 1985. My first
CD? Eddie Jobson's Theme Of Secrets. Still one of my all time favorites. I remember the first promo
CD an independent artist ever sent to me. That was a big deal at the time. There was a time when the
only way independent musicians and labels could release music was on cassette. Now well over half of
the music I get comes from downloads, either directly from the artists/labels, or from sites like
Emusic or Bandcamp. I love having something to hold in my hands, and the recording quality matters a
lot to me. But if the music's good, then the method of delivery isn't as important to me. I listened
to my dad's 8-tracks over and over again. As horrible as the sound quality was, I loved the music.

  What's been missing from this thread, and most of the others like it that I read, is the economics
of the situation from the musician/label point of view. What little I've read, and what people have
told me privately (which I won't repeat without permission) scares me. From the sounds of it, CD"s
simply aren't selling, unless you're a performing musician. I'd really like to hear more about this.
If not sales figures, then at least something that gives me more of an idea how things are going,
both for those that rely on CD sales and those that have moved more into downloads. There are a lot
more options for musicians/labels these days for download sales. Besides obvious outlets like Itunes
and CD Baby, there are others like Emusic and Bandcamp, which I've been using a lot lately. There
are different pricing options, even "pay what you want". I'm not addressing the netlabel/free
download part of it here, as I want to hear more about the economics. Are musicians/labels still
selling CD's? Are downloads selling? What makes more sense financially? We may get upset when a
musician or label stops selling CD"s and goes download only, but we have to remember that there's
usually an economic reason for it. The more we understand this, the better. There are
musicians/labels that have stopped releasing music or have gone on hiatus because it isn't
financially viable for them. Sad, but true.

  From the listeners point of view, we should talk more about the value of music. With so many
people illegally downloading music online, the big worry is that music will have no value. We need
to look at what we value about music, and how we can retain that value. Collectors find value in a
physical product, and don't find value in what's essentially a file on their hard drive. That's
fine, but if one of your favorite musicians releases a download only project, will you ignore it
because it has no value to you? In another forum, a band released an album of music as a free
download as a thank you for their fans. And someone was upset because they didn't offer it for sale
as a CD. To me, he's missing the point. It was a gift, and a nice one at that. I downloaded it,
loved it, and am playing it on my show. When O Yuki Conjugate released The Euphoria Of Disobedience,
their first album in something like 10 years, I wanted it. I'm a huge fan. And since I couldn't get
a promo copy, I had to choose between spending $30 for a limited edition release in special
packaging, or get it from Emusic (which cost something like $2). The economics of the situation
forced me to go with Emusic. And it still blew me away. I value my download files as much as I do my
CD"s. And though I get lots of promos, I still buy music sometimes, when I can't get an album any
other way. And lately the economics of my situation mean that if I can get a download for less, than
I will.

  The economics from the listener point of view (and I still consider myself one) is that most of us
have very limited budgets. MOre and more, we have to look for the value in any product. CD's might
not be going away, but more and more artists and labels are turning to downloads. As a listener,
will you spend your money on a CD? Or will you opt for a download? What are you willing to forgo, a
physical product, or the music itself? IN my case, I want to hear the music. If it's a CD, great. If
it's a download, that's fine too. If you opt for downloads, you have to accept that some
artists/labels prefer releasing CD's. Perhaps if enough of you speak up on the subject, they will
offer downloads *cough* Hypnos *cough*. If you want a CD, you have to accept that certain albums may
only be available as a download. Again, if enough of you speak up on the subject, perhaps they will
listen and offer a CD. And the musicians/labels out there need to decide which way to go. If it's
financially viable to keep releasing CD's, great. If it's a download release, then still make it
something people will value. Some labels may find a niche releasing download albums on CD. Others
may find that releasing CD's is simply no longer a viable option for them. It isn't easy for either
side, musician/labels or listeners. The more we understand each other, the better we'll all get
through this.

Scott Raymond

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Alio die purchase
« on: December 16, 2010, 03:51:47 PM »
Hi -

  Projekt usually has all of Stefano's CD's at domestic prices. Here's the link:

Scott Raymond

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: Steve Roach - Sigh of Ages
« on: July 11, 2010, 10:11:05 AM »
  I just got my promo copy yesterday (thanks, Sam). Though it's the Steve Roach sound I've come to know and love, he takes it in a different direction this time. More emotional, more elegaic. I like it a lot. I'll leave it to others with better command of the English language to wax poetic, but this is one of the better ones I've heard in a while.

  By the way, the photography isn't stock Sam Rosenthal clip art. The photography is by some guy named Chuck from Philadelphia, who is known for other things besides photography (musician, DJ, concert promoter, etc.). Maybe that's why he had an advance copy...

So who's going to these shows? I've already got my tickets for Spyra and Robert Rich, and quite possibly Northern Valentine as well. Should be a great set of shows.

Scott Raymond

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